November 14, 2011


After the park, Liz invited me to help her construct a piece for a last minute fundraiser art show. The only requirement was to utilize a wooden platform, with a surface a foot square sitting two inches off the ground. We brainstormed for a bit and decided on a small tent. The mathematics behind angle calculation were far more complicated than anticipated so we opted to make a free form 3D house out of thick wire. It was nice just to start something with someone, working away to CBC on the radio, Liz's mom clanging around the kitchen, her younger sister pumping Snoop from the other end of the apartment, Duncan the tiny poodle flying around. A family house, a real beauty of a Montreal home (backyard et al). I miss my family.

Back at the family house, the dark fell early so I left shortly after hoping to catch Miranda July's reading. I got lost en route to the church and went on a photo journey instead. Cycled around in the northern part of the city for a while just enjoying the weather system. A splash of rain. Alba feels like a million bucks these days, cycling feels good. Seasonal depression aside, fall is my favorite season for athletics and fashion. Body warmth in cool air. Slim jackets. Dry pavement. I can only imagine how planting in autumn would feel. Today's warmth reached 17 degrees in Montreal. Hasn't been this warm since the Thirties. Glorious.

Though school hasn't been going so well, I have begun a new project inspired by a photographer I was introduced to in my history class. Diane Arbus. Her body of work is incredible. She had a sharp eye for the bizarre, the surreal, the strange. Her subjects ranged from young families to cross dressers, circus culture to nudist communities. Though Arbus' portraits were considered quite controversial in the Fifties and Sixties, her depiction is consistently respectful and warm. I appreciate that in a photograph, especially as a young street photographer myself. It is hard enough to approach people on the street, never mind to enter the home of a stranger, the dressing room of a dancer, the birthday party of a prostitute. Liz lent me her biography and I haven't been this excited to read since my Aunty Daryl gave to me the story of Mabel Stark. Bed, bath, book, beyond. Winter is coming. I am dark, it is dark outside. Obsessed with bathing.

Started this new illustration technique a few nights ago in a moment of sheer delight (art flow is bottlenecked these days) which is drawing with a fountain pen/ nib and india ink on thick transparency sheets. This is nothing new, just new to me. Why didn't I think of that before? Even better than a laser printer! Who needs Adobe Illustrator when one has a steady hand and a pot of ink? I have been drawing my favorite Arbus photographs. The point is to use these illustrations as negatives to burn into a screen coated in photo emulsion. A process resulting in an image ready to print. Fabric posters, inspired by Diane Arbus. Sometimes the internet art world saddens me. Has everything been done? No. I could always draw my own photographs to guarantee originality. What do I want my work to say? I feel incredibly blessed to be able to live my life in a country that allows me to pursue pretty much anything my heart desires. Degree or no degree.

Originality is a beautiful thing. I hope my hand work makes someone laugh or feel hopeful. Anyway, time will tell. The only thing I know for sure these days is that the time has come to learn French! I am ready. Concordia is not the right fit and I am just fine with that. I realized the other day that I struggle with school so greatly because I my work comes from the heart or not at all. Having to create work under pressure is no good for this gal. Boo fucking hoo. Haha. Time to haul up my Montreal bootstraps, duck into winter, work my ass off in a kitchen to pay the rent, tuck into my work.

Goals/ priorities as a worker:

- darkroom, find enlarger and GET REAL about printing in my own damn home.
- work table for my studio
- submit to publish already
- work trade for a website
- OR seek lessons for illustrator
- business cards (my looseleaf scraps are a good joke)
- OPERATION OVEN: get one, make a lasagna before the snow melts
- start and finish the sewing projects that I have within me
- shoot a fashion spot for once
- write more letters, you're slipping Madge

Great, okay. I can't let the heaviness of transition get me down. Over coffee on the front balcony in the warm sun this morning, Laura said to me "change is the only constant". Yup. So here is to change. What the hell? It has been quite a year. Today I sat at a family table giving form to a little house. Who knows where I will be tomorrow. First, history of photography. Let the season change hands, it means I will be that much closer to home.

A bientot, Winnipeg. Montreal, you are hard but good.

I have a date with a burly frenchman on Wednesday. HA! TRIPLE WEIRD. He pitched Edward Burtynsky's large format photography exhibit at the McCord, how could I resist? I am a sucker for galleries and little black dresses.


My friend Leonard keeps growing and growing. Montreal, October 2011.

Just checking out some broken glass. Montreal 2011. 
Checking things out at Parc de Gaspe. Montreal 2011.
So proud to say this is Leo's first photo! Fujichrome slide film x processed. Montreal, October 2011.
Hay Poulet. This was the day of Leo's first photography lesson, October 2011.

1 comment:

  1. The best part of our wedding day was having the Ed Burtynsky exhibition to ourselves all afternoon. We wandered in the abandoned WAG. Maybe a good omen for your upcoming date.

    Hang in there, letter coming later on.