Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dear Aunty Rags.

Dear Rags, I wrote to you so many times today. Short spurts, long banging paragraphs on my typewriter, color color color, drawing vines and vans. Thanks for inspiring me. When I look at the photo you sent to me in your last letter, the one of you in your whites and chef hat--busy plating away with such meticulousness--god I feel inspired.

For the first time in what seems like a cool million years, I drew out a concept that had been sloshing around in thought in a letter to you. You shall receive it shortly, I am glad it is going to you. Whatever this thing will become, it has finally begun.

Love you hard tonight, M Doc.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

L'Art Prout.

Work book slice from La Have Islands; July 2011.

These days when I do sit to work at my table, it is always stencil based. My old ink and worn fountain pens are partly to blame, but it is also all I know to do these days. One track mind. I bust out the vellum today and just zipped through with my xacto knife. Tracing paper is imperative at my work station, regardless of the medium in focus. For spray paint I use Krylon indoor/outdoor in flat noir. Spray adhesive is also imperative. 

* written in the middle of June, 2011.

Back on drawing, some painting, usually letter-based. Telling. I have always felt comfortable lettering. I get that from my mother, whose block letters were to die for. She would write the titles of block lettered school projects and I would color them in. Thanks for that mom, it is who I am. Also

Double exposure art. Freehand ink on cardstock underlay, ink on tracing paper top. May/ June 2011.

Art fart. Leo's 12 year old cousin Florence taught me that Prout en fracais, means FART in english. Good to know. While on my east coast journey, I spent many a portion of time with my coiled work book. Letters, weird faces of Dave Bancroft (an 86 year old man whom Simon and I met en route) as well as Lisa Bell (never actually met the woman, but made a drawing as Geof wove her story). There was so much of that at Fool's Cove (Simon's beach homebase on Bell Island), stories and expression. Whatever the modus operandi, the medium was up to mood and moon. I wrote a lot, drew, wrote letters, painted idly at the kitchen table while there was a party happening in the next rooom. I felt comfortable to take leave there, take off for a bit. Plenty of time to walk slowly, to stop and really smell. 

One day, Simon and I were walking around. I realized I hadn't collected any flowers or leaves, so we did. That day we walked to the tip of the island to sit in our own spaces in a graveyard on the side of a grassy hill. It was tended, there were stumps. The ocean smashing its way with the moon. The water was incredible, it took my breath away each time I looked out. The fog, dancing silkily over and out, and back in again. Sea kayaks spinning like dials in the bay, waiting their turn. 

End of the month Scallage. Montreal, July 2011. Photo of moped printed and shot by Craig Dueck.

Bits 'n Bobs. Margot XXX. Montreal 2011.
Missing Erin, painting proud. Click to see her work. Oh So Lovely, her baby.
Social recess/ Work book slice. 2011.

Real expensive hot dogs.

Saturdate with myself. After downing a bottle of wine with Virginie, pouring out my heart AND crying over the most trivial things (in retrospect), I made it home and settled into the night routine. With a sidelong glance at my drawing books, Year of the Rabbit rabbit limbs, Lady Longbody legs and a bag of batting, I decided to write some letters. My go to, like drawing triangles when I have nothing else. Write a letter Madge, to begin. Then I slept, finally at dawn as the light crept into my back bedroom.

Willa, come for a sleepover. Can't wait to draw with you on a bench one day. Diamonds on a princess belt? You GOT it. Elf shoes for a prince? Absolutement! Rags, what I would give for a walk around Winnipegtown with you two birds today. Can I push the stroller please? It is hotter than Hades here. Sweatin' from the meatiest of body parts. Despite the heat, I left the house to troll around the neighborhood. In my wandering I ended up with a coffee in one hand and a one dollar Darkroom book in my lap. Read for a while, bobbing to the nineteen nineties beats blasting from across the street. Street party, expensive hotdogs, dancing babies. Then I meandered to Monistiraki to say Shalom to Billy, a wonderful man with a great eye for bits and bobs. Picked up some one dollar things for various letters on the go and was psyched when I found another Modigliani post card. Ten points. I love his paintings.

It is not a Saturday without a visit to my neighborhood Japanese paper shop, I am such a sucker for handmade sheets. Departed with two giant sheets--heavily textured pulpy white with rough edges--and a vision of that one house at the mouth of Bell Island burnt forever in my memory. Back to the paint, dip dip drag. Two sheets, in case it gets ugly on the first go (as it tends to).

Off to wig shop for the 3 4 1 Anniversary Costume Party taking place at Casa Clark for Chanel, Lola et moi in a few weeks time. Baby's first birthday as a Montreal drifter. Signage to come.

Happy weekend.

Le Margot.


When there are nights of these sort, life normalizes, limbs relax with each sip, and laughter between two women becomes easier and easier. Today as the summer evening stretched her arms wide open to this great city, Leo, Chanel et moi wandered with Dairy Queen in hand, beating the heat. No sugar for the chicken. I babysat Le Poulet in the evening and when his parents woke me after their dinner party, I was sprawled sleeping on the sectional clutching a copy of Nightlife in my hands.

Ass sweat, mom hair, dowdy dress; Margot Pollo. Wild Montreal, the Fear of Missing Out gone right out from under my feet. There was no place I would have rather been this evening than out walking with two of my favorite people, the day's heat settling on our skin like hot fog. Leo in little pants, bareback, flopping ringlets. No-no, his blanket wrapped around his feather neck like the most chic throw.

Then without any sound, Jeremy cracked two bottles of wine and we all got to talking. Damn I love my job and so appreciate the family I have found in the absence of my own. The Sprys, my family. Virginie, what a woman. I walked home at four in the morning, thinking of the conversation between the two of us, and of Rouge. Got a bagel on the walk home down Fairmount without thinking and nodded to all the workers bustling to get the early morning bagel order out the door, onto the trucks. I have done that work, I respect that hustle. Sesame fingers.

It was funny, sharing so many things this evening, hearing the words come out of my mouth: the fear and hope tied tight like one of Simon's sailing knots. Virginie took it in stride and provided me a platform to coo out my excitement at the prospect of feeling at home in a studio once again. She understood my longing, or I felt understood in it. 

The print. I have not forsaken you, I am simply waiting.

Now sleepless at four in the morning for the seventh day in a row, my mind lurches forward to a place I do not yet know, to hall smells unfamiliar, my heart swelling with excitement at the thought of being a student of art. SOON. Soon. Soon enough.

Until that day, I plan on enjoying the longest summer I have experienced in three years! What a glorious season, this one. Tomorrow is empty, the only thing on my agenda is an East Coat photo pick up. Color film, underwater cam. And just like that I am transported back in thought to Simon and I kayaking on my second last day of holidays, into a channel of water that sealed the deal: one day I will live on the east coast. His face underwater, eyes open for a flash to the plastic lens. Then a switch, my eyes bursting open in that icy salt water, clear as the day is long. God I miss that place. The water, the rocks, sea grass. Soon enough indeed. Photos will fill in the blanks of diction, I hope.

Drex and Danika were married today! My love to you two on your wedding day: July 29, 2011. While I may not have seen the vision that I know you to be through a misshapen lens, I can imagine it easily. Blessings on your love. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Party of four.

Yacht chic or Clown chic? Oh the veins of fashion lying in wait within my closet. You know you are free when the pressing question is "what to wear?". Usually it is "why aren't you drawing?". Clown clothes tonight, the lot of them. 

Kelly Clarkson practice. Trying to sing aloud, even if the songs are embarrassing. I found one song I would like to attempt to sing at karaoke--The trouble with love is--probably because it reminds me of my sis. Lola and Chanel are seasoned goers. I am downright terrified to step out, but dead curious. What a crock of useless information here today. God! I need to get out more.

Tonight I am going OUT. In a really electric blue dress. In heels. Whoa la. We'll see what Chanel has up her sleeve. We never go out for cocktails here! I used to sit bar side with Rebecca on a weekly basis, drinking the rent down in rouge form. Good form. Oh to be young and free. 

Today I made a new friend. It was really the start of something. Uma is her name. She caught my eye at the splash parc, I liked her enthusiasm. She is four. After work with Leo I went to Club Social for a solitary coffee and was mid sentence in a letter to Erin when I saw Uma running top speed towards my position on the bench. This is how our conversation went:

It's you! 
Hey girl. 
Where is your naked baby?
He is at home eating supper.
I have diabetes. 
That's okay. Do you want to wear my hat?
Yes. Can you paint my toes?

We huuuuuuuuuuuuung out on the bench for a good hour and a half, her babe dadda shocked at her pool of ice cream lying forgotten beside her. We were in the middle of an elaborate princess drawing, too busy to eat. Her diction was that of a ten year old. She explained how insulin worked, explaining how it made her feel as she gave me a guided tour on her body; fingers connecting pinpricks like constellations.

I showed her my Grandma tattoo, I think she was impressed.

Uma! Four years old. Super sass. She asked me what "chic" meant when she heard it and I laughed through my explanation just imagining the word coming out of her mouth during breakfast the next day. Single parenthood sounds difficult. She was a complete delight and dismissed her dad immediately. He looked like he needed a good rest. The relief on his face was thanks enough. Looking forward to hanging out with Uma from Yellowknife at the Splash tomorrow. 

Montreal is filled with drifters, this I know. I am one of them. Sitting beside Uma in my giant hat as magic hour crept in, our bodies slumped against each other, I felt at home. Hallelujah. Just drawing with someone with such a detailed thought process was enchanting! She encouraged my illustration. Thanks girl. One of the most exciting things I have found about moving away is the delight in meeting people! You just never know how a bench encounter can change your life. 

My friend Uma, she's a fire cracker. I am back in the babysitting biz folks, yup 25 and ALIVE.

Soup du jour.

Sleepless is the word these days. No babes to care for in the night, just myself and ten pillows, twisted sheets and a choir of crickets. No complaints really, I simply would like a good night's rest. Since arriving home from the East coast, rest has gone out the window. I spend the darkest part of each night hovering over projects at my work table, cruising the world wide and rereading.

Jeanette Winterson, you write so beautifully. The following paragraph copied in scrawling cursive and then into type from 'Sexing the Cherry'--the idea of it, a flicker of memory--came back around yesterday as I watched a man walk further and further away from my position in the coffee queue.

Here in an excerpt that called out to me. The first time I read this paragraph I was sitting in a park in Bassersdorf, Switzerland. Magic hour.

On more than one occasion I have been ready to abandon my whole life for love. To alter everything that makes sense to me and to move into a different world where the only known will be the beloved. Such a sacrifice must be the result of love... or is it that the life itself was already worn out? I had finished with that life, perhaps, and could not admit it, being stubborn or afraid, or perhaps did not know it, habit being a great binder. I think it is often so that those most in need of change choose to fall in love and then throw up their hands and blame it all on fate. But it is not fate, at least, not if fate is something outside of us; it is a choice made in secret after nights of longing. 

I am a charioteer in this game called Love and although I am only twenty two, my am growing tired of longing after a phantom.

* Above excerpt taken from Queens of Machu Picchu, an old post of mine. I was 22 in 2008, pining after a stranger and writing like a maniac in all corners of the world I was crawling then. Anecdotes don't pour out from mind to mains as easily as they used to, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Keeping things to myself more? I suppose. Young Madge.

Damn! Some things never change.

Sleepless and single, not all bad in actuality. I began sewing again last night after so many ages of looking at lifeless muslin rabbit limbs. And I enjoyed myself whilst!

Life after holidays is wonderful. Leo is beside me lounging in his inflatable pool, soaking up the heat rays. Curls for days, sparkly eyes on a boy who grew again in the space apart from the other. Amazing, that quick growth. His face changed, new words lodged in the memory banks: chaud, pool, cold, chat, compote (apple sauce) and his personal fave, de l'eau de l'eau de l'eau--repeated three times minimum. This kid would flip a lid in Aunty Marj's pool! I hate that my ma has never seen this golden babbling creature, has never hauled his slippery naked body around and around in the water. They would LOVE each other, I have no doubt. His is silly now! Still can't say my name for the life of him, but I know how he feels.

We cruised straight to the splash parc at the top of the afternoon today, the heat pressing. When I got to work he was naked in the pool, stirring a special plastic shape stock around his body with a giant wooden spoon. Soup du jour? Leo Pou (as his mother calls him, short for poussin--chick in anglais). As always, I forgot all the gear that is required for a swim day. Leo was the only naked child at the place, running wild, curls flying, eyes wide with other children wonder.

Only child.

Mail from Tante Lisa over lunch hour at Leo's; Montreal 2011.
I love my job.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ash bows.

Found some negatives lying around (my scanner is finicky as hell). A mountain walk, Charles mid statement, a reflection in the window of an Ethiopian restaurant on Avenue du Parc. 

Bon fin semaine. Hot bike rides, splash parc, errands, coffee, back balcony breakfast courtesy of Chanel--who's singsong woke me at noon this morning. What a nice way to rise. Made me miss my ma's morning singsongs. Wakey wakey Megsy. 

The heat cracked this morning and the wind is coursing through our breathing apartment at the moment. Glorious wind. Radio Classique is on, strings tonight. I spent the top of the afternoon on the same mountain on which the Ash bow photo below was shot. Tam tams on a hot Sunday with Pat and Ryan, my planting brothers.

Ash bows for sweet dreams; Mont Royal, Montreal 2011.
Always something to say, Charles; Montreal 2011.

Where's Wenda? Who knows what happened here; on Ave du Parc, Montreal 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rapid growth.

Time machine; Montreal 2011.

Happy pup who joined me at Parc Jeanne Mance; Montreal 2011.

Shannon a la parc; Montreal 2011.

Leonard, 19 months; Montreal 2011.

Laughing Poulet; Montreal 2011.

Contemplating his next move; Montreal 2011.

Nap time at Casa Clark for the gros bebe; Montreal 2011.

Partners in crime; Montreal 2011.
* photo of myself shot by Shannon Laliberte. Merci

Friday, July 22, 2011

East Street.

Striped bods on the back balcony. Laura and I sit, similarly striped in contrast, happy to be reunited. Tablecloth on the wooden table, what the hell--it is summer. We are in the thick of it.

It feels a bit weird to be back in a city.

I got home at ten this morning via train; haggard and smelly, tired of listening to the worriers sitting behind me. What a ride. I left Halifax Central yesterday noon. Nothing like a good, long train ride to provide a rolling backdrop for a period of quiet reflection.

What. A. Trip! Wild, refreshing, peaceful, delicious. And to think! Two days ago I was kayaking in the ocean and cutting through water ducking under the boom on a sailboat. Glorious.

Here is the first of many photos to come. Shot by Irma De Sie, in the midst of Race Night for sailboats at the mouth of the harbor in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Prairie woman on water, hilarious.

Meg, Steve, Simon and Geof on Race Night in Lunenburg. Our boat came in third. Party.

I shot and shot and shot some more. The architecture! Lost sea homes, standing proud, bellies to the salt spray. Simon and I climbed inside homes like this on Bell Island and after testing the strength of the floors like cats, we and shot around each other, surprising the other in forgotten rooms with curling rose wallpaper. Lenses for noses. Pulling cameras away from our faces, smiling. There was such delight in the freedom of each moment.

It was also really nice to shoot alongside someone with a very different eye. I would laugh every time we would race for our respective cameras at the same time. Eventually a gear table came to be and the range in equipment was impressive, not to mention the film stock between the two of us! Easy shootin'.

Two words: underwater cam. Two more words: icy Atlantic.

Days were easy on Bell Island. Coffee, CBC radio, book, paper, ink, rock, veranda, ocean. I wandered, letting my mind stray like a kite while following a deer path in the bush on a Thursday. The life! I hadn't felt so at home, so far from home in a long while. It was a wonderful time spent cooking in an incredible kitchen, reading, throwing horseshoes. No agenda, no pressure.

Grabbed my child sized mountain bike when I felt led and raced off on island roads, bombing hills like a pre teen. Party.

More stories to come.

Photos seem to take the place of words these days and with any luck, so will the batch to come. It is always thrilling to arrive home, organize my film and take an account of what was shot. I can never remember all the scenes frozen. Near the beginning of the holiday, I shot so many photos of my feet in different locations as the beauty of the east coast sea just blew my mind. I was so surprised to recognize so many of the species that make the bush boreal. Black and white spruce! Red and white pine, poplar, birch, ash. The list is endless. I love trees. And I fell in love with the sea.

Mind spinning. Good to be home!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Little Houses.

The Little House, a classic. I have read the storybook version, but this Disney animation was such a surprise. One of the few things I tend to draw from my mind are little houses. Naturally, I was drawn to this.

Lazy Saturday! God, I love the weekends. Spent my Saturday afternoon at the bike shop (new pedals) with Jean-Daniel. He is my bike guy, always the first one to help. Today I met another character whose name I didn't catch! While we were waiting our turn together outside the shop, we began to converse. While eyeing his beautiful bicycle, he explained the source of speed on a bicycle in such a way I had never heard before. While quality components add to a bicycle, he was so passionate in explaining how IMPERATIVE  the geometry of one's frame is. Angles. Then he turned to Alba resting against the shop front and broke down all the reasons my mixte will never be fast.

I have been in a frustrated riding place lately. While it feels great to ride with regularity these days, it is becoming painfully obvious that I need a change from fixed gear. I love my bicycle, but I would like to learn to road ride long distances. Road bike, it is time. AHHH! Frightening. This is interesting. Such a move from a single speed to gears demands a completely different set up. Saddle, seat post, front wheel, slicks, pedals, headset, stem and bars are transferrable, yes, but I am in the market for quite a few components. Preferably, I would like to keep Alba as is and start again with an entirely new project.

I have my eye on a little Italian spotted at a Racing shop near my home. Details to come. To build or to buy? Build and buy? Yikes, the cash. It is greedy to have two beautiful bicycles, this won't be the first time. I am simply not ready to let my slow pony go. As far as my future bicycle is concerned, in my head I see a small men's road frame, a small cassette of gears, slim and plain but quality components, a front rack (the one I spotted today in the basement of C&L, custom pizza racks made in Montreal), 700s, quality slicks. Whenever I hear Pat talk about his epic long distance bike rides I long for gears. Maybe I am just a pussy with little stamina.

Longing for longevity. Time will tell. I shot a few photos of said sexy road bike belonging to the interesting man whose name I didn't catch. What knowledge! He poured out with it, ignited by my keen interest and hungry lens. As I was readying to shoot his bicycle portrait, I heard the tink tink of a metal clip and whipped around to the empty spot where Jess was. Gone! Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Oh god, my bike. Gone. I ran to the ally, looking desperately for a culprit and one last look at my baby. Gone. I am sure my eyes have never been rounder, such sadness in an instant, camera lifeless in my hands. I looked to the man I was shooting, both of us flabbergasted at the thought. Non! Non! Non!

Then I remembered to look inside the shop. JD had her up in the stand, skinny wrenches around her headset throat. Dear Lord, what a careless loss that could have been. Always lock your bike Madge. Come ON! Lesson learned.

Interesting things are at work. I have a crush on road bike. Summer is in!

Summer balcony at Casa Clark; Montreal 2011.

Knife rack below my favorite Elizabeth Ashton photo "The Magician's Van"; Montreal 2011. Yum.

Tub Worship in living color; Montreal 2011.

Foliage House at the end of Clark; Montreal, June 2011.

House Fuck Cops; Montreal, Magic Hour 2011.

Backside of Casa Clark, Montreal 2011.
(I spy four horses, do you?).

Backside of Old Lady Clark; Montreal, June 2011.

Luan's new look; Montreal, June 2011.

Shooting on the Lachine Canal; Montreal 2011.

Beauties in love on the Lachine; Montreal 2011.

Vogue Taiwan on the Lachine; Montreal, June 2011.