Annual Toronto outdoor art exhibition

The annual Toronto outdoor art exhibition happens next weekend, July 10 to 12 at Nathan Phillips Square, the northwest block at Bay and Queen streets in downtown Toronto. The show's website has a fabulous booth map with the location of each artist's booth. Mouse over a booth number and you'll get the artist's name, a photo of the artist's work and a website where you can check out more. There's plenty of fibre art to be found. See you there!


Kandinsky on colour

"Generally speaking, colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another to cause vibrations in the soul."
- Wassily Kandinsky in Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1911

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.
Kandinsky expo poster photographed from the roof.
April, 2009


'I make pictures by cleaning...'

Seeing how dirty a wall is by cleaning it in this way, kind of gets people immediately. - Paul "Moose" Curtis, The Reverse Grafitti Project

Thanks to Heather Dubreuil for the link.


Mozart's requiem will play, on tiny speakers made of clay...

I am so amazed at times, that I am actually alive.
- Andy Goldsworthy; [Interview][Digital Catalogue][Wikipedia][Google images]


Gender equality - still a work in progress

I was inspired by the artists who shared their stories in the film, Who does she think she is?, currently touring North America, which made me laugh and cry. As an afterthought, it still amazes me how, in so many ways, things have not changed radically for women since I was in my twenties. Gender equality is still a work in progress, perhaps even more so for artists than for many other professions. Good film.


Human Marks

"A stitch is a very credible mark." - Dorothy Caldwell


Free-hand stitched kantha sampler
Embroidery floss on
two layers of black cotton
4 x 7 inches

I stitched this in a two-day class called Human Marks taught by Dorothy Caldwell, offered through the Kingston Fibre Artists' Guild. The course was designed to run for five days so the two-day class was a somewhat condensed version. Nevertheless, I had the impression of things slowing way down. We worked with our fingers and ink, pens, brushes, candle smoke, wax, hammer and nail, and needle and thread to make marks of one sort and another, repeating them, overlapping them, changing speed and direction and so on.

It seems to me that most of what I produced, expressed by way of many discrete marks, suggested not so much a series of images, but something unintended or unconscious, the suggestion of something, perhaps something forgotten. An interesting couple of days, and a nice trip away from home.

If you find yourself in that neck-of-the-woods be sure to check out the Kingston Fibre Artists exhibit, Inspiration and Exploration currently at the Kingston Public Library, 130 Johnson Street, Feb 28 - March 30.


Gradient dyeing

Below are photos of some gradient dyeing that I started in a class in contemporary quilting I'm currently taking. I had hoped to do quite a bit more of this, but to date have not found the time. I'm especially interested in complementary colour-to-colour gradient dyeing (4) and exploring the different hues of brown which might be obtained. Eventually these fabrics will be used to make a small quilt for the class, Art Quilt Series, taught by Elaine Quehl, local quilt artist, teacher and dyer. Elaine is a generous teacher with a warm spirit who is passionate about her art. She currently teaches many great classes in and around Ontario so do check her out.


1. 100% cotton fat quarters batching overnight in Procion MX dyes in zip-loc bags hanging on a clothes drying rack.
& 3. Dyed fabric after a first rinse.
4. Golden yellow(G&S Dye 204)-to-purple (G&S 904) hue-to-hue gradation; 7 steps
. Soft brown (G&S 611) colour gradation ; 5 steps
6. Grey (G&S 701) colour gradation; 5 steps


The NFB's online screening room

Graeme Stewart at Nunc Scio reported today that the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is now making many of its films available online. You can choose from full-length films, clips and trailers. Albeit, not a complete collection, there's still lots to choose from and apparently new films are being added daily. A few that I enjoyed watching were Being Caribou, Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole and Walking. Check out these related posts at the NFB Blog [And we're live...][Top Five Titles Searched on NFB.ca].


Christmas Eve 2008

"Each night a child is born is a holy night."
-Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876-1978)


Radical Lace and Subversive Crochet

"I wanted to turn an oversize, macho, gas-guzzling vehicle into a technological ghost by shrouding it in a white, fuzzy cover reminiscent of women's hard work from another time, another place." - Jerilea Zempel
Fibre artist Jerilea Zempel, known for public art projects that take a humourous and for some, a provocative approach to subjects like violence, war and the environment, was featured on the comedy news show, the Colbert Report last week, in a skit called America’s Fragile Borders. Her art, part social satire, part political activism, challenges viewers to reflect on the meaning of traditional historical monuments, as well as our use of everything from guns to gas-guzzlers. Examples include a piece installed outside a Polish military museum in 1995 called Guns and Rosettes in which she shrouded a Soviet tank with what appears to be an enormous pink doily. The Colbert Report skit, a spoof on American Homeland Security, chronicles Zempel’s experience this past summer. Upon returning home to the U.S. from Canada, she was detained by U.S. customs agents at the border after drawings in her artist sketchbook, showing an SUV adorned in a lacy white coverlet (a piece she now calls Homeland Security Blanket) caused the customs agent to suspect her of being an industrial spy. In October, the Plattsburgh, New York newspaper, The Press Republican reported the details in this article, Keene artist had a hard time getting back into the U.S.

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