It hardly seems possible, or real, after many months of preparation and anticipation. We will arrive in Paris tomorrow morning, spend the night there, and head to Flers on Sunday where our host will meet us at the train station and bring us to our gite in Athis de L'Orne. There we will get settled in and begin the process of finishing up Jess's amazing piece, called Transatlantic, and you will begin to see images that we both will be posting here on this blog, and hers, and on instagram and facebook. What a different world than 1971-1972 when I last spent an extended time in France, as a teenager, with a host family, studying for the year in Rennes. We'll be very close to Rennes and I intend to get there to visit and see how it has changed and how it has stayed the same. Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose, right? The land of crepes! Sweet and savory. Besides being helpful to Jessica, I have a small part to play in the overall installation and have been painting long lengths of clouds on Yupo, which is not my usual m.o. but it has been instructive and fun. We'll see how they mesh with the sculptural components that Jess has spent months carving from basswood as well as generating digitally on paper for the sculptural installation she has conceived for the residency. A bientot!
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
On June 1 I will be flying to France with my artist buddy Jessica Straus who has been invited to be an artist in residence in Normandy. She has asked me to give her a hand, keep her company and collaborate on her project there which will be a site specific sculpture. She has been given an old chapel for the installation and it is already well under way. My part of it, as of today anyway, will be an artist book of sorts that will make use of the walls while her piece will cover the floor with parts suspended from the ceiling. I don't want to give too much away! The town is Athis de l'Orne which is between Paris and Rennes, close to Brittany where I spent a year as a high school student. In addition to this town being in the country and looking like (online anyway) a sweet place to spend the month the directors of the residency have created a public garden over the last six or so years called Le Ciel Ouvert. You can see a great short video online on youtube (it's in French of course but you'll see a beautiful garden with numerous different "rooms." In preparation for the trip I am taking a French conversation class in Rockland, two hours each week. It is so much fun and the teacher is great. Jessica speaks French, too, and has extended family in France (her mother was French and came to America as a young newly wed) so we will visit with them as well. I hope to see some of the French family with whom I lived as a student with School Year Abroad. It will take some sleuthing to be back in touch with them. That's enough for now, I guess. I am posting an image of a current project that has nothing to do with the trip to France but everything to do with how much I enjoy making abstract collage. These were inspired by the colors of the blueberry barrens here on Appleton Ridge in the fall. Exquisite range of reds. I made a total of 52, have given some away. A bientot!