Monday, December 10, 2012


On that Thursday night in Paris, talking over dessert and creating around the table, there was a mosaic artist in our group.  

She told us about a commission she did for a church, in Santa Barbara, CA. 
Instead of working on a 3 fold accordion book she chose a tag, cutting & pasting lots of little pieces, like she was creating a mosaic.
I've used the tags with other groups.  It always amazes me what creatives come up with, designing in such a compact space. 

As you see in the photo above, she took a turn sharing the 'story' behind her piece.

Moving on to other experiences in Paris in the next posts.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


A couple of my photos of the Thursday evening artists were out of focus. I Photoshopped them in the film grain filter - kind of embracing the blur!

With glue stick in hand, this artist really went at it! 

Her collage was amazing! 

She designed-outside of the borders of the tri-fold book, with movable parts even. 

I bet she was a fun person! 

Her playful nature came out in her artwork!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Each of our Thursday night artists approached their collage-making intuitively. First creative cues were taken from painted paper colors, cut shapes and rubber stamped images. Off to a good start, they got lost in the process and had fun creating. 
Artist no.1 designed on both sides of a tri-fold, pictured above. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


In the evening (same day as the brunch) more new friends came to our friends' apartment. Over dessert and coffee we got to know each other.  Then out came some art to share. One thing led to another, the plates and cups were whisked away and the collage materials were spread on the coffee table.  
Materials: acrylic painted papers, rubber stamped images, markers, scissors and glue.

They were ready to create! I presented 2 options - design collages on a 3 page accordion book or a manila string tag.

The hour might have been late but they sure got into it!

There's Martha designing her book and our hosts and little John at the edge of all the activity!

Next post-what they created.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I mean really! They do! We do! What do they say? One man's junk is another man's treasure?!  Let's change that to 'woman's' !

My friend, Martha, is an expert in this area. Case in point. After the brunch, our friends gave us directions to a nearby market.  

After tracking down a couple narrow streets, we found it. Not big market but a noisy one!

The venders were loudly hawking their produce before closing time. 

What is that - beneath the table of veggies?  Martha spots a very cool empty crate!  But they might be using it after closing. Better leave it, I said.

Then I spotted a pile of garbage - discarded broken up crates and spoiled vegetables. Maybe a crate for Martha in the pile! We picked through the pile alongside a couple poor souls looking for free food. 
YES!  Found one! Photo-Martha & her treasures.

Oh look over there! An even higher pile of garbage, more crates, more spoiled vegetables!

As we dug around with the locals, who should appear, finding us picking through the garbage but our friend, Al!  Photo on right

Totally rolling with the scene, he hurriedly told us that another group of friends were coming over to the apartment tonight to meet us. Could we be there at 8pm? Dessert and art!
YES! We were hoping this group would come!

He took our crates back to his place and we were off to the metro and the center of Paris.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


When not out and about, Martha and I spent a lot of time at our friends' home, meeting women from their communities, sharing art and of course eating tasty French treats! 

This brings us to continuing yesterday's post. 

Our new friends arrived for brunch. They had not met each other before this morning and enjoyed discovering what they had in common as we had coffee and croisants. 
I brought a variety of artwork to share and pulled out what seemed of interest to this group. The young moms, I thought, would be interested in the books I made with my grandson, Zach. I shared 2, Kittykee and Kittykee's Party(click link)  photo above

The books were passed around and prompted interested conversation.

Zach's books in France! 7 years old and his books have gone international! 
Another piece was All-Tout(click link) an accordion book. It was exhibited at an invitational exhibit in Paris, titled Stations(click link) 

As they were leaving they asked if they could do this again. A great ending. No actually a great beginning!  above-holding book; right: All-Tout unfolded

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Afternoon before the brunch:

There they are...4 bakers, in 4 aprons, in the kitchen. 

Martha directed these very good assistants in putting together cheese blintzes for the brunch the next day.
Next morning:

I don't bake. I buy. So there I was picking out croissants and other chocolate goodies to add to the blintzes, that the 4 bakers made the afternoon before. 

This is our friends' cozy warm home. The table is all set for brunch in the living area.  

We're waiting for the guests to arrive after dropping their children off at school.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


The streets of Montmartre were teeming with people. 

After seeing the artists in the square, we were off to find a post office. 
(Martha's photo)
We tracked down the post office on the other side of town. 

While I bought stamps, Martha wandered down the street and found a book shop, selling only children's books! What a find!

As we poked around the shop, we found story books made in the accordion book format.
Noting our interest, the shop keeper went in the back room and brought out, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge - Little Red Riding Hood

Totally great book design!  Sold! 

click on photos to enlarge

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Martha had been to Montmartre on her last trip to Paris. So she led the way up the steps to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur and into the maze of narrow streets. 

Where was the square with all the artists?  Found it!
There were interesting shots of artists in every direction.  Here's three I took. 

I couldn't help but put the pictures through the 'film grain' filter in photoshop. 

It all kind of looked like a movie set!

This artist was sitting by her easel, watching the crowds go by. 

click on photos to enlarge

Friday, November 9, 2012


It was a brisk walk from our hostel to the metro everyday. 

There were two book shops along the way and even more patisseries. That's Paris! But we put our Euros on the books. 

Between the two bookshops was this crazy Tapa place, El Toro Loco - The Crazy Bull. With this eye-full, we were transported momentarily to Spain! The front looked like one big collage, making it an obvious photo-op.
Back to the book stores* on the way to the metro.  *libraries in French

Martha found two great books.  Like me, she deliberated parting with her Euros, but I convinced her - she had to have them! 

Ma Maison, was a children's book with a great cover - loved the color and design. The story was all about 'my house'. 
Pablo, the story of Picasso, was told in cartoon strips.  I looked up the author, Max Jacob. He was a friend of Picasso. Very interesting. I wonder when this book was first printed?

Next time Martha comes to visit me, I'll ask her to bring these two along.  I want to take a closer look. 

I bought two other children's books. You'll see.

To be continued....

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Martha and I did a lot of walking  in Paris. On those walks we passed many patisseries with their delicious treats. 

Martha snapped this picture of me doing some serious decision making, picking out some pastries to serve that morning as we met new friends and shared some art over brunch.
Almost as prevalent were the libraries! What a treat to wander into these well stocked book shops, found in nearly every neighborhood.

Martha snapped this picture of the book shop assistant translating the children's book,
Rikimini, for me.

What caught my eye about the book was the snowy landscape on the cover. I collect 'snowy' children's books.

But I wondered why is the little boy carrying a saw? So I asked for a translation. In the story, he had no friends, so he sawed twigs off a tree to create imaginary friends.  

That was an OK answer. So I did buy Rikimini

click on photos to enlarge 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


When I teach and share my art overseas, I enjoy giving postcards of the artwork I've shown. At the end of the Creation book class I gave the young artists the Creation postcard.

One of our artists thought it was a fun idea to stand in front of the Creation quilt with her Creation card.

click on photos to enlarge

Next post...moving on to more experiences that Martha and Marge had in Paris.

Monday, November 5, 2012


The young artists in the class at L'Eglise du Marais, in Paris, needed no help from the teacher. I just looked on.

Once they understood the creative challenge they got down to serious work, enjoying every minute.

The task at hand was to create the Creation story on the seven pages of the accordion book. 

Here is Matisse (yes that is his name!) proudly showing off his completed book.  

Where is Martha? Behind the camera shooting pictures.

Here is another proud artist showing off her book.  Her style was minimal, reminding me of my grand-daughter's approach to story collage.

It was fun for me to be back in the class room with children, where I started my teaching career many years ago.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


At L'Eglise Reformee du Marais, my Creation quilt hung on a coat rack during the Creation collage book class we taught, bringing color and story into the room.  

Martha and I loved watching the young artists - so involved in the creative process. 

(click on any of the 3 photos to enlarge)

It was great to have extra adults in the class, assisting the young artists. 

more to share coming soon....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Martha and I spent 2 Sunday morning's at L'Eglise Reformee du Marais, where we taught accordion collage books inspired by the Creation account in Genesis 1. 

We worked with a great group of kids in grades 1 to 5, creating collaged pictures on simple accordion books with rubber stamped images, painted papers, scissors and glue sticks.

The top photo shows a corner of our classroom with students and class helpers busy creating. 

The bottom two photos show 2 students happy and thoughtfully engaged in beginning the creative process.

The story of creating the Creation accordion be continued.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Actually the inspiration was in the Louvre's museum shops. Yes, plural! 3 glorious shops with great stuff! The book section of the largest shop was really great! What a place to be inspired!!

photo 1 (shot by Martha)
Pyramid w/escalator taking you downstairs to Louvre entrance and great hall with 1st class Museum shops. 

photo 2 ( shot by Martha)
Museum shop window with Mona Lisa books. Her portrait, the museum's pride and joy, without a doubt!

photo 3 
I loved the image on the Couleurs book cover. It reminded me of my Moroccan aerial dye-vat series. 

The circles in this case were painted on squares of newsprint.  Very interesting. I might play with that idea in the studio.

click on photos to enlarge

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Martha and I both had places on our Paris "love to see" bucket list.

I was hoping to see the little sailboats at the Luxembourg Gardens. There's Martha snapping the guy who rents those sailboats.  

Of the museums I wanted to visit, was the Musée d'Orsay. We did and afterward here's Martha snapping the 'locks' on one of the bridges by the D'Orsay. 

On Martha's list was seeing Jim Morisson's grave at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. We found it after quite a bit of searching. Here's Martha snapping graveside.