Friday, October 31, 2008

Listen to Yves Montand sing Les Feuilles Morts

the weather has turned. paris beautiful in gray tones.

Jacques Prevert's beautiful song
'Les Feuilles Mortes' known to most as 'Autumn Leaves', takes on a different sentiment when you walk where he may have walked on a fall day in Paris composing. There is a longing here and an unknown depth that the mood searches for. Difficult to describe. Perhaps it is the poem unwritten or the painting waiting to be painted. Simply put I feel very alive in Paris and deeply in is a romantic city, full of inquiry and sage (often false) advise about art, love, music, life's concepts, politics, society...the whole gamut. I am in love with the possibilities of heart and mind. How can I not feel alive when I am accosted at every corner by art and architecture.
Fighting the wee fatigue and unable to read this small print so I am off to the museum for further grander exploration. Morning at Les Arts Decortifs, then lunch in a surprise cafe, then to meet Flor at the Beaubourg to see another show, follwed by work at the gallery at 17h / 5 p.m.
A la prochaine...

Monday, October 27, 2008

19eme arrondissement /near le Centquatre

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le Centquatre / le Salon Slick

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leaving the north of Paris

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monday, monday ....

dimanche / sunday was a perfect Parisian day of Museum visits: starting at Fondation Cartier where we saw the César exhibit (sculpture friend of the renowned architect Jean Nouvel), lunch at a crêperie in Montparnasse, followed by the visit to Espace Pierre-Cardin / `show off...' where we listened to a 2 hour discussion on fashion and art and visited many little galleries set up within the beautiful Espace Pierre -Cardin (which is located next to the American Embassy and the incredible 4 star Hotel Crillon (equal to our 5 star, if the French were to use a 5 star billing)... lovely day with Nadia finished with a nice meal in the 13eme arrondissement chez Resto JF Méchain.

I forgot to bring my camera but encourage you to check out the following websites to see some information photos.
FYI I particularly loved César's collection called Compression. I am sure you can find information on his exceedingly well known contemporary sculpture.

Fondation Cartier
Show Off - Paris
Pierre Cardin

As for our visit last Friday to Fiac etc.see the following sites


And today's visit will be at Slick. This is in new space for events called le Centquatre....5,rue Curial or 104, rue d'Aubervilliers int the 19th arrondissement.


Somewhere in this day I will move out of the north of Paris and into a chic little apartment in the 1er district (central Paris)...Metro Pyramides. Finishing with dining tonight with the Jacquets in the 13eme.

Maybe today I shall bring my camera....I will certainly continue to make notes for my own studio work. All of our gallery visits have nurtured the beginning designs for my future studio projects, both interior and exterior. Fabulous..., it takes a visit to Paris to get me this excited about my own personal work.

Music I have been listening to: Jacques Brel, Manu Chao, Abd Al Malik, Nougaro, Sanseverino, Juliette Greco, Lloyd, Ahmad Jamal

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Voilà l`art

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samedi à Paris

Yesterday Nadia and I visited more of the Fiac (Foire International d'Art Contemporain). It was our second day running. A bit demoralising (sp? i can no longer spell in either language correctly) for the more traditional artist. Mais, (but) the discussion here is really about concept. It is so complex as a discussion. What is art? Well, we have been discussing this for hundreds of years ... no?
It appears that the très riches are making serious investments (500,000 € to start)at a time where their other stock options begin to fail. In walking through the exhibit halls I was confounded by the work being shown. 20% I liked and really admired. Another 10% I could get my head around. The rest was a mix of highschool level dabbling, whacked out anger, conceptualized ideas of plastics and installations with very little to say about any deep concerns whether social, cultural, political, or emotional. How do we manage to invest so much in so little?
So I return this morning to a side street in the 20th arrondissement to a more fundamental and reassuring bit of art work...the regular street markets glorious in the eye of this beholder. The artistic ``concepts' of farmer and rancher...of earth, sky and water. There I will find once again a poetic demonstration of what keeps me going. Ah, the sweet beautiful basics...
Thank you to those of you who have addressed an interest in the blog, you travel these avenues and cafés with me. Any query is appreciated and I look forward to posting more photos when time allows. Grosses bisous!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

shibori / mackey

monotype / nadia tighremt

Definitions / Définitions

Qu’est-ce-que le Monotype ?

Le Monotype,
en gravure est un procédé d'impression qui ne permet pas de faire plusieurs épreuves. Il s'agit de peindre à l'encre de gravure ou à la peinture à l'huile sur un support qui ne "boit" pas : type métal, plexiglas ou rhodoide. La peinture est ensuite passée sous presse avec un papier qui reçoit l'épreuve. Le support n'étant pas gravé, il peut resservir pour d'autres monotypes après nettoyage.
Le monotype ne peut être numéroté, car son tirage est unique.
Catégorie : Gravure

Qu’est-ce-que le Shibori ?

Le Shibori,
There is an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only only the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results.

à Paris with old friends and new images

Here in Paris, a fall day, light rain yesterday, cooling a bit. Great visit to Normandy and a friend's home on Saturday with perfect sunny warm weather.
Now we are busy with last minute errands as our show opens tonight from 6 pm on. Please join us! See announcement below:

As for how I am fairing personally...
It is great to be back in France. Always feels a bit like coming home. So much to take in and endless surprises.
The annual Fiac is taking place this week so there will be loads of artwork, great masters and my favorite contemporary artists from gallery collections all over the world. (See your local A NOUS Paris / city magazine Paris #411 du 20 au 26 Octobre 2008)LES Affaires Culturelles événement.... fabulous.

Saturday night will be a visit to Theatre Champs d'Elyséés to see Europa Danse performance using Picasso costumes. Of course first there is salsa dance outing tomorrow evening with a girlfriend of Nadia's who is said to be a fabulous dancer...time is flying by and I am getting work done! Certainly my french is improving.
Alors... à toute à l'heure I must go buy a croissant for breakfast! So I will just pop across the street to the local boulangerie for one. cheers...jen

Friday, October 10, 2008

Musée du quai Branly NOVEMBER 8,9,10 2008



Exposition in Paris October/November 2008
Vernissage / Opening Receptions
22 Octobre et 6 Novembre a partir de 18H
Exposition 21 Octobre au 9 Novembre
Mardi au Vendredi
17H a 21H
Rdv en presence de l'artiste
06 61 66 84 76
La Loge de la Concierge
1er etage
14 rue du Pont-Neuf
75001 Paris
visit on the web ,

NOVEMBER 8,9,10 2008

Musée du quai Branly - Lecture room
visit :
questions? Contact:

thinking about my sensory response to this shibori

The autumn leaves, les feuilles mortes...drift by my window

 ...and I stitch a few last pieces to pack for the upcoming show at La Loge and the trunk show at Musée du Quai Branly.
I am just getting into a 'groove' in the studio. This always happens before an exhibition. It is the focusing that finally takes hold for me when I have a deadline. A stream of consciousness with the tapestry of textile design develops.

I often commence my lift off dye technique with a black dyed solid silk .  The tonal contrast seems 'earthy' to me when the camel tone areas are reveealed .
This reiteration of dark and light imagery in an abstract stripe seems to call to mind an animal's coat, or a ripple in a shadowed creek bed. The sense of opposites are ignited such as a night and day or a shiver against the autumn sun. It is the symbolic gesture of beginning and end, life and death , movement and arrest.
The organic sense in these particular pieces call out to me to touch the fabric . This is a desired reponse I have always sought. I believe it is the shibori addition that brings that necessary dimension and visual enticement. It is almost like there is a quiet breathe within it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

the influence of nature

Nature  has always directed my decision making  in the studio.

The first kimono style jacket I produced in 1981 used raw silk as the 'canvas' and the imagery was reeds and mountain landscape. 

I used environmentally sensitive water based inks and dyes.
In 1987 I built a studio in the redwoods of Humboldt County where nature imposes herself beautifully minute by minute. Not always quiet, not always peaceful yet always vibrant and creative.

There is a focus on nature at the upcoming international shibori conference in Paris this fall. So I decided to explore new groupings of plants and fibers. Unforseen was the 25 yards of unbleached and undyed woven flax from China I received as a gift. I divided it into several different pieces and went to work 'playing' with plants from morning walks with the dog, a few dyes purchased online, black tea, beets and other garden delights. I then made different size squares for a resist dye technique called itajime. I did some over dying and lift off dying. Just exploring and sometimes loving the results. The great joy was being lost within the process...not too 'lost' but just enough to remember the joy of  surprise and unplanned success when working with new techniques or tools.

So after some blocking, dying, screening, lifting off... (all my personal nomenclature), I have several studies done. 

Shown above in the upper left  is one study in process. 

On the upper right is the studio from which I have worked since 1987, save for a few sojourns elsewhere.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

shibori mixed media

For several years now I have been experimenting with mixing my textile design styles and methods in an effort to give the fabric a sense of transparency and depth.

 My training in screen printing and lithography required a high number of runs to get depth and satisfying three dimensionality. Those printmaking processes did not lend themselves easily to surface design work on a textural surface such as linen, wool, silks and other woven fabrics.

Over the years I have experimented with different ordering in the steps of the process
e.g. first dying the base color, then printing or free hand mono screening/open screening , then perhaps another a dye bath, using a shibori technique, often a lift off dye bath and then perhaps a reapplication of screen or surface design. 
If you mix this up it is bound to be a different depth visually and sometimes you gain when you don't lose.

The excitement for me is really being in the moment of the spontaneity that each process can offer. Then with good fortune I just manipulate and cross a few fingers that the next stage will give me more nuance and beguiling surprises.

These methods are all time consuming and as I work often with a 5 meter stretch of fabric, it can be quite costly if I lose images or even the very fiber structure of the cloth in the process. For years I had a crisper yet more one dimensional style. It often gave my work an Asiatic appearance.  I depended strongly on the use of negative space to enhance the simple yet strong forms that came from my  screening and painting styles. I am still encouraged to not loose sight of the importance in maintaining strong negative space and balance in bold abstract imagery. It is taking some time and patience but the process is inspiring and joyful. 

I hope I can meet with some of you and discuss these techniques at either the trunk show in Paris or during my 3 week exhibit at La Loge de la Concierge...

Inventory for the Paris exhibit and trunk show

I have been thoroughly enjoying the prepping for this upcoming season in Paris.

 It always feels like going back home.  I am also really pleased to be working with friends from the international shibori group.

My dear friend Nadia Tighremt that lived and worked at my Pacific Northwest studio last summer will be sharing the gallery with me at La Loge de la Concierge. Fabulous thought ! 
Our show will be in the most beautiful area of Paris (if there is a singular most beautiful area)...the first arrondissement. Please stop by if you can. Looks like we will be there every evening during the show... or at least 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday... the 21 October to the 9 November. I will be getting a little work done while in town and should be using it as studio space for smaller textile projects.

Trunk Show in Paris

Saturday, November 8, Midday
Musee Quai Branly, Lecture room

Our closing reception requests your presence!

Vernissage / Closing Reception
6 Novembre a partir de 18H
Exposition 21 Octobre au 9 Novembre
Mardi au Vendredi
17H a 21H
by appointment
06 61 66 84 76
La Loge de la Concierge
1er etage
14 rue du Pont-Neuf
75001 Paris