Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lost in Time

February Sunset

I guess my friends and family wonder what has become of me. Certainly I have found it hard to keep up with my blogging, and all other forms of communication it seems. Days roll by in a haze of activity, but when I look back at what I have accomplished I hardly know how to account for the time.

We have been experiencing an incredible winter, with skies so blue and sun so bright some days that it is hard to concentrate on anything else. While people in England are drifting away in flood waters, we here in northern France hardly know it is still winter. We shouldn't get complacent I know, as last year Easter was much colder than Christmas. One prefers having the seasons at the proper time of year! Local conventional wisdom suggests that frosts are possible, even likely, well into May. So far this winter our temperatures have been nowhere near that low. We have started to spend a little time in the garden, already anticipating spring.

Finally, we also finished our studio renovations, which included a new piece of furniture which Rick put together for me. It was designed with my friend Gail Rieke's beautiful suitcase wall in mind:

Gail Rieke's studio in Santa Fe

Of course I don't have all those beautiful old valises and I don't make the kind of art that Gail does. Each one of those suitcases on the wall contains an entire journey world, a journal of a specific voyage that Gail has taken. If you're lucky enough to visit her on one of her open studio days, she just might unpack one of them for you. They are not just random things thrown into a container. Not at all. Each is an incredible assemblage.

So what I designed for Rick to make was based more on the idea of having a little custom made shelf for all my art supplies. What a  challenge I presented to my ever-game husband. It took many days to complete.

New supply cupboard in the studio

I was very pleased with the results; it makes my space so much more efficient. After building a new sewing corner unit for me as well, hanging all my pictures, cleaning up the print room and even creating a little darkroom, I feel very well served for some big and fun projects in 2014. Now if I could only slow down time, perhaps I could get to some of them!

Sunny day in the studio

A neat table waiting for messy projects

Inspiration wall

I have been doing some sewing projects and some printmaking, but these are all secret projects that I can't post. It is Quinn and Zinnie's birthday month, and the presents are not yet presented to them, so can't be displayed to the world as yet.

I can show you a painting I recently completed.

Color and texture, an oil painting experiment

This year I intend to be doing more photography as well. My darkroom is set up for new experimentation with cyanotype and photo-etching.

Here's a bouquet I picked from the climbing rose at the front of the house just before Rick pruned it back. Be sure to enjoy the table the rose sits on, which was a gift from our dear friend David, who found it in his barn in Brittany. At first glance we thought the legs were hand turned, but look a little closer, you'll see how they are made. Quite clever and funny!

Yellow roses

Happy Valentine's day to all!

Forest of Montmirail


  1. Well, this is a much better way to start my day than on-line hassles with a bank!
    Your new studio fixtures are lovely. and I do like that it jade? ...geometric piece above the fireplace. Oh!I like it all!

  2. Happy Valentines Nancy. Good to hear your news. Your studio looks wonderful, especially your custom shelves. The space looks so inviting - ready for some fun and mess to be made.

  3. Dear Nancy,
    I am honored to be part of the new exquisite blog... worth waiting for!
    Of course I love the shelves that you designed and Rick made.
    How lucky we are to have such supportive and handy dandy guys!
    How I long to play in your studio again...