Saturday, July 8, 2017

Balconville

My posts are few but my art projects are moving along slowly. Busy spring puts a halt to my creativity but I am patient. Taking photos helps my creative mind stay active but I still can't dedicate myself to a sketchbook yet. However, I was able to squeeze in this little postcard design I submitted to Uppercase Magazine for Issue 34.





Montreal is my hometown and is often referred to as balconville in the summertime by many Montrealers who spend their summer vacations at home, often on their balconies, relaxing with friends or cultivating their tiny flower gardens. I adore the vintage balconies in the Plateau area and I included in my design, the Montreal echinacea which was unveiled as Montreal's official flower last year, a hybrid created by a Quebec breeder to attract bees. These flowers will be planted all over the city for Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.

I found out early spring that there was an open call for a "Greetings From" or "Wish You Were Here" postcard design for Uppercase Magazine's summer issue and I thought what better way to commemorate my beautiful home town on it's 375th birthday than with a illustration celebrating vintage architecture and the Montreal echinacea flower. This image will be available as a print in my new ETSY shop coming soon in August. Follow me for more news on this blog or on Instagram.

Reading on the Balcony
My Dad on the left 1959 - balcony of one of his first apartments in Plateau area
Me and my cousin on the right -1966, balcony of our apartment on Bloomfield ave. in Park Extension

I have very fond memories of spending time on balconies. As a child, windows and balconies were fascinating to me because I could observe (for hours) the changing sky, squirrels and birds, the rustling leaves or snow covered trees and neighbourhood life through the seasons. My favourite activity on my balcony was of course reading and it still is. We've lived in a few different homes and they all had balconies. Later on as an adult, my husband and I bought our first home in the west end of the city without any balconies. Although it was spacious, it just didn't feel right without a balcony. We sold it and moved back closer to the city and bought another house with a balcony front and back surrounded by giant trees. We've lived there ever since. Balconies are essential for our home especially to a native Montrealer like me!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Uppercase 33

Have I told you that my favourite art magazine is Uppercase? Well now you know! I discovered this gem in 2012 from an article in another art magazine, which I was never able to find again or remember what it was called. Probably threw it out?  But Uppercase is worth keeping and rereading again and again because the articles are timeless and always interesting. The artists and makers featured in these pages are not all well-known gallery artists but mostly self-employed and thriving creatives from all over the world and from many different disciplines & cultures. There is a historical and anthropological context to many of the stories which always illuminates the process of how things come into existence and that is what I find the most interesting of all. No ads, only peeps which are mini ads that creatives who are also subscribers can place on a dedicated page in each issue. There is a lot to discover with Uppercase and to contribute. Issue 33 is the latest issue, available soon and you can see more here



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BAnQ Celebrates Montreal

Last night, Le Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec in Montreal (BAnQ) in collaboration with Le Centre québécois de ressources en littérature pour la jeunesse (CQRLJ) hosted an evening to introduce two wonderful initiatives to help the city's youth celebrate Montreal's 375th Anniversary. It was a free event and some well known Quebec authors and illustrators were present.



The first initiative, in collaboration with Les Editions de l'Isatis is a collection of poetry called Montréal j'ai quelque chose à te dire, by a selected group of Montreal authors from different backgrounds and faculties accompanied by magnificent illustrations by Philippe Beha, to be released in March 2017. We were treated to an expo of Philippe Beha's original paintings and a recital by some of the contributing authors.

Gilles Tibo reciting Trois enfants



The other initiative is colourful installation being exhibited at the library: De A à Z, 26 Clin D'oeil sur ta ville. Little cubicles lined up in the Espace Jeunes area, display different interactive perspectives of the city of Montreal from past to present in a joyful and modern abecedary with lyrical prose by Jeanne Painchaud. A guided tour of the installation was offered to all participants at the presentation.

For more information about the exhibition and other events at the library, please visit the BAnQ here and about the poetry book you can visit Les Editions de l'Isatis here





Monday, January 23, 2017

Winterlude

While nature sleeps I am still observing and taking photos when I go outside but mostly, I watch the changing landscape from indoors. It doesn't matter if the weather is stormy or sunny, I always appreciate the beauty of every season. Even when rough Canadian winters have interfered with my daily routines throughout the years, I have always stopped to notice little things like the quietness, the softness of the snow-covered branches of trees merging with the muted sky in the distance or their grey-blue shadows on the snow illuminated by the sun.

In that quietness, I relax and know, that nature endures despite the harshness of winter and remains beautiful while it patiently waits for the next season to arrive in its eternal cycle of of life, always changing always being renewed. As I continue on my creative journey cultivating the ideas which have been sleeping for a while, I am developing the first sketches of my leaf studies and I appreciate and acknowledge that every step in the creative process is important, like the changing seasons. Winter's quietness, especially after the holidays is always the most introspective time of year for me when I can really clear my thoughts and focus on new ideas.