Friday, 24 February 2012

Mes Journals Pour Paris

In an earlier post I wrote about the various art workshops that I'll be doing in Paris (and elsewhere) when I arrive in just over 4 weeks.

I'll be filling journals with collages, prints, water colours, ink drawings and more...and  I've decided to theme mes journals pour Paris (my journals for Paris) around the 5 Senses of Taste, Sight, Hearing, Touch and Smell.  This will give me scope to develop my journals.......and capture much of what Paris is about.

I've always loved keeping journals and notebooks...even as a child....I would buy little notebooks from a local newsagent and fill them with scribbles, lists, drawings, pressed leaves and wildflowers. So keeping journals is not a new thing for's not expensive and a wonderful creative outlet.

I'll be taking my collection of journals and notebooks to Paris.......some consisting of beautiful watercolour papers, 100% cotton French etching papers, calendar eco/brown papers (which I love), and others with textured plant/fibre papers.

My collection of journals
A couple of these journals have been made by extremely talented printmakers and bookbinders. Sandra Pearce, a colleague artist from Impress Printmakers made this beautiful journal consisting of an original monotype, 190 gxm watercolour paper and onion skin/banana fibre paper (see below). Can't wait to fill this with something fab!
Sandra's beautiful journal

Rachel Hazell, based in the United Kingdom, is the most divine bookbinder and I bought her limited edition bound journal at Spoons on the Isle of Skye last year  I'm hoping to do a workshop with Rachel either in Paris or another spot in Europe.
Rachel's exquisite little "Spoons" journal.
I took home number 3 of an edition of 10.
By the way, if ever you happen to be on the Isle of Skye, please, please, please do yourself a favour and stay at Spoons.........divine!  The Isle of Skye is absolutely bee-you-tee-ful too.

Cute chooks at Spoons!

I loved this little red roofed cottage......maybe the subject for a future etching.
Dramatic, glorious scenery surrounds you everywhere on the Isle of Skye.
Pierre (better known as Peter - he's not French by the way) tramping in the Highlands. of my favourite plants and a favourite etching subject.
I had my very first attempt at making a bound journal last weekend at Impress Printmakers.

Glen Skien, one of my favourite Australian artists, led the workshop and I've posted a few images of Glen showing us the various techniques.
Glen made it look easy.........

My journal starting to take shape - with tobacco coloured end papers and a vintage ribbon divider.
I used 240 gsm French cream etching paper for the pages of the journal.
The cover was Venetian marbled paper that I splattered with grey ink and tea.
The spine was a dusty soft grey suede.
I used a little 'gold leaf' to embellish the cover.
Thought some vintage elements would also work - 1920's buckle and French grosgrain belting.
Voila - mon journal, L'Art de la Dégustation, with its little French belt!
I'm pretty happy with my attempt - which is mostly due to Glen's skill and teaching ability.  L'Art de la Dégustation (the art of tastes) will be home to water colours, drawings and collages etc of all that fantastic Parisian cuisine (theme: Taste)......though it's going to be a challenge to create something for my journal that imparts, for example, just how good this Millefeuille å la Vanille Bourbon from Le Florimond actually tasted!!!!!  Fab restaurant by the way....and not expensive.
And now I'm starting to think about my second bound journal (theme: Sight).

I'll be making this in let's see if I can improve on my first attempt.

A bientot mes amis.

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Paris - Just Around the Corner

"Paris is just around the corner for you now Robyn!"

When a friend said this to me finally hit 5 weeks Pierre and I will be ensconced in Paris, rugged up against the cold, and sitting in a little cafe somewhere in Montmartre sipping vin rouge.

An adventure likes this comes once in a lifetime....and both Pierre and I feel extremely fortunate and grateful that we're able to do it.

Our home, here in Brisbane, is looking extremely 'minimal' as nearly everything is packed and wrapped ready for storage.   Walls, consoles, coffee tables, cupboards, bookshelves etc are all bare....not my usual decorating style at all!  And I've been flat out making sure that our home is fresh and perfect for rental.  Hopefully, that will happen soon too.
All wrapped and boxed
Bare walls
Cupboards are bare!
Storage boxes continue to multiply.
Next...I'll be packing the suitcases.
All our documents are in order, reservations etc locked in and now we're starting to plan the first couple of weeks in Paris.

I'll probably hit the art/paper boutiques as I want to stock up on arty things for my workshops with the charming and talented Pauline Fraisse  Have a look at Pauline's web many fab workshops to choose from.

My first week-long workshop, commencing 28 April, is in Lucca where we'll be exploring the concept of 'perspective' as well as constructing a 3D watercolour sketchbook of this lovely medieval Italian city.

Pierre's keen to check out a couple of photographic exhibitions that are currently showing.....Doisneau, Paris Les Halles at the Hotel de Ville, and the photographs of Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) at the fabulous Jeu de Paume  Both exhibitions finish end April so it's fortunate that we'll arrive in time to see them.

The other 'must-do' for Pierre is the Bob Dylan, Rock Explosion exhibition at the Cité de la Musique.  Apparently this is the first Dylan exhibit in Europe featuring unpublished photographs, objects, rare documents, audio-visual archives and more!  Guess who's a very BIG Dylan fan?

I'll take a promenade across the Pont des Arts
In the first couple of weeks, I also plan to take my little vintage 'parapluie' (see below) to Maison Heurtault, where Michel Heurtault will restore and recover  it for me   I'll show you the results when it's finished.........I think a Springtime promenade under the arcades of the Palais Royale or across the Pont des Arts will then be in order.  A stroll across that bridge is magic!
My parapluie...which Monsieur Heurtault will soon bring back to life.

And.....I can't wait to visit our local marché to stock up on all those Parisian let's see how my French is progressing......le poulet roti, le pain, les haricot verts, les framboises, maybe tarte au citron and creme fraiche!  Yes.....I'll be attempting to speak French with the locals.....which I'm sure will be hilarious with my Aussi accent......but I'm determined to give it a go. you can see.......Pierre and I have no intentions of being bored in this inspirational city.  I hope you'll enjoy this wonderful adventure with me.

Now...only 44 sleeps to go!!  A bientot.

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Saturday, 11 February 2012

My Valentine

It's lovely to give, and if we're fortunate enough, receive flowers on Valentine's Day.

Mind you, I love receiving flowers on any day.  If my first wonderful obsession is printmaking.........then my second is most definitely flowers.

Flowers often star in my printmaking..........I've used stems, leaves, feathers, petals, blossoms and vintage botanical images to create a unique range of prints.  These beautiful, natural elements always provide inspiration!
To celebrate Valentine's Day,  I'm sending these beautiful blooms to you.  Hope you like them.
(1)  From Parisian gardens
Roses in the garden at Musee Rodin

Lobby - George V by Jeff Leatham, photos by moi.

(2)  From English Country gardens:

(3)  And, from my garden in Brisbane - which I'll miss when I move to Paris in less than 7 weeks. I've decided to plant a window box or two of Parisian Spring blooms when I arrive........perhaps blue hydrangeas or white scented bulbs.  Not sure which....but I'll have fun choosing.

 Hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day.

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