Sunday, August 17, 2008

SIGH ...

I found this little leave on the balcony early this morning...

So, fall is on its way...

I love autumn...

But I am not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet...

Sigh...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MY HUSBAND'S PASSION (BESIDES ME, OF COURSE) ...

Sometimes I look at the way we live and our surroundings and I am sure a lot o people must think we are crazy, or at least very weird.

My 11-year old son collects aluminium stuff and smelts it in his home-made special stove powered by an old hair-dryer, the mushroom-style one women used in the 60s to dry their rolled-up do.

I roam around, by foot or by car, hunting skulls and skeletons of road kills and I will add any piece of outstanding nature I can put my hand on in a new box in my studio.

My husband Francois has a passion of his own: old bicycles. I will grab them here and there, sometimes at the junkyard, some other times put aside on the road to be picked up by the trash truck. He especially loves the 70s style ones, the ones with the Mustang handle bars and the banana seat. Not that he is a sport addict of some kind or a collector of vintange transportation means. No...

Inspired by Picasso a long time ago, he transforms them into animal or human skulls. The handles become the horns or the crossed bones and the seat the skull itself. Many of his creations are displayed on the rough wooden wall outside of his work. He did it just for fun but has ended up selling quite a few.

We were all laughing today when the insurance inspector came over to appraise our "estate" (ohhh! I love this word, it sounds so mundane !!!). Ulysse was smelting some aluminum cans in his over outside of Francois's shop, right in front of a wall covered with bike-skulls (that is how we call these creations) while I was cleaning up some birds's skulls I found at the beach on our recent trip to Maine.

I am telling you... He had a weird look on his face when he quickly got back to his car....

Friday, August 15, 2008

CHRONICLES OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A GOLD FISH ...

Gold fish have always been part of the pet family, wether they live with us inside in an aquarium or outside in the wild in one of our ponds. I had several gold fish when I was a kid but do not recall what happened to them. I remember catching a 'mene' (tiny wild fish) that I brought back home and survived 2 years in a fish bowl in the kitchen, well fed with breadcrumbs by my mom. We now have several gold fish in our ponds. We once bought 6 of them at the pet shop for $1.99 and gave them a new home. Some died during winter, some others survived and multiplied themselves. We usually have a good population, black ones, multicolored ones, orange ones and even a few kois among them.

Earlier in the month, this particular gold fish started acting abnormal in the small pond, not swimming much and breathing very rapidly. As usual, here in the family, whenever an animal is not acting itself, we immediately go in the "emergency" state and do all that can be done to make it feel better. So, we took it out of the water, placed it in a bowl with fresh water and it seemed to be doing better, treating it with fish medicine. We returned it to the pond after a couple of days of quarantine and we thought he was fine...

Yesterday morning, unfortunately, we found it floating on the water between water lily leaves. Always a sad image to see an aquatic creature unable to swim or breathe under water. It was dead...

We were about to dispose of it the same way we do with dead birds or mice we find or other little creatures, we were going to burry it in our pet cemetary, under the big oak tree. But Ulysse had a flashback about Mexico... Our friend Jay, who has been spending his winters in the Yucatan for the past 20 years is a serious fisherman who does very artistic fish prints of his daily catches on natural fiber paper.

It is kinda strange, I know, taking a dead fish, covering it with paint and pressing paper on it to make a print. It is smelly and hard to handle. But believe it or not, it is a kind of art Japanese people have been doing for a long time. Gyotaku, 魚拓 (japanese from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing") is a traditional form of japanese fish printing, dating from the mid 1800s, a form of nature printing used by fishermen to record their catches.

Ulysse and I did our printing outside and made several versions. It started raining, so we took all the prints inside to let them dry. Once dried up, we chose our favorite and painted a realistic eye on it. We really enjoyed doing this primitive kind of art. We had to act quickly and the results depended more on the interaction of fish with paper rather than on us, so the results were all quite different.

Now, Goldy rests in peace and is immortalized on a piece of paper framed on a special spot in my studio.

The end ...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MERCI, MERCI, MERCI ...

Today is the day!

The day to thank you all for visiting my blog, for leaving wonderful comments, for loving my art!

Time to thank the people who have bought my paintings in the past years, and there a quite a few of you. Thanks for giving me the chance to live a life of art at home!

Time also to thank Dani at ambitionsdesign for the wonderful and amazing Frankie Ornament of hers I won in July. Dani, your little Frankie is hanging on my pinboard, right over my computer. I simply love him! Make sure you check Dani's incredible new site at SpookyTimeJingles !

Time to thank Jenn at noodleandlou for the so cute, so pretty, so tiny Lulette Lily (wow, kinda hard not to be mixed up here: LuLu won Lulette Lily at noodleandlou! Jenn is the best person-artist I have met on the net, she is talented and oh! so generous! Jenn, Miss Lily sits with her bird on a shelf among other little treasures that have a special place in my heart.

Time to thank

Erica at blujaystudio

Mystele at Little Glimpses

Mango (I do not know your name !!!) at sweetmango

for sending me

I am honored, girls! It is aways such a pleasure to get one of these awards and to know other great artists appreciate your art!

THANK YOU ! MERCI ! GRACIAS !

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ANGEL OR DEVIL ...

good or bad ...

I just finished this little painting and I am quite happy with it.

Innocent and mischevious...

She is available on eBay right now...

I promise a longer post tomorrow...

Too tired tonite, I am going to bed soon with a good book...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3 HAPPY ANGELS ...

I have been dying to show you these 3 paintings but one of my favorite buyers, Beth, who had ordered them had not received them yet and I did not want to spoil her surprise.

She had commissioned them a while ago, one painting of each of her 3 girls to be mounted side by side as a triptych. One for Ruby, who loves pink and ice cream, one for Violet, who loves violet and her look-alike doll and one for Lulu, yes, Lulu, who loves turquoise and is simply a very happy and sweet girl.

I had a great time working on these 3 large canvases, finding the right bits and pieces of paper to collage at the right places, giving them a we-are-sisters look and sizing them to the right proportion, from the eldest to the youngest.

Well, just before leaving for the beach, I received a fantastic email from her to let me know how much she and the girls fell in love with the paintings. Each of the girls had her own parcel to open and they were delighted!

Now that the paintings have been delivered, I can show them to you all.

Don't you wish you had three pretty angels like these?

Thanks Beth for your wonderful confidence in me and your appreciation of my art.

And thanks, girls, for letting me make wonderful paintings of beautiful little ladies!

Monday, August 11, 2008

DEAR MAINE ...

Each summer, since Ulysse was born, we have a rendez-vous with the beaches of Maine. And this year was the 11th time we drove 5 hours through Vermont and New Hampshire to reach the coast. The air is crisp, the ocean is cold and deep blue, the forests are covered with fallen acorns and you can smell cooked lobster as soon as you open the car door...

Ahhh!!! Maine of my childhood is now Maine of my son and his cousin's childhood too.

We got some sun, some rain, some wind and some heat, the perfect mixture for a perfect stay at the beach. Enough sun to catch a sunburn, enough rain to stay inside the motel room and watch silly cartoons we don't get here in Quebec, enough wind to blow our kites at the other end of the sky and enough heat to swim forever in the icy salty sea.

As usual, we had a riot, us 3 guys! And already, we are talking about next year's trip and how long we should stay.

Dear Maine of my childhood has the same effect on children of all ages...

It gives them fins, gills and a fish tail ...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

SUMMER IS SUMMER ...

... and it is so hard to stay in place and work! Busy, busy, we keep on hoping from one spot to another, having plenty of time for summer but not much time for anything else...

We came back home yesterday from a visit to Quebec City to check on stuff that needs to be done. Tomorrow I am taking Ulysse and his cousin Charlie to the beach in Maine where we will be gone till Friday. Hopefully, the weather will get better... It rained 22 days in July, a record of all time.

I hope you are all having a wonderful time.

Remember to take some time each day to stop and smell the flowers around you. Life is short, so is summer...

I will have so much stuff to talk about and show you once I am back for good in my studio! I have been working on some neat paintings and other new stuff too. But...

GOTTA GO !!!