Monthly Archives: May 2013

Above the Fold

Herault regional newspaper

Herault regional newspaper interview.

The arts scene in Roujan and region is well supported by the regional newspaper, Midi-Libre. Their local arts and events correspondent, Victor Morales,  came to the GalleriMSF to interview me, with expert translation assistance by Jessie Jones, the gallery curator. The interview was a lively three-way discussion in two languages. The attached article captures the essence of the exposition and the travel journal workshop.

The piece was published in the Saturday paper, with my name in the headline displayed in a startlingly large font. As they say in the trade, “it’s better to be above the fold”.

As the newspaper web site is a curated blog, and doesn’t publish every article online,  I include a pdf of the news item below for downloading for those who read French. Or want to try.


After Jessie departed, Victor and I continued our discussions – using hand gestures to overcome our linguistic barriers.  Turns out he has vivid memories of bookbinding as a youth, and expressed great interest in my sketch of the Alexander woodshed at Sakinah Lake, wanting to know if it was a typical example of regional architecture!

I enjoyed interviewing the interviewer.

Leather and Paper and Thread

Trio of young journal makers

Trio of young journal makers, Kate, Zoe and Emiline

A group of intrepid women and one man assembled at the GalleriMSF in Roujan to try their hand at making a travel journal.  The term for ‘workshop’ in French is ‘atelier animé‘.  It was indeed an animated day, with laughter, concentration, and not a single needle injury!

We worked with beautiful leather acquired en route to France.  Goat hides came from a dusty Moroccan leather shop in Barcelona,  while a buttery piece of calf leather was donated by a handbag studio in Rome. Canson watercolour paper, hand torn and bound into signatures, offered a versatile surface for those who draw, paint, collage or write.

It is one thing to hand-make a beautiful leather bound travel journal. It is quite another to fill it. To ease the fear of a blank page, I shared strategies for getting started, and offered examples of various painting and drawing styles,  including painting with wine…and espresso. Composition tips rounded out the afternoon seminar.

I always credit Mark Glavina of Phoenix Art Workshop in Steveston, BC for inspiring me to take up the art of plein air painting. If I wasn’t in the south of France, I would be travelling in Bali, Indonesia with Mark and his painting group right now.  Columbia in January 2014 is the next proposed destination. Anyone care to join me?

The gallery’s favourite local chef Debbi presented a beautiful lunch to workshop participants, served in the garden.  In the Languedoc region a glass of rosé is required with meals.  The
orange almond cake was sublime. Recipe available for those who send me an email.

Enjoy this gallery of pics from the workshop. Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially Jessie Jones, for her help and coordination.

Le Vernissage complet

Guests from the Languedoc region attended the vernissage May 3

Guests from the Languedoc region attended the vernissage May 3.

My ‘Reconfiguré show opened in Roujan the evening of Friday, May 3rd. It was a wonderful experience. The Centre International et Regional des Arts, GaleriMSF  is housed in a 18th C former ‘barn’, complete with stone rubble walls, ancient crooked beams and a tile roof punctuated by small skylights, which admit narrow streams of intense Languedoc light.
Bright blue shutters on the street side provide a distinctive look along the Avenue Henri Mas.

The opening capped 4 days of on-site work, and many months of preparation. Chuck and I unpacked the boxes of art shipped from Canada, bought frames, assembled the works, ‘mounted’ the exhibition, created labels, and a guest signing board. Gary, our host, made his own preparations, rehearsing with his jazz trio, and organizing our wine sponsor, Domain de Cadablès.  While Jessie Jones, the resident artist and curator, ensured that patrons, supporters and neighbours were invited.

The principal gallery space displays  my ‘Slat Series’ – a group of 15 large ‘reconfigured’ paintings that explore the theme of human intervention in the landscape, as well as several smaller works.  The back room features my travel ‘Plein Air’ sketches, with over 100 reproductions strung like laundry!   (Chuck added a few socks and shirts for effect.)

At 6:30pm, the doors opened, the wine flowed, and there was lots of lively interest and discussion in English & French. The jazz was sublime.  Chuck presented my brief speech en français sparing me the challenge. I wore the beautiful jacket made by my sister Nicky for the occasion. One young guest drew me a charming picture of a tank as a gift. Parfait.

Enjoy this gallery of photos from the evening. Thank you all who helped, and attended.