Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ground beef/ Went to school with her.

Scollage. Printmaking lists from 2009, stencils from this week.

Hamburger Patty. An EPIC Ick Pick reply a la Michael Kroeker on a road trip to god-knows-where, Manitoba including my mother, my sister and my grandmother. My grandma Helen, came up with a word sleuth game that we would play on long drives to Betula Lake and beyond. I remember sitting in the back of the family car, trying in vain to come up with something utterly genius to stump the players with. Come on Megs, Ickity Pickity. Something, nope. Margot the mouse, picking my child brain in silence. I am still working on something that will stump my grandma. 
Cold hamburgers in my mouth, cheddar fromage, pinwheel pasta, butter, parsely. Balance? Hardly. More like Food Group Freak Show circus in my body. Shitty dinner, yet another. I walked a lot today, drank a bunch of water. Dropped a slim wrench from my balcony, a Chilean man climbed my fire escape to deliver it back to my greased hands. Bike tuning. I spent majority of Saturday outside on the back balcony moving between stations: sit and shoot, pace and sweep, repotting plants breathed life right into me. Repotted all of the house plants, organized the tuning station. Jess got a tune up last weekend, head to toe. Wheel truing by a real stand up wheel woman, hot man bike mechanic thank you for letting me stare at your incredibly handsome face as you explained why my headset is a mess. Mop of hair. New tape for Alba, and a rookie job at that resulting in a Saturday early morning retape job a la moi (obsessive compulsive disorder, no doubt about it). Bottom line, I know how to tape bars now, not as hard as I feared. She really rides like a horse now. Rocket slick. New headset in the works, clean the bearings grinding like sleeping teeth in the front hub. 

I bought a new little bike two weekends ago that Steph can ride while she visits. When she takes leave, this little thing will be open to all guests of Casa Clark. I like the project, the deep clean, the inspection, the dismantle, the steel wool attack. Ruby and Jessica Alba, shiny ladies look out. 

Avoiding all social events, I spend many hours at my work table, tethered at the ears with surprising melodies. Classical music drapes the romance room, my bedroom readied for __________ with floral and stripes. 

Canon and Gigne for three violins and continuo in D major: Canon in D. 

Started painting again. Last night as Chanel and Lola whirled around for a Super Party, my hands dipped brushes of different girth into little pots of ink, pulling red red red red stripes across smooth cardstock still coiled. Quill at the helm of it all. Result? New work, old work revisited, a journey back in time, a journey into the future. 

All of this art making thanks to Steph, my roommate. She has come to Montreal from Taiwan for an art placement internship. It is quite a genius way to learn art from a master, without the heavy art school price tag. Her current master is a doll maker from Montreal. She comes home and explains her day of work, and I  imagine hundreds of porcelain limbs lying around the studio. Broken doll fingers. Last night, she came home with a schedule in hand for the third A. P. O. Ateliers Portes Ouvertes edition. 

The open house welcomed any curious public to take a glance at the inside world of studio art in Mile End. Art neighborhood. I had no idea HOW many studio dot the town. There were so many mediums, rooms at random filled with the most incredible things. Fibers, video, sculpture, serigraph, photography, you name it. An older man named Alfredo warmed my heart. I wandered for hours, quiet in my joy, dying to shoot photos with the hundred pound beast cowering in my shoulder bag even though something kept telling me to just wait. I watched people, listened to french, straining for bits of understanding like prized pieces of meat in stew. Tender goodness, those words. My favorite studio I saw today was a serigraph studio with two walls of windows. Bigger than any of the other rooms, this was a space made for intense printmaking. operation, a hell of a run. I smelled it before I saw it, mind leaping a thousand paces ahead and behind simultaneous, something deep within salivating for the print life I lay to rest in Winnipeg. Solvent h An eavy wanting. In good time. 

That seemed to be the message of the day, soak it up and revel. Wait, good will come. I took the long way home, tossing all I had just consumed around in thought. I look forward to the future. The future is now. Mon dieu! My grandma has Facebook.

Wild times. Wild work. 

A slice of new work inspired by a Super Party that I did not attend; May 2011.

Parent stencil, ink; May 2011.
Building upon old work, water color and ink; May 2011.

Viva Kurkova.

Rebecca introduced to me Fashion Gone Rogue. Karolina Kurkova, I am into your moves for Viva! Moda. Another hair chop is in order, inspired by pink number three. 

Photos in series taken from Fashion Gone Rogue, merci.

Super sass, bold shoulders.  I would like to wear this out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lady of the Two Lands.

Something sparked to life in my brain today.

Snap, bang crash.

Leo loves these sounds. He received his first shiner of his life this week. Ran into a chair. This morning when I opened the door to pick him up out of his crib, he was holding on the railing for dear life and jumping and sing shrieking like a wild animal. I laughed at the picture of him. Where is my camera? No point, he does not stop moving these days. All the more reason to document, I suppose. Oh Leonard, you kill me. He jump jump jump jump jumped on the bed until he bashed his head. Another battle wound, I saw it coming but there was no stopping this jumper. All of these bruises remind me of one particular baby photo of my sister Erin when she was in a similar stage in her young life. Black and blue, boo boo. Sad face on the kitchen counter.

My days are filled with tenderness (hallelujah). Leo needs a lot of love, hugs, and morale support these days. He demands it. I have never loved something so much as I do his little hugs. HUGS from a baby boy, awesome. We hug a lot. It has been mellow over there these days. With the tenderness and tears and dancing to classical music and BAHHHHHH (ball) chasing, Le Poulet is a tired gros bebe (big baby). While he sleeps it off, I read. Tante Daryl gifted me Miriam Toews' latest novel Irma Voth. Hysterical; Leo stares while I laugh aloud in the middle of sentences over lunch hour.

I underlined this a few days ago on page 64 (I am trying to enjoy this book like an aperitif, slow and steady):

I told her I thought her neck was as long if not longer than my forearm, like Nefertiti. 

Turning back, I smiled seeing 10 pts for Old Nef scribbled in the margin. There she is. Nothing pleases me more than eyes alighting on her name in the books stacked beside my bed. I spotted her in an Ondaatje tale. I was acquainted with Nefertiti four years ago in Berlin while blazing through Europe with Rabbi and Kit. It was a chance encounter. I knew who she was through Claire Labreque's art history course at U of W, but I never expected to see her little bust in realtime. Realtime, Berlin. Whoa, I will never forget that day; different points of learning coming together like a rewound bow or a spiderweb lacing the way to the forefront of thought. Recognition is a beautiful thing.

Miriam Toews, I love you and your crazy brain. C'est bon, Mexico!

Here is some work that spilled out of me last night, thanks be to the Queen Nef tip off a la Irma Voth. Queen Nef on my mind. What will come of this? Lord only knows. To reiterate, drawing elegance is hard to do.

I find.

Lady of Grace, my current girl crush.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Babytrain: Part Deux.

Bram and Avery with apple juice; Winnipeg, 2011.
Yorke Sisters and their babies; Winnipeg, 2011.
Yorke Sister mash up/ Ave breastfeeding; Winnipeg, 2011. 
Willa Margaux; Winnipeg, 2011.

Giant Peach.

Peach, I am ready for you. Or maybe something along the lines of Citrus Nut. Whomever dressed this room, I applaud. This photo is great. I hope I live in a home with such a feel someday. Mystery cat a blur, just like my hands. What a palette. Photo taken without permission from Design*sponge. Click to explore further.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stupid grin and sew forth.

I had a weird encounter with a man child on the weekend. A date? Not worthy of the title. I was wearing a floor length dress dripping black for Chanel's goth princess birthday party in the lazers. Knowing the lazer dance was drawing to a close, I pitched "bike ride" to the bearded child while he apparently heard "bed ride". Good lord, where has the decency gone? I left him slack jawed at the bottom of the stairs, and ran for cover. Not wanted on the voyage. I nanny for a living, no need to woo another baby.


With that said, I am single as ever and happy as a clam. With every new date, I am reminded how the search is pointless. The weekend was wonderful, regardless. Lola's parents were in town from Winnipeg for a daughter visit and they spoiled the whole Casa Clark family. Italian dinner, one hundred bottles of vin, and one insane trip to Ikea which resulted in a complete turn around for this single lady. After a four year hunt for bedding, I found what I was looking for. Coral floral overlay on white with a splash of red and blue, a little orange, a little yellow and beige stripes. Nice. Perfect palette for pull-ins. Stripes and floral, of course. This purchase inspired me to make over my bed. Thrift sheets, get out of here. Is this important information? Soul feeding? Not really, though the change in duvet also welcomed a change in attitude. Perhaps it was the rest of two consecutive days off. Whatever it was, the change was a welcome one. 

On Sunday, I woke early to rain with a hunger to SEW. So sew I did. From morning to night. Along with bedding, new throw pillows were also acquired. Pillows without covers. Pillow covers are daunting. No, in actuality it is the first cut into beautiful fabric which is scary. But, I am in this new FACE FEAR zone (perhaps brought on without the fiscal planting season which is incredibly mental). To be honest, it feels a bit headstrong and crazy at times to be in such a place, but also empowering with every fear conquered. May has marked a New Year for the last couple of years and the present is no different. Happy New Year. There comes a wild need for physical and mental challenge with the birth of Spring and defeating fear seems to be working for me. Fear of sewing? Odd; but lately, yes. 

Fear of failure.

After an inspirational fruit bowl and ten million cups of coffee at Arts Cafe with Chanel, back to my empty home I went. It is amazing what the internet offers (and quite frightening). A quick tutorial view and I was on my way, winging it, laughing at the thought my dad's tiny mother Annie spinning in her grave as she watched my sewing spew forth. Laughing at the thought of Grandma and I making the very first Lady Longbody on her old Elna machine back in July 2010. Learning curve! Crooked lines to straight. I started with a mock up in muslin for the first pillow cover and experimented until I had a good handle on the process. In retrospect, this is how I make art. Trial and error and a whollllllle lotta luck. Few things please me more in this approach than when the end result matches that of the initial vision.

The fruit of my Sunday labors are three beautiful pillow covers ranging in size from 16" square to 26" square, two of which are made of muslin and one with striped cotton. The last cover of the day is one I hope to have forever. If I were a pillow, let me tell you I would be the big fat down pillow draped in navy and white stripes with the orange piping sitting proudly on the bed. Figuring out the piping situation was a funny process, no tutorial necessary when you can just rip apart something else to see how it is done. Now more than ever I know I learn with my hands and eyes, not my ears sadly. This will take more discipline as the years pass, I imagine.

It felt great to work myself out of the slump that has been slowly filling my lungs with watery despair. Especially with a project I am incredibly proud of. I make art, but rarely does the resulting medium leave me with a feeling of I made this??! Yup. Laura's mom Anna taught me the art of basting (goodbye pins). This simple tip n' trick changed my handle on sewing completely. 

Writing seems to be low priority right now. Missing home, family, Grandma, siblings, friends, babies, Girl Club. Hearing Rouge's voice this morning barely satiated the hunger for all of these things, but it was good while it lasted. What I would give for a drive to Percy Lake (or anywhere) with the triplets. 

Nothing new to report. 

Said pillow, sewn envelop style with piping. Montreal, 2011.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crib to mountain.

'Been lying down in the forest lately. Writing letters to Eddy (camp highballer) from my new found spot in the forest on Mount Royale. A tall tree stand of elms called out to me while hiking through the neighborhood bush with Chanel last weekend. One beer, pinner dinner for one, heavy cardstock ripped from my drawing book, date stamp, ink pad, a breeze in my ear. I forgot how much I love the sound of creaking trees.

'Been in a weird state of late, again. Tired of swinging low, nothing to say, nothing to write, empty brained and blank. Blanko meow. Didn't make it to the forest yesterday (other than a quick mountain perch with Simon while Leo slept and then woke in a start. Crib to mountain, he was freaked out) because Steph, mine and Lo's new roommate from Taiwan arrived to Montreal! Steph and I rode the bus home and walked into a dinner spread fit for queens, a la Lo and JJ. Family dinner at Casa Clark, it was wonderful.

Summer is settling in upon shoulders, surprising warmth, bucket hats for the baby, big round eyes and a mouthful of sand. Oh Leo, how I love you.

Tree stand/ Mess tent; Sioux Lookout, Ontario 2011.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter shoes.

Le Poulet and I; Montreal, April 2011.
Photo. Meghan Kinita

Clam, crab, cockle, cowrie.
That means no
Where I come from
I am cold
Out waiting for the day to come
I chew my lips
And I scratch my nose
Feels so good to be a rose

Oh don't, don't you lift me up
Like I'm that shy
No no no no no
Just give it up
There are bats all dissolving in a row
Into the wishy-washy dark that can't let go
I cannot let go
So I thank the Lord
And I thank his sword
'Tho it be mincing up the morning, slightly bored

Oh, oh morning without warning like a hole
And I watch you go

There are some mornings when the sky looks like a road
There are some dragons who were built to have and hold
And some machines are dropped from great heights lovingly
And some great bellies ache with many bumblebees
And they sting so terribly

I do as I please
Now I'm on my knees
Your skin is something that I stir into my tea
And I am watching you
And you are starry, starry, starry
And I'm tumbling down
And I check a frown
It's why I love this town
Well, just look around
Just see me serenaded hourly !
And celebrated sourly :
And Dedicated dourly
Waltzing with the open sea
Clam, crab, cockle, cowrie
Oh will you just look at me

A song sung by a musical friend of the ages, Joanna Newsom.

Give me the harp, give me the rain.

Breakthrough day. The rain was a cleansing thing, Le Poulet and I wandered in and out of it from 10 until 1 today. Umbrellas for heads on hustling walkers in Mile End. Bakery smells pouring out of doorway steam holes, the smells turning to fog before my eyes. Wafts of heady flower shops puffing into my nose made my heart sail to Gerry and Toots, the very women who taught me how to sing to orchids and the importance of misting ones plants.

Leo and I passed the pre-lunch lull at my house, my mind away from the big baby all up in and already so far into the meal plan that began cooking in thought at 9 this morning with the crack of Jamie Oliver's spine. What a cook, I hope to feed my family in such a way someday. Two long naps and a trip to the record store in between. Orders, credits, selling vinyl that was sitting neglected (get rid of slim rotation), following Leo as he shopped around, checking out the bottoms of the shelves heavy with music. I forget his low line of vision sometimes. Nice day.

To think I ended my day around a table with mes soeurs and Rob Vilar. A tablecloth, my first attempt at roasting fowl, Chanel's Snack-and-a-half ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Candles, italian disco, Culinary Propaganda.

I retired to my darkroom. Ha, if only. I retired to my bedroom, workshop, office, sewing room, studio, dressing room, and turned negatives into positives with the magic aide of a large bed scanner. Voila, my Easter getaway to Winnipeg in a nutshell. Highlights captured, snap, rumble, shake, release.

Shot with the Russian, Illford black and white.

Willa meets Auntie Kim; Winnipeg, April 2011.
Suddenly pals, Kind Izzy and Maiya Papaya; Winnipeg, April 2011.
My Grandpa, Syd Reimer at the Great Fire; Rosenort, Manitoba. April, 2011.
A blaze that brought a crowd; Rosenort, Manitoba. April, 2011.

Thinking of Auntie Marj while elbowing to the front; Rosenort, Manitoba. April, 2011.
Rest you, Dick Zach; Rosenort, Manitoba. April, 2011.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

La Promenade au Musee.

PROMENADE AU MUSEE Album jeunesse en cours. Illustration by Mayumi Otero.

Promenade Au Musee is a work in progress collection of illustrations by artist Mayumi Otero, source initially found at Booooooom. I love the soft usage of transparency, what delicate lines. Tigers! Perfect. Makes my hunger for the print shop louder than ever. Growl, soon.

Today the bears go back to the woods for a May first meeting, back in the land by Wednesday. Rough up those hands. Liza, you are there! Hotel living, scrutinizing grocery lists. As you bear down, I am freeing myself from apron strings. My kitchen weekends will be down to a dull roar as I am now only a back up prep woman. Today was my first Sunday off in Montreal in many moons. I woke early and went decidedly back to my princess bed. Rose at noon, heard Laura laughing in her bed. Ha! Made a pot of coffee, Chanel rolled over with hot nanner muffins. Ate in the sun on the balcony. What?! Red necks, warm chocolate swimming in the channels of my gums. Blessed start to the day. Painted my toes Mango Time or whatever. 

Garage sailing on bikes with Lola and Chanel, found a pair of Cheap Mondays, roughed up and ripped. Perfect. Went on my merry way, just Jess and I in search. Came home, went back out to find the women in a children's park, bursting at the seams. Babies in stripes for acres, an empty fountain, trainwheels gone wild, bobbleheads on rollerblades, tiny Mister Potato Head glasses on a little head. Great afternoon. Came home to Casa Clark via Face Lane, and ended up talking shop and tuning bikes, Crown and coke with lime, boozing and jazzing the Sunday to smithereens. 

Six rolled around and I left for dinner at Ben and Tania's (my job at Em was to keep Ben's mise smooth runnin' on the line). Tania cooked Mama Columbian food. Cod drenched in the best flavor I have had in a long while. Fresh guacamole and fried plantains. Holy guacamole. What a dinner. We ate outside in the backyard on an after thought wooden table. Early Sunday dinner, talk of politics, the youth vote, ORANGE CRUSH. Ben made sure I watched Guns N Roses 'November Rain' music video, full at the dinner table at dusk, before leaving. Well, that was something to bear witness. 

While I long for the land and the company that comes in those conditions, the long solitary drives, named bush trucks bombing down logging roads with a jerry tank shoved behind my back for clutch leverage and a radio between my legs, 10-4 Birdman; I am so excited for summer in the city. Today was just a lick of what is to come. Wonderful. 

Bon Voyage, spring planters everywhere. 

Illustration by Mayumi Otero.

Illustration by Mayumi Otero.

Illustration by Mayumi Otero.