Saturday, December 31, 2016

Three Faces of Owl

Collected over the year: a hand-stitched stuffie with mother of pearl eyes and a leather beak, a signed and numbered print by Manitoba artist Larry Kissick, and some feathers from a barred owl that Gracie had a bit of a tussle with on the deck one summer night. The owl can be a symbol of life, death, regeneration, learning, wisdom - not bad things to ponder on for the transition from one year to the next.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Year Ends as It Began: On the Path

Chemin de la Paix, 2016, hand embroidered wool and perle cotton on linen, 40"x40"

My friend Jean-Pierre described this piece quite accurately when he commented: "We will enter this disastrous, labyrinthine Native/European relationship together and we will find our way out of the labyrinth hundreds of years from now after many wrong turns and ruinous trials and tribulations."

I do hope we are nearing the end of those hundreds of years, though. For those of you who may not have heard, Canada has been conducting Truth and Reconciliation hearings for the last several years and the final report has just been released.

And the esteemed Francois-Marc Gagnon, author of the book that got me going on this whole project very graciously said to me in an email: "A beautiful piece! Louis Nicolas would have certainly enjoyed all your works and would have probably tried to make the Society of Jesus buy the whole series to decorate the Residence of Sillery."
This is what the underside looked like while I had it in the hoop. Yes, I use knots. Bad embroiderer! But what the heck. I am concerned with the image, not the perfection of technique.
And these two images from the late 17th century may shed some light on what is happening with the arms of the figures. Fashionable men's dress from that time would have included a cape, worn wrapped around one arm. If Louis Nicolas was drawing from engravings, as Dr. Gagnon's research indicates, he may have tried to combine the pose taken from Champlain with a contemporary fashion plate.
I have a few smaller text-based projects in the queue before I resume the Codex Canadensis series. And damn, I want to get this work exhibited. Making proposals and sending them out is not a task that I enjoy, but it is essential.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Buche de noel redux

I am madly stitching the last few bits of the latest codex canadensis piece, so instead of a post I will offer you the gift of my recipe for Buche de Noel from way, way back. Just click the link and you will magically be transported back to December 14, 2011 - almost five years ago to the day.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Almost Done

It's not every day that one can say, "I have finished Jacques Cartier's pantaloons."

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Busy and Boring

Those are my excuses for not posting much lately. Time is flying at warp speed, worthy items of note are few. But just so I can keep calling myself a blogger, here goes.

Le chemin vers la paix is what I am calling this piece for now. I have finished Cartier's preposterous headgear and am working my way down his body. I want to be finished before the end of the year.
A picture of me on the ferry taken by James Emler. We have been going across to take part in a seminar on Contemporary Art put on by the Nanaimo Art Gallery (where, incidentally, I will be part of a group show in January.)
To fill spare moments at my part-time job, I bring old wool clothes to take apart to use for rug hooking. The hand-stitched interfacings on this vintage Scottish jacket were so beautifully done they needed documenting.
Daylight has been in short supply but this morning a few rays broke through, illuminating the oddest corners of the dome.
I notice my windows need cleaning. Someday.
More cobwebs. The dome is full of spiders, and I feel guilty about destroying their hard work.