Other people's clothes

I always noticed an awkward, clumsy mark or move that kept showing up in my work and I felt that if I could just get rid of that my work would be so much better. No matter what I tried though that clunky thing kept popping up again and again! It took me years until it finally dawned on me that that odd goofy thing was actually me! Everything else was just me putting on other people's clothes.

Found here


Free breakfast!

Warning: this be a long one. A couple of reds, a jagermeister and a good deal of walking in deep snow have made me want to tell you every little thing about my day – but made succinctness and editing impossible. There is however, a short video of puppies and kittens that will hopefully ensure your forgiveness. 

Today was a scorcher! I think it may have stayed above zero all day today (32F) and for the first time in a long time, I could wear my hair up, free of the hats and beanies. It was also nice to have my hands free of gloves/mittens – fully functional, unfrozen fingers able to successfully put keys in doors and manage zippers. Spring was definitely showing her face around today - poking her grassy fingers through gaps in rapidly melting snow. Warming my face as I walked along slippery paths into the sunshine. (Photo below was not taken in today's lovely sunshine!)

I set off today determined to enjoy the day. It's been a real rollercoaster of a week with my fortunes changing by the hour and too often for the worst. A great many stops and starts and steps backwards. But today I marched along at a brisk pace towards the metro station in the wonderful sunshine. I was stopped by a French-only-speaking woman and was yet able to help her get where she needed to go. That's always a nice feeling.

I was headed for a house where my two new charges were waiting for me. I have taken on the daily walk with two beautiful huskie pups - a 4 mth old and a teeny 2 1/2 mth old who we think may have some wolf in her. She has the most piercing ice-blue eyes I've seen.
They belong to an actress here with a wonderful presence and a larger-than-life energy about her. She's going to help me with my French and I think she'll be a great teacher. Today we three ran in/through/under snow to my knees, (muscles I've been out of touch with for years are all making their presence felt tonight!) 

On my way back home I passed a small dog being let outside on a long lead while his owner remained on porch near the front door. I smiled at his cute dog and then smiled up to him and was taken aback to see what looked like a huge bullet wound right in the centre of his forehead. I wondered if it was real or if I had become a seer of things not yet come to pass. It did kinda mess with my mind a little...

The doors to the metro station are heavy and require the right push at the right time. I was close behind a young guy who entered and had no intention of holding it for me and it flew back into me with a fair bit of force. My knee took the brunt of it. I found a seat for the longer leg of my journey, reached for my book and started to read about how the recently seeing blind (i.e.,patients immediately following eye surgery that has given them sight for the first time in their lives) have incredible difficulty adjusting to the sighted world, where they may have no depth perception or parameters with which to contain and understand this new dimension. I'm sure that's terrible paraphrasing on my part but you get the gist. It was fascinating. I tried to see the world, as the author too had tried, in the way one such patient had described it – it requires some measure of unlearning our methods of seeing... something I'm keen to keep trying.

When I changed trains for the last little bit of my trip, I found myself standing above an albino boy. He was reading – holding the book up to about ten cms from his face – and I could not stop gazing at the nape of his neck where the pale pink skin met the white white hair in an overlap like the space where two colours meet on a Rothko canvas, the pink of his scalp clearly visible below the fine white hair. I found him beautiful. Yesterday I marvelled at punk winter fashion – teenage style. My favourite piece was the black woollen beanie with large studs around the edge. Wool is a bit soft really isn't it, needs to harden the fuck up. I love watching people on the metro. I never complain if I have to go several stops. 

Tonight, when I least wanted to get out of my pyjama pants and back outside, I had to drop something off to a friend (that should have been someone else's responsibility). I got the still-wet jeans and socks back on and, grumbling to myself, went out into the rain. By the time I reached her place I had remembered how much I actually love walking at night and was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of gorgeous girls with a bottle or two of wine and six newborn kittens. By the time I left a couple of hours later, I was in a dandy mood!

Peut-être un petit peu pompette...

On the way home I stepped in all the slushy puddles, amazed at how much of the footpaths' white cover has melted in just one day. In some wierd way, I will miss Montréal's winter when it's passed. I expected to find it such a challenge and such a trial, (I'm a girl who feels cold when everyone else is sweltering), but to my surprise I found magic here that has no part of winter back home. I thought snow might be fun, on occasion but couldn't have known what calmness it brings and what a mood elevator it is as it wafts down and softens the world.

But I will say this: freezing rain carried on a strong northerly wind horizontally and right into one's face – eyes – is no fun at all. And I always feel a quiet moment of exhilaration as doors close behind me and I can finally open my eyes, feel the icy, icy cold of my cheeks begin to flush in the warmth.

OK I'm done. Anyone who made it to the bottom here gets free brekky: pancakes with maple syrup. I'm unable to help with transport though...

Over and oot.


When all else fails...

...there's chai spice pancakes with maple.

Incidentally, is lemon & sugar on pancakes and french toast just an Australian thing?


Split screen

I like that this is how it came to me. 

Today I'm off to spend the weekend at Lac Rouge. Snow covered forests, icy water, roaring fire inside and lovely friends to share it with. Sounds like the perfect ending to a week of high highs and shitty lows. Hope your weekend is magical.

Edit: Weekend at lake cancelled. Bottom lip quivering.


A small conversation

Well, we did it. We're up on a wall. Perhaps not a fancypants gallery wall (yet) but a very nice one nonetheless. 

There's an inevitable sense of anticlimax after something you've looked forward to for so long – but that shouldn't necessarily detract from the event. And it doesn't. We had a great time and both of us – myself and Karine – are very proud of our little exhibition. The two of us have talked about having a joint show since we first met and I was so happy to finally have this come to fruition.

We called it A small conversation, which seemed appropriate to us on several levels: the connection that we share as both friends, collaborators and partners in crime; our individual relationships with our environment and the natural world in general; a very personal inner dialogue that art can often be the sole communicator of.

(I have to add right now that this is not an artist's statement that we prepared earlier –  I'm writing this off the top of my head with little or no editing, so please read it with that in mind!)

We didn't have an official opening or vernissage as the French would say. Instead, we invited people to join us in a small celebration of our work, a friendly meal and a few drinks. It was so good to enjoy this in the company of family, old friends, and new acquaintances. Highlights included Karine's elderly grandmother ordering a 'sex on the beach' with a twinkle in her eye, and my long conversation with her equally elderly and incredibly special grandfather, who forgot that I don't speak his language. Sometimes it just doesn't matter.

I was a little sad to discover that I only had a few shots left on my camera and no extra rolls of film. But I filmed a bit with my phone camera later in the evening and have thrown this in with the few pictures I took, plus some from Annie and Lucie, (thanks girls!) into a delicious mélange of Le Barbare and us and Foux du Fa Fa from Flight of the Conchords. Enjoy! 

And please, if you're in or near Montréal, pop into 'Le Barbare', 4670 Rue St-Denis and have a look at our work. We'd love to know what you think. 


ps the camera was recording on the 'night' setting which might explain the blur and general trippy vibe...

Early in February