Posts from September 2020

autumn

September 16, 2020

“Autumn exists to remind us that things must end to begin again.” While I know this to be true, I wasn’t quite ready for the sight of crimson leaves on the pavement, or the absence of children’s voices in our home. I wasn’t quite ready for evening porch hour to turn into Netflix hour, or for my Chup socks and Birkenstocks to meet. I wasn’t quite ready for night to fall so early, and for our neighbours to retreat to their kitchens and dens before dark. I am never ready for the chill in the air, and more so than usual, my body is opposing it. I am not quite ready. But are we ever?

dahlia

September 15, 2020

I love dahlias, but cut ones rarely last more than a few days. I’d sooner look at this painting of dahlias by Irish artist, Oisín Byrne. It’s thanks to his husband, Jasper Conran that I know of it. Conran posted it this morning on his Instagram feed, with a lovely ode to his late, great Dad, Terrence who passed this weekend. “Dahlia heaven. A treasure to last many lifetimes . Thank you so much @byrneoisin and to my Daddy for giving me a passion for dahlias.”

silence is golden

September 14, 2020

“My preference is always to work in silence,” says ceramic artist, Amy Dov. “I need to hear the sound of the wheel or the tone from the tool on the clay. Somehow I see better when it is quiet.” I love that last line. It’s so true. “Let us have the luxury of silence,” writes Jane Austen in Mansfield Park. Dov’s home studio looks like such a peaceful place, with all her warm, earthy wares scattered around it. These vases remind me of pomegranates, and these ones look like large pebbles that have washed up on a beach. Take a look at her beautiful wall hangings, also.

age issue

September 11, 2020

My mother-in-law turned 70 yesterday. At some point in the day, it occurred to me that Frida was 46 when I met her. That’s basically the age that Jason is now. And I’m not far behind. At 19 –– that’s how old I was when I met Jason –– 46 was lightyears away. Our parents were middle aged. And that seemed old. My jeans hovered around my pelvis bone, Frida’s buttoned up above her navel. Time really does fly. Of course, now that I’m in my 40s I realize that it’s not old at all. And that higher waisted jeans are chicer and more comfortable. And that lines on a face give it life and movement. And that wisdom comes from experience, better yet, reflecting on that experience. And that all these lessons take at least two decades to absorb.

Judging books by their covers

September 10, 2020

It was the cover of a Nancy Mitford book that led me to Lourdes Sanchez. I then discovered that a few years ago Penguin had published new editions of a series of Nancy Mitford books, all featuring the Cuban-born artist’s beautiful geometric patterns. Her watercolours are hard not to love. And it’s not just her bold use of colour that draws you in. There’s a looseness, and a surrendering to the medium’s natural urge to bleed and blend that I find an interesting contrast to the geometry of her patterns. Sanchez also created art for 250 limited edition copies of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Each one was printed on satin and stamped with gold foil.

house & home

September 9, 2020

I love walking into a home that feels like a self portrait, one that tells the story of the person living in it. I like to scan the books, photographs and tchotchke on the shelves. At best, these vignettes –– coloured glass, vintage tea boxes, shells found at a beloved beach –– provide tiny glimpses into the homeowner’s psyche. This wall caught my eye, and not just because of the Marlin. I love the mix of ceramics, books and bones. The shelf is curated, but not contrived. It feels warm, thoughtful and interesting. It’s busy, but loosely arranged. It makes me wonder who lives in this house; better yet, it makes me want to have a cup of tea with them.

day by day

September 9, 2020

My son kept track of the days. He marked them off, one by one, on a paper calendar that he stuck to his bedroom wall with hockey tape. I remember him counting down the days to his April birthday. We watched Trolls World Tour that day and ate ice cream cake. And to the last day of school. What a surreal way to end the school year. And to the week we moved house. All the brown boxes, so much excitement, and so many tears. He had a Sharpie taped to the wall. And alongside the calendar were ticket stubs from a hockey game he went to see before sports got cancelled, as well as an old photograph of Jason and I, and our Schnauzer, Cecil. Antimo talks about Cecil all the time, even though there’s no way he could remember him. When we moved back to Robert Street, he stopped counting the days. He kept the calendar though, and still has it taped to the pin board above his new desk. “Best Year Ever,” is what he’s written across the top. It’s too soon to tell how the last six months will land with children. My hope is that ours don’t waste their time with the bad, and that they live with the good. I suppose that is what every parent hopes for.

expression

September 7, 2020

Colleen Herman is inspired by some great female artists; Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Perle FineI also see a fair amount of Cy Twombly in her colour rich, painterly stokes. These images, shot in her Tribeca studio, are wonderfully inspiring. I love all the gorgeous pops of colour against her crisp white walls. I read that she’ll listen to the same song again and again and then complete a canvas in a single track. “I listen to the same song over and over until it becomes a field of sound, an environment that shapes a mood.” Her paintings resonate with me, you may feel the same.

sea woman

September 4, 2020

For hundreds of years, the Haenyeo –– sea women — of Jeju Island have fed their families with food that they have harvested from the ocean. In this poignant film, Hawaii-based professional freediver, Kimi Werner invites us into a sisterhood, buoyed by tradition, community and the waters that surrounds them. “These women, they are known to have gone diving throughout their whole nine months of pregnancy, going into labour right on the water, having babies on the boat and continuing to dive after becoming a Mom,” says Werner, six months pregnant herself while shooting the film. “They kind of became this symbol of strength and resilience, and providers.” With no oxygen mask, the women freedive deep into the ocean to harvest horned conch, octopus and abalone. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Their life is humble, but meaningful. “I see their skin that’s been weathered by the ocean, that’s been tanned and wrinkled. I see a sisterhood of support and love. I see a vision of what real beauty means to me….I see the woman I want to be.”

lake swim

September 4, 2020

I swam in the lake today, my second lake swim of the summer, and it was invigoratingly cold. The wind was so strong, that the lake felt like an ocean, wild and free. It was only for a few minutes that I swam –– on my back and a few strokes of front crawl –– but that wonderful feeling of being fully submerged will stay with me for weeks.

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