Saturday, August 29, 2009

wall stories...

Have you ever felt the history of a place appearing through the aging walls of a city's buildings? The older a place is, the more I feel images and sounds emanating from its homes; the more ancient the towns or their sacred ruins, the stronger their history's narration fills the surrounding space. Maybe because I was born in a very old country, surrounded by remnants of thousands of years history, maybe because of that I always feel by walking on the streets and alleys of an old town that I truly touch its past and almost become part of it! Here are some images portraying excerpts from the stories I sensed while walking in the streets in Holland.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

patterns on the pavement...


I have a rather annoying habit: I walk fast, while I look down! In the past I found myself in rather awkward situations, trying to convince friends that indeed I had not seen them coming right in front of me, that's why I kept walking and not greeting them, while I kept looking down! I have no idea how many times they did not believe me...
Well, lately I start feeling great about this strange habit of mine and the reason is... the beauty I am discovering on the pavements! At least here in Haarlem -also in Amsterdam- I get such a kick every time I discover a sidewalk, street or entrance floor worth stopping, admiring and photographing it, all while I keep looking down!!! Have a look on these photos and let me know if you agree with me.
Wonderful Thursday afternoon everyone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

front doors...



Front doors must be extra special to Dutch people; or perhaps it's me, so totally taken by the quiet, charmingly home oriented image that I "read" on people's faces and demeanor, that I see charm and special unique touches everywhere, especially by and on the front doors! Like this handmade lace insert on the square window of one of Haarlem home's door. For sure though, and judging by what I see on homes that in most cases have been standing here for a few centuries, this desire to embellish the door has been going strong for a few hundred years. How can one grow bored walking on these tiny streets? I feel like walking in a gallery, seeking out special exhibits... Sometimes I experience this anxious desire, very similar to what I get when I visit museums and can't wait to go to the next and the next and the next after that room, ready to be exhilarated by what I'll find to see, absorb, admire (sometimes also reject!) there... So here I have some samples of what there is on, by, above, or near the inspiring doors of this old Dutch city.

Monday, August 24, 2009

thoughts from Holland

For the last ten days I am in Holland, staying in Haarlem -a small city just fourteen miles west of Amsterdam. Although I have visited the country many times before, this is my first lengthy stay and I am discovering the core differences between a short visit's site-seeing plans and impressions, and the longer stay's discoveries... Mind you I am still madly interested, actually enamored of visiting museums. This time I have visited some new ones and revisited some others; every time there is something "new" to see, something old that resonates anew and then something that every time I see it..., it seems "new"! But now the element of "I need to squeeze this walk or this gallery visit etc. in the next # of days/hours" not being present, I end up doing THE most luxerious thing for a visitor: walking aimlessly, stoping, absorbing sites, sounds as I please, starting the day with one thing planned and ending up with all kinds of unplanned stops and all that without having checked the watch for time... Oh, if this is not a true luxury!!! So here I am, reaching this conclusion about the main element of difference in between a tourist's short planned visit and a fortunate visitor's (that's ME!!!) longer stay: we see everything magnified! it's a close up visit, a true blow-up if you prefer...
So here are some photos of this close-up kind of visit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

my latest...

...coptic stitch album!
It 's incredible how fast time goes by and how long it has been since I last posted...
I have been quite busy, and although I planned to post an overview of my latest work before leaving, I never succeeded. So here I am now in my hotel room in charming Haarlem, looking through my files and discovering I never showed my latest coptic stitch paste papers album.
I spent quite some time experimenting (fooling around is closer to the truth!) with paste and paste decorated papers and ended up with a mount of all sorts of successful and not so successful examples. Also sometime ago I had cut a number of boards, with the intention to bind them in a coptic stitch album structure. So there I was in a perfect mood and with a perfect assembly of materials and the result is -in my opinion- a brilliant colorful and super happy looking book!!! The magic of this stitch is that you end up with a book that every page opens up flat! Perfect for a photo album, artist's portfolio, or in this case my paste paper sample book.
More on my papers and Holland soon...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

labels, tags, etc.

When it comes to paper... I just cannot throw away anything that has some kind of design "thought" on its surface! Today I came across a bunch of garment tags I have been saving and realized that all forms of art schools and movements are loosely represented! Having been in the fashion design business, I always pay attention to everything associated with the final product; I deaply appreciate it when I see the design story carried all the way to the little -or big- tag!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

for the exiled caryatid...

Every time I visited the British Museum's Parthenon marbles exhibits, I felt the greatest sadness when facing the lonely caryatid in that side room... Every time I went, I ended up leaving while wiping tears. Since the opening of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens I have been thinking of her. Today I finished a book titled "in exile". How great will be one day to make an other one for her with the title: "welcome home"...

Monday, August 3, 2009

my disorderly order...

Hard to believe is August! Outside is sizzling hot, inside is cool and the usual arty disorder...
I always promise to put things in order "tomorrow", but this kind of tomorrow doesn't come as promised... On the other hand is kind of hard to put an order when there are usually at least three projects going and a myriad of scribbly thoughts and ideas everywhere! To tell you the truth, I find this kind of mess oh, so charming!
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