It’s been a long time

Well it’s been quite a long time since I wrote a post. Just thinking about when, it’s strange as I would have been sitting at a table in a different kitchen on the same laptop, back in September 2017 in Marnay in France at the end of my residency, seems so long ago. What motivated me to write was that I am sitting here hand stitching into a contact plant printed cloth as part of a textile.org stitching challenge I started a few weeks ago. Also yesterday I started #the100dayproject challenge, with a theme of #100printswithoutapress.

As I write I have my day 2 challenge outside exposing in the sun. I coated a small piece of cloth, from the same dye bath as the cloth I am stitching now, with cyanotype and placed on top some leaves I collected yesterday from my walk, I also have a piece of paper outside undergoing the same process. I decided for my challenge to do a print each day on paper or cloth inspired by my regular works I do with my brother. We usually walk in one of 4 locations that are nearby to our homes, we live about a 10-15 drive apart. I wanted to do simple prints that didn’t use a press, using techniques that would fit in with my low energy but that could be expanded depending on how I feel, how much time I have etc. I thought I could use frottage, gelatine printing, contact plant printing, stamping, cyanotype, solar fast and whatever else I can think of.

Quite often these days I don’t complete challenges or works for exhibition that require deadlines, I spend too much time trying to get my ideas perfected that I don’t end up having enough time to make anything. Always getting stuck in my head, then feeling bad about myself because I don’t get anything done. I would like to also incorporate mapping into the process as well. I am just proud of myself for starting and will take it one day at a time. Now that I have started writing here it would be nice if I could continue that journey as well.

Following on from my style from when i was doing my residency, this will just be an outpouring of my thoughts, including photographs. Basically a personal journal made purely for my own reflection. But I would welcome any comments or insights anyone else might like to add.

Thinking about sitting in the kitchen at La Maison Verte it does sadden me to think of how COVID-19 is going rampant in Italy, Spain and France, all countries I visited and loved in 2017. We are so lucky living in Australia, and especially my island state of Tasmania. Our Governments have done an outstanding job of containing this virus and keeping us safe. With so little community transmission it is hard sometimes to accept the self isolation that has now been imposed on us but it is what is keeping us safe and most importantly supporting our medical systems and hopefully preventing them from collapsing, however in the northwest two hospitals have gone into lockdown.

I have been so focussed on searching the internet and being consumed by news of the virus, its nice to refocus and start creating, slowly but surely.

 

Day 20 La Maison Verte

Unexpected day trip to Provins

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Attempt at trying to capture the light on the yellow flowers in the fields on the way to Nogent to the supermarket this evening.

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Prices of alcohol are generally very low in Europe. This wine is organic and very nice, especially the merlot. At around $7 a bottle that’s pretty amazing.

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Day 15 La Maison Verte

Up nice and early, which wasn’t easy as late night waiting for the bundles to cook. Ready and waiting for Guillaume at 8am but he didn’t show up until just before 10am when he had to be at the garden. He had slept through his alarm. Hope that doesn’t happen when I get the train to Paris next week. While waiting I unwrapped the bundles, rinsed them and hung on line. Was nice to see that the cornus gave lovely marks consistently but others that had marked before didn’t. Also discovered that one dip in the soy instead of 2 makes a big difference to colour tone. I had read on a fb group that this was a factor. Good to see the difference.

Guillaume organised for us to go to the supermarket on Monday, as I really needed some groceries including soy milk (for drinking and artwork) I decided to take the special free bus into Nogent and visit the Claudel museum. I planned to go today or tomorrow anyway. Was a nice bus ride through a few small villages and by the time I got to Nogent the rain had stopped. I also noticed that the nearest village, Pont sur Seine had a cafe, boulangerie and patisserie, handy to know. Think it would only be a 30 minute stroll along the river to get there from Marnay.

Really enjoyed the museum and being the special exhibition weekend it was free, bonus. I took my time and had a good wander. Watched an interesting video on lost wax casting. A pity the English audio thingo didn’t have an English version for the video audios. But worthwhile. Here are a few snaps from the museum:

At some stage I will go back and add artist names and titles to the works.

A few shots taken around Nogent:

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Some fabric from today:

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Soy mordanted linen, one dip, very stiff after several rinses and hand wash in hand wash liquid

 

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