workshop

What I've been up to... art and announcements!

What I've been up to... art and announcements!

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Hi friends! There has been much going on lately! So here is a visual peek at what I've been doing lately (although I won't be including pics of my stay-at-home-with-sick-daughter days...) and a few announcements!

First announcement:  I am so proud and excited to be a contributing artist to this beautiful book, which will be published next October! And it's already available for preorder from Amazon! For those of you still wondering what mixed media really is all about, this should be an excellent place to start!

Below is an affiliate link, which means that if you purchase the book from my blog, I get a little gift certificate to buy more art supplies! Thank you for supporting my creative dream!

Incite, Dreams Realized: The Best of Mixed Media

My mom came over on Monday so we could try our Gelli Arts printing plates together. What a fun day! It is such a blessing to be able to share our passion. If any of you have creative parents and have never tried creating alongside each other, I really encourage you to try it! It's a great way to (re)connect, share "a-ha" moments and see our parents in a different light. When my mom made her first sheet of marble paper, she screamed in delight and I got a glimpse of the little girl in her... priceless!

I've been working on 2 paintings lately, one of which was pretty much stuck last January but is now starting to unfold:

The other one is a commission for some friends and the theme is travel and old trains. Why you ask? Well, their guest room has this incredible wooden floor made of old train wagon planks, in rich brown and red tones... Look how gorgeous it is:

And here is what the (almost finished) painting has been going through. There was a moment when I thought it was finished, but something was missing, still is actually. Since then I rotated the canvas and erased the black letters, it's coming together... patience...

On Sunday night, out of the blue a new assemblage "had" to come out. Although it might seem all nice and cute with its Little red riding hood pictures and vintage look, that one was hard. It pushed and pulled me until I unearthed some difficult memories and experiences and faced them. It's going to be part of the "winged keys" series, but I'm not yet sure it's going to have a key at all, maybe just a key hole. I don't know, we'll see how it evolves. What I do know is that its title is "Innocent".

So lots of work in progress! The spring break starts this Friday here, and we're going to Brittany. I probably won't have any internet for a week, but please please please leave me lots of comments, I'll read them when I get back! 

And second announcement: next month you're in for a treat! I'll be starting a new blog series that will introduce you to some gorgeous art, amazing artists and beautiful stories! It will be called "Once upon a time..."

♥ Thank you each for your continuing support and kindness ♥

♥ Have an inspired week-end and week! ♥

Too web or not too web

 Too web or not too web

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You might remember that last summer I attended a fiber arts workshop (Sacred White) at one of my favorite museums, the Musée Jean-Lurçat in Angers (France). Well, last week I had the great pleasure of doing it again! These workshops are always centered around the current exhibition, and this time it was about the 10th international triennial exhibition of mini-textiles. This exhibition is always so amazing, so varied and original. If you come to the Loire Valley before the end of May, you should definitely stop by!

Here are a few words about the exhibition, borrowed from the museum's website (what? me, lazy?...)

"For the 7th consecutive edition in Angers, the Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine is organizing and hosting the 10th international triennial exhibition of mini-textiles. This year’s theme, proposed by Pierre Daquin is: “Too web or not to web”. For over fifteen years, the city of Angers and its contemporary tapestry museum have been home to this eagerly-awaited gathering between contemporary textile creation and the public. Each artist presents a work that is made by using thread or another similar material. The work’s dimensions should not be greater than 12 x 12 x 12 cm (in surface or volume). The small format marries talent and diversity: the triennial attracts established and emerging artists and is a place where the young and not-so-young rub shoulders." (source: http://musees.angers.fr/langues-etrangeres/english/the-exhibitions/10th-international-triennial-of-mini-textiles/index.html)

(NB: 12 cm is approximately 4,7")

Reel detail by Laly Mille
Reel detail by Laly Mille

So, in the museum's little studio, we each started working on our own little weaving loom! The theme of the exhibition is a play on the word "web" (textile and internet) so we were supposed to keep this in mind as well as the "minitextile" format. I don't know why, but I instantly felt that my textile's look should be the opposite of "technological". I didn't want it to be smooth or geometrical. On the contrary, I needed it to feel natural, with contrasted textures and colors reminiscent of moss, bark, grass, feathers and sea mist... I needed it to feel messy, soft and rugged, like life is, something you couldn't help touching... I needed it to feel the opposite of virtual, I needed it to feel REAL.

Reel detail by Laly Mille
Reel detail by Laly Mille

Then, when I took it off the loom, I started to stroke it and twist it. I decided it shouldn't remain flat and ultimately I gave it a curved shape, like a nest. And then it needed to hold something inside it, some sort of egg... I was still thinking about our assigned theme, about virtual vs. real, about how the web affects our real lives.

I looked up the word "real" ("réel" in French) on Wikipedia and there, in front of my computer, I thought: "So this is 'real'... oh but at the same time it's not, because I'm reading it on my computer screen, so it's a virtual thing too... this is fun!" So I decided to push it a bit further: I printed the text (on a real sheet of paper, with real ink) then cut it into strips that I glued to one another so that it became a really long strip (deconstruction / reconstruction of reality??). I rolled it and locked it into a little clear, smooth, not-so-natural plastic bubble... There is my egg! Its round shape could figure the Earth, and I wrapped some wired string around it (connections? prison?...)

Reel detail by Laly Mille

It's funny how the first part of the work was very intuitive and the second part weirdly intellectual... But after all, on Wikipedia, the last word of the definition of the word "réel" is... "psychose" (psychosis)! So I guess in some way it makes sense...

Reel detail by Laly Mille