Archive for the ‘Collage’ Category


January 2, 2015


pathwords - depaysement 001

Though  I could use the word “homesick”, dépaysement has a richer meaning. In French, it is technically used for “out of one’s country”.  But in an emotional context, it goes deeper.  In fact, sometimes it’s good news. It’s that feeling of being far away from home, butterflies in the tummy, too strange. Sometimes when I travel I get a sick feeling, wishing I was back home in my cozy little house again. Yet sometimes, I’ve been very far from home and felt perfectly at home. Castles in the south of France – yes, I’m sure I’ve been here in a past life. My first time in New York City  I knew my way around. Sometimes the very strangeness of a place thrills me. Yet sometimes, strangeness throws me into a feeling of despair, as if bits of myself have faded away, and I can’t breathe, can’t ground.

I like that there is a word for this, at least in another language. It means I’m not crazy, that this is a shared human experience.


Pathwords: Bon Courage

November 28, 2014

bon courage 001

As a bilingual Anglophone in Quebec, there are words I use in either language that just don’t translate in the same spirit or intention. It isn’t unusual, therefore, for us to drop a French word or term in the middle of an English conversation, knowing the other person will catch the meaning immediately. “Bon Courage” is one of those words. I’ll use it when wishing good for someone going through an ordeal – an exam, a move, a confrontation, a medical procedure, even a bereavement. It’s more than luck, since it isn’t luck that will get you through the ordeal but your own inner reserves of courage, heart, stamina, and the work you have put into it. And when it is said to me, I go off feeling encouraged , knowing I have friends at my back, sending me good vibes.


November 19, 2014


pathwords3 001


Wordless Wednesday. Sometimes the words are silent.

Pathwords – Iktsuarpok

November 14, 2014


pathwords2 001


In this new bookart, I’m collecting interesting words from other languages to adopt as my own. Perhaps not to drop into casual conversations; that might appear a bit affected. But the English language suffers from not having an equivalent word for many things, particularly, I have found, words that describe our soul. Words shape our selves, our souls. They make us see and feel things in different ways. They connect us to other people by sharing parts of ourselves, if only by saying “I know that feeling!”

Ikstuarpok is an Inuit work meaning “to keep looking outside to see if someone is coming”.  I know that feeling too well. It drives me crazy. Every five minutes I’m looking out the window to see if a friend has arrived in my driveway yet, or down the street, if I know their car. Sometimes, it’s with restless anticipation, looking forward to an evening with friends.  Sometimes, as in a service call, it’s with annoyance. An entire day can be wasted in restless waiting, no matter how busy I keep myself, or how much I accomplish while waiting. My eye constantly drifts over to the window, every sound grabs my attention.

And a few times, it has been with crushing fear. Which I imagine would  be the case for the Inuit waiting for a loved one to return home on the frozen tundra, a blizzard, and whatever other dangers loom in their land. The horrible feeling that something has gone wrong. It’s a universal feeling,


November 12, 2014


pathword1 001


I’ve started a new bookart. It’s smaller than my last ones – 11” x 9”, opening to 11″ x 18″ on double spreads. I don’t know yet if this is the opening page, but it is the first one I’ve finished. Not that I ever  “finish”. I tend to like an unfinished look, which tends to go more with the mixed media collage techniques I use. Here I have used paint, magazine cut outs, paint skin, and hand painted unryhu papers.

The Cloak of Invisibility

April 30, 2014



How to step into the shadows and walk in the world unseen. No, I’m not running away or trying to hide from the world. Trying to be in the world, especially in the woods, that moment when I feel there is no separation between me and Nature. When I can just let my local self simmer down to silence, and then I can really see.

The Treehouse Book is Bound

April 5, 2014



How many years? Some of the pages date back 5 years or more. 112 pages, or 56 sheets. Most of them Aquarius II watercolor paper, some Opus printmaking paper, and some Tyvek plastic paper. The covers are luann board and the spine is black moire silk.

The theme of Treehouse is not so much structures built in trees (though I do love them), but a continuation of a theme of the Cottage in the Woods, the name I have given my magical practice. I have completed 7 or 8 books on this theme alone. Trees figure highly in my studies.


March 26, 2014



I think her name is Blueberry. Anyway, that’s the name that just came to me as I was cropping the photo.



Binding the book

March 7, 2014



Coming to the end of a big project. What a great feeling! I don’t even want to count how many years. Now for the final chapter: Binding the book. There is cloth glued on every two pages. Then these pages are assembled and now I’m sewing through the cloths in the back. Very carefully, with a long tapestry needle and special unbreakable thread. I’m not half way through and my hand is sore, despite using pliers. Once the sewing is finished, I’ll add the hardcover front and back, then cover the sewing with cloth or wood.

Baie D’Urfe yacht club

February 5, 2014




Dreaming of summer on this snowy overcast day.

I left this one a bit sketchy. I seem to recall it was a very hot day, and there was a great lunch waiting for us at the yacht club, and I was the only one left outdoors painting.  So I left it as is. I know that when I rush to finish something, that’s when I ruin it.

What I love about Plein Air is that no matter how happy (or not) I am with the painting, I always remember the day and the wonderful feeling of sunshine and fresh air and that special magic of being outside painting with kindred spirits.

This is going to be our 20th year as the Plein Air Club!