Earth Day Art

Some art from other artists today, celebrating Earth Day, April 22nd, yesterday.

A beautiful, speaking felt sculpture installation on the disappearance of species by my artist friend Carmella Karijo Rother at Wall Space Gallery in Ottawa, part of an exhibition of art on an environmental theme: “Where The Wild Things Aren’t”:



Nuno felted panels overhead:


A thread and bone installation by Jessica Marion Barr. Jessica’s work is about the unexplained 2011 deaths of hundreds of ordinary birds like crows and starlings which had reportedly simply dropped out of the sky en masse.


…Some days as a fibre artist I feel like this old weatherbeaten bench in my garden….was thinking thatbthe Earth might feel similarly sat upon..



But then to console, there is the curated natural environment of one’s garden, and the salve of planted beauties:

“Purple Passion” apple blossom:


Epimedium in pink and yellow:


The first tulips (with pink epimedium) and ferns of a scarily-early spring in USDA Zone 4:


…and the lovely and vigorous perennial Arctic Kiwi Actinidia . Those bead-like white flower buds will eventually give little green edible fruits the size of grapes…to the squirrels…but the gardener gets the wonderful tri-coloured heart- shaped leaves: green, white and pink, soon to unfurl fully and change colour in the sun:


The Forsthyia is almost finished blooming and April is not even over…All over the city of Ottawa I am seeing older varieties of Forsythia in full golden bloom in spots where I had never noticed them before…for many years, over thirty in fact, my older variety ” Nothern Gold” would get nipped by frost in early spring and fail to bloom. But not this year. This yearvit seems that not only my old Forsythia but every last one in the city has produced blossoms…these are the signs of a changing climate.

Here are the last of the golden blossoms among the Lily of the Valley


Happy Saint George’s Day today, April 23rd!

My High School teacher in England, Miss Clarkson, historian and patriot, always wore a red rose on her black (chalk-dusted) academic gown on this day. I always buy red roses on this day in gratitude and love for my native earth – and for my every teacher from then until now.



Forest Floor

A forest floor is a place of new beginnings, nurturing life from the detritus of the old, first drawing down the eye of the body and the eye of the mind so as to enable them together to look up and beyond.

Here are the first images of pieces for my upcoming show “Forest Floor”, July 2012 at the Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa. The work featured is contact printed with plants and rust on silks, linens, cotton and papers and stitched at various stages of the process.

“Eyes of the Forest” (22″ x 96″)

Silk habotai, contact printed with plants and rusted iron; hand stitched. Mounted for hanging on a plexi bar.

1. Section of the work, hanging.


2. Another section:


Third section:


Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

Detail 5

Detail 6


Plants used for contact printing: red cabbage, safflower petals, Osage Orange (dye powder) rooibos tea, black tea.


Spring Garden Art

The garden is coming alive with promise! Today I found my favourites the first violets, growing in the cracks between the flagstones:


In the past, I embroidered this beloved scene with free motion embroidery and beading on a substrate that I first painted with my impressions of blue and lavender violets growing freely:


Beading and little painted cut outs were applied to the finished stitching. As a matter of fact, this was one of my fiirst free motion abtract art stitcheriea, completed in the spring of 2004.

This year, I am wondering how those violet leaves and flowers will look as eco prints…and maybe these plants, too:

This is the first dandelion in my garden (I love dandelions). I have read that dandelion roots can print red but have not heard of anyone who can actually prove that claim.

What about forsythia?


Bleeding Heart?


Korean Pear?


But for sure, this will print: a rusted iron Spring Flower sculpture my husband made :

And more iron Flowers, rusted – they will print:


Not sure how much time I will have before the wedding to eco print the above spring blooms and leaves..

My .last task is to make lots and lots of bunting to decorate the wedding venue!





Eco printed Yorkshire bluebells

Lovely Cousin Pam in Ilkley, Yorkshire surprised me today with a package of bluebells from the fragrant wood beside her house near the Tops. She had wrapped them in paper, and still wet from the woods, they left another beautiful presence there:


Next bluebell print, on silk.

Thank you, Pam!