Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update: dry your tears Pierrot

Thanks for your emails and comments. It looks like British Airways has come to the rescue and we will indeed make it over to the ditch to London. Direct from Toulouse to boot :) Strikers thwarted!

Did you notice the blue background behind Pierrot and Columbine? It's a medium sized door I'm working on. Stormy blue. Sort of fits this summer strike theme…

And here are some paper shells I've been making as my calligraphy dries. 
I'm imagining them as a wafty mobile floating in the summer breeze 
as it passes through my studio.

Don't forget to drop by The Altered Page to check out Seth's Style File.
I'm featured in there today along with some other fabulously interesting artists.

Have a great Sunday. 
I'm off to the airport :)

Mon ami Pierrot being Utterly British: Keeping a stiff upper lip!

If you have been paying attention my dearest Possums, or dropped by recently, you would be aware that I had planned to write a post this weekend. Yesterday in fact (one day late is better than one month as is my wont of late, n'est-ce pas? ;)

It was going to be upbeat. Racy. Dare I say witty even. First of all I was going to give you the secret recipe for the lime putty (ever had a witty lime putty recipe thrown at you?).

Unfortunately, the photos I took for the post have ALL disappeared, and are currently being held hostage by my computer. I know they are in there, because I can see the thumbnails… But each time I try to retreive one in full, there is a big blank space where the photo should be. "Ha!" said I. "Hah!" again. "This is but a minor setback; a childish game of hide and seek." So I gave my Mac that 'we are not amused' look I usually reserve for my messmonsters at crucial moments, took 3 deep breaths and raced up to the next door neighbour's to wench Libellule off the poney she should have put to sleep long before it got dark. That was at 10pm.

And THAT was when the bombshell dropped… You see, tomorrow, while Seth posts his Style File in which I am a rather chuffed participant this week, I was meant to be taking Chickpea to a long awaited horse-riding camp in England. We were to get up at the proverbial sparrow's and fly from Toulouse to London via Paris. Lunch in London then we would part ways - moi back home to Toulouse via Paris, and chickpea on to the riding centre with her very best friend whom she's not seen for a year. All thanks to Beaker's accumulated air miles with Air France.

Ever had a little message on your phone: "Flight Cancelled?" Sigh. Tears. Exasperation. Powerlessness. Anger and Frustration Dammit!!!!! It's summer… and strike time again. Eh OUI mes amis, Air France, French rail and French ferries - they make a sport of it every holiday season.

It only seems like yesterday that I raced over to Avignon (a mere 4 ½ hours away) to pick up my darling friend Kim who, wide eyed an innocent, had never until then even imagined the dark and dastardly alter ego lurking behind France's exquisite Ladurée macarons… You can read about that adventure here.  Ah BUGGER! London's just that little bit further than Avignon…

So what do I do? Drown my sorrows in champagne like Pierrot? Jump head first into the champagne bucket like Colombine? How fortunate that I keep a champagne bucket handy in my studio for special moments… and those of excruciating self-pity.

  Oh it's alright. I'll get over it. And Beaker has valiantly forged off in the direction of the airport as I type away to you and rant like a madwoman while slowly downing a pot of liquid caramel au sel de Guérande that friends just brought me back from Brittany. Maybe next time I should ask them to bring back two on their next holidays so I can keep it next to the champagne bucket for … occasions such as these ;-)

I hear a car… Quick! Beaker's back - ALREADY??Hide the empty caramel pot!!!
Stay tuned!
Will Ange fly her beloved Chickpea to London, whipping in for a Ladurée stop en route?
Will Chickpea be devastated, 
forced to spend a week riding in the French countryside?
(Mmm, there could be worse options out there for a young rider. Let's downplay the self pity bit afterall)

Are any of you free in London tomorrow in case I only make it half way 
and they cancel my flight back to Toulouse????

Answers on Monday!
Crossing fingers AND toes!! ;-)


PS. Pierrot et Colombine, are weary of my company. 'The champagne bucket is always empty,' they say, and they thirst for adventure. Colombine is aghast that I still haven't mastered the art of haute couture and longs for beautiful gowns of brocade and lace, in accordance with her French heritage. Accordingly, we came to a common understanding that they should both go into my Etsy shop which will be reopening this week. I would be much obliged if one of you could give them a good home in the fine manner they were previously accustomed to. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Listen to your heart: a blast from the past inspired by the Altered Page

While I whip you up a lime putty recipe and finish off my next piece that I PROMISED I'd blog about tomorrow, Seth at the Altered Page came up with an offer that was too good to refuse: Dig up some buried treasure in the form of a favourite blog post from the past.  The post below is one of my personal favourites. Why? Because one year on, I'm still thrilled that I went ahead and followed my heart. Although it's not about art. It could just as well be. Life is art - is it not?

It's my own personal reminder to listen to my heart over and over and over again. 

Hope you do too, for never was there a truer voice :) 

Much love and see you tomorrow


People mistakenly assume...

... that their thinking is done by their head; 
it is actually done by the heart 
which first dictates the conclusion, 
then commands the head to provide 
the reasoning that will defend it."

- Anthony de Mello 

via Whisky River (Thanks again to this most inspirational blog)

(Photo: Reflections. Taken for the C&C photo assignment that I forgot to post ...Ahem!)

The above quote pretty well sums up where I'm at in the proverbial a nutshell at the moment. You see there has finally been an uprising here at La Rivière. You may remember this post where I poured my heart out about the sadness of the French school system, and my ensuing désarroi...

Eh bien CA Y EST! In spite of my 'head's' better judgement and worries about how in goodness name I'm going to manage it all, let alone succeed in everything, I finally bit the bullet and formally announced my intentiondetermination to homeschool the messmonsters (in light of having no better formal schooling option in a vicinity of 150 kilometres). Yup! All 3 of them.  As from September 2010. THIS YEAR! 

Did I mention that I am STILL going to 'launch' my new idea in a couple of weeks and go all the way through with it as well?  While still painting, reopening my wee shop and organising a couple of exhibitions? Am I intending to find time to eat or sleep? Hmmm - Not sure if the last two options will be feasible ;-)

Let's just say that, in a burst of pure FOLIE, Heart quarters overthrew Headquarters, is now staging a full on seige, and will continue to hold out until Headquarters caves in and comes up with the goods on 'how to pull it all off seamlessly and without a hitch.' 

So when Jamie Ridler asked today in her 'Wishcasting Wednesday,' "What rules do you wish to make or break?" I had to respond with this:

This is the first time in my life when I'm actually sort of 'breaking rules.' Up till my early 20s (well, late teens maybe) I was always a terrible goody two shoes, afraid of 'not being liked' and admonished if I did 'wrong.' France has been good for me in that way. This is a country where EVERYBODY bends or shatters the rules. NO ONE obeys rules here. Except for the school one that says 'thou child shall remain inside these school buildings from 9-5.30 when s/he will be released to go home to study for another hour at least.'

You may not find that shocking. I was a grade A student, finished my degree, was Student President and in the School Debating Team, musicals etc etc etc..... AND I DO!

So I'm BREAKING this one.   

Now I'm going to take a big deep breath and say, "It's been nice knowing you. I'm never going to find enough time to blog again." 

NoN! NON! 
That's not what I want to say at all!!

I want to say...

...THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT YOU'VE SHOWN ME because your comments and shared concerns have been very influential in helping me make my decision.  

In the end though - it's just my messmonsters that seem sooooooo worth it!! 

Looking forward to catching up with you later in the week to share my 'other breath-taking news' and introduce you to two very inspirational women bloggers...


Monday, July 25, 2011

Playing around with a curvy Roman

Sigh - sort of. Playing around with a Curvy Roman hand that is - 'La Cursive Romaine.' I'm still only just getting the hang of it but have been enjoying it's soft rise and fall, similar to the gentle swell of the tide.

You see, when the family goes away (hijacking the camera in their wake - hence yet another long absence from yours truly)  I tuck myself away in my atelier with a text that inspires, a thermos of yogi tea and the unlimited reaches of my imagination. Of course, I am violently brought back to reality when my brushes refuse to trace the perfect lines I see so clearly in my mind. With a little coaxing, some uninterrupted concentration, ornery persistence gentle patience and the soft strains of the Brides of Christ soundtrack filling the atmosphere, somehow it all frees up enough to be a satisfactory first draft.

You can overcome all your negative feelings if you realise that they have no other power over you than that which you allow them to have. The day that you understand this truth, you will be FREE. Louise L Hay

I'm not sure that these are the EXACT words Louise Hay actually said - I couldn't find the English original on the Internet - Louise being a very prolific purveyor of wisdom. So I've translated it back out of French into the closest I could get.

I can tell you - It's done me an awful lot of good mulling over this one in all its various forms over the last few days. Doesn't it just bring ya home to the truth! Any of you have those days when you feel like you just don't cut it? Don't make the measure? Will never get there? Personally, this happens to me every now and again so I thank the person I've been working on this for. The universe is in alignment :)

(Never let it be said that I'm not patient enough to watch paint dry)

Now I'm playing around with the same text with a sort of more modern look. It's not finished by any stretch of the imagination. Still far too much white - and no graphic stability. However, it's an adventure that I'm feeling FREEEEEEEEEE to delve into, with willful abandon. Anyway, for the moment I thought it resembled a plane and it really tickled my fancy to imagine myself flying around the realms of my own imagination, so I just HAD to share it with you ;-)

I'll try not to spend so long locked up away from you again next time. I need to finish this piece this week so PROMISE to post the finished result before FRIDAY. Wow - that'll be two blog posts in a week instead of 1 per month!! Don't go thanking me now… y' hear! You're all worth it. Every single little bit :)

Righto - off to make a few visits and catch up on what you've been up to over the last 4 weeks.  Love to you allllllllll…

PS - I'm preparing a special post for those who wanted the recipe to reproduce the lime putty walls in my atelier. It too will be out this week :)

PPS. I had promised a lighting tutorial - but for the life of me I can't get the pieces I need to make the lights I have envisaged. The best laid plans huh… I'm going to have to find the bits because the summer is half way through and I won't have enough light to work in the dark autumn evenings. Fingers crossed I stumble across what I need in a brocante somewhere.