Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Flash Of Orange!

What? The polls are now reading very, very high for our side. Could it be that the new government in Canada could either be an NDP Government or an NDP Official Opposition . My Golly!
The hateful homophobic slur this morning probably helped not hurt.
Is it true that Canadians are finally going to get off their butts and not let this hideous corporate agenda continue?
Time to flash the ORANGE!

Inner Beast

Where is this going? Seems to be going somewhere. It is smokin' in here!
Not yet 7:00 am and listening to Gypsy Jazz and shakin' it...

Friday, April 29, 2011


It is time to haul out one of my most important tools. I call her when I need discipline. Normally it is I who must be obeyed. But sometimes my fancy just keeps being caught by shiny objects, dazzling people and naughty thoughts. All this work needs to be done and set up for my show in Quesnel. There are piles of unfinished pieces. Things have to get written and edited and course plans edited and sent.

So I call on my inner "Dominatrix". She is relentless with me and shows no mercy. She allows no diversion. She is very, very strict.

So now I have to submit or I will just have a pile of cloth bits and no show.

"Gift of My Self" made from artist's hair lost during chemotherapy and synthetic hair.
Wrapping cloth is devore silk rayon velvet printed with plants cells and dipped in wild indigo.
5 Feet in length.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back In The Studio

Went back into the studio today for the a few hours.
Had to spend two hours putting things back together because I make a mess.
Still having to haul looms around. And drafting tables.

Overwhelmed myself but managed to get the projects organized for finishing. More work done than I realised and some old work that hasn't really been seen fits with what I am trying to do for Quesnel.

Got required tea, required hugs and came home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Pets.

Photo taken quickly, under the eaves and at risk so the focus isn't great. These little buggers weren't very happy with me. But they are paper wasps and not killer bees!

Experimented with wasp attraction other than a picnic lunch. They have started making a nest exactly where wanted. Let's see how big it gets.

I collect wasp paper. Wasps aren't killed. They leave the nest in the fall.
Other insects use the nest. I once found 7 different insect species using an old nest.

So now that I might know how to attract them it might be possible to control where they construct these beautiful structures.

Wasps are the ultimate paper makers and recyclers. They have tough little jaws. I once saw a nest they had constructed using newsprint and indoor outdoor fake grass carpet!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My House


Marbles for when I lose mine and for shibori tying
Wishbones for emergency use.
Spousal unit being a complete brat and who is, by the way, far too sick to be demanding attention and distracting me from purpose.
The pantry which Tim fills to bursting. A dedicated foodie. Poor me.
Inspiring stuff on the bookcase in the front hall.
Kitchen sign from an old Vancouver Chinatown restaurant.
Spice shelf to do just that.
My front window with ivy clinging to it allowing me to see the root structure and pretend I live in the forest and not the Inner City. Where I sit, read and do my art when not in the studio at Williams Street.
Living room with some of my trunks and boxes used when needing to be portable.
Glow in the dark bugs. Turn off the light when taking a bath and they illuminate the way.
Bathroom wall shelf holding volcanic rock and two beloved Wendy Berry sculptures

Bedroom hanging first seen when waking up.

Here are some of my favourite places in this little house.
Excuse the unmade bed but if you come into my home or my life you will probably find one somewhere.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Red Shoes

Time to polish up my favourite red shoes! They might be ancient and covered in studio schmutz but they have walked me through some interesting places! I want to take off traveling again. I think by myself.

Tim is feisty, up and takin' charge once again. Nothing seems to keep that man down, ever! I might feel like I am going to die after this long, long week but he is up and going for broke.

My shadow cabinets are being painted and redesigned . He actually planned a way to put in a new removable backing. And a hanging system.

Now more work needs to be done to fill them all up! My job.


Sketchbook for Quesnel
sketchbook for Quesnel Show

Midnight notes from sketchbook. The word spelacti most prominent. ???

Artist at the crack of dawn. Apr. 22, 2011 No sleep, no coffee, no oxygen, no shower. A long week of care giving very sick spouse and computer induced coma. Not capable of formulating any thoughts, pervy or otherwise.

Note to self...

1. Learn to write and speak again in no particular order.
2. Get off your behind because you are behind!
3. Remember the world just seems to carry on whether you are there or not.
4. Eat breakfast, drink water, wash hands.
5. Choose only one person to nag today. The rest will get a turn in time.
6. Go for a big, long walk and take in the sweet air and the blossoms. Bring allergy drugs.
7. Think something pervy about someone unlikely. Examples include the grocer, the old lady next door or the nasty little toad at the bank.
8. Unplug the phone, slam shut the computer, plug your ears, shut your eyes and make waawaa noises when people are speaking.
9. Haul out your sketch book and decipher the latest midnight inspiration. The word "speclati" must mean something. ????
10. Remember Newfy advice..."Ya lives til ya dies my darlin' ".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Constellations and Pools.

Paper and resin study. Constellation of objects. Patricia Chauncey Apr. 2011

Most of us run into lots of people in our lives. Lots become friends for awhile. Some become lovers or mentors. Some we bond to and include in our constellation. Sometimes there are people we are delighted by and just play with now and then. Some we end up angry with for life and avoid.

But once or twice we lose track of a very important friend and just can't remember why. That person who puts a light in your being when you remember. One who influenced you and left you with inspiration and a better life even if you didn't see them again.

The Big Wave in Japan reminded me of a friend like that. He used to love the painting, "Great Wave Off Kanagawa" and played with this imagery. For many years I kept a copy he gave me of it. It just didn't get thrown away. I would run into it by chance and well up with affection. Not regret. No angst. Just a wash of good wishes.

I am lucky in life. I have more than enough in my life in terms of material goods, friendships and love.

But the tsunami in Japan reminded me that there are people you should look for when they are missing to you. Not to rescue them or ask for rescue but to know they exist. That they are safe in the world. So they know that they mattered and still do.

Don't know where the picture is anymore. It will show up again in a box full of tax receipts, old letters, or tucked in a book. Thankfully I found the lovely person. Just looking back from the computer screen like they had never been gone at all.

So just get some balls and reconnect with someone important. Life is too short. Who knows what the tide will bring in?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tomorrow and Bones

Bone and shell experiments. April 2011 Patricia Chauncey

Tim is home from the North tonight. Tomorrow morning he has a small surgery.
One hour for art and the rest for house prep.

Dreamt about moose ribs hanging on a barn wall. Works for me. I will see what I can produce in an hour. The new papier mache recipe dries as hard as bone. Will play with the pigmentation and start "Cariboo Women". Haven't made a doll in two years but this stuff makes it too hard to resist.

Anyone know how to get rock hard dried papier mache out of the toaster?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dreams About Texture

Inspiration and textures for today.

Had a dream that for "Inspiration Class" other students had to evaluate the texture of my body.
This happened in a similar way to radiation treatment where they placed me on a lighted table in a simple gown.

Measurements were done and photographs were taken. Over and over again. I wondered about how I was going to survive the flash bulbs. This was not an erotic or a comforting experience.

Each student came and evaluated part of my anatomy and did a rating on the skin texture. One student stopped at the place near my armpit and started to cry. I explained that the texture had changed because they had removed my sentinel node and given me radiation. She wouldn't move on and kept touching the scar.

The other students moved further back.

I complained that the table was cold and I wanted to get off. The "Instructor" explained that it was no longer possible to get off because I made a commitment and that I was Irish and everyone knew what that meant.But I didn't know. I had absolutely no idea.

And then it dawned on me that she was talking about the film "The Commitments".

The Bliss Zone

Attended Kirsten Chursinoff's baby shower today. Hung out with Hilary's little baby Emily.
My reputation as the baby whisperer has been restored.

Kirsten looks fabulous, healthy and very full of baby boy. She requested people bring hand made or hand me downs for gifts. She also asked that we bring crafting projects and work on them in a sewing, knitting , crafting circle. Well, I rip, tear, burn, slash etc. I just didn't feel that my "crafts" would be appropriate. So I held babies while Moms socialized.

I have the plush factor on my side. Babies nuzzle into my neck, curl around my shoulder, listen to my heart and conk right out. Screamers settle, restless ones rest, super active ones whisper into my ear. This confirms that I am a good and comfy cuddle.

The result was that crafts got made all around me and my choice of lovely baby fell into the bliss zone. I semi-snoozed with babies all day and am now wide awake.

The textile community in Vancouver is going through a major baby boom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blasting Forward

More examples of work I have accomplished today. Again with only three processes. More to come.
Have been very nose to the grindstone.

Claire Kujundzic contacted me yesterday with news about Wells and her latest projects. She has been invited to Spain to speak with a group of scientists about the pine beetle devastation in the Cariboo region. She will also be showing her work which consists of huge paintings of trees with
wounds and the signs of the beetle. The work which is spectacular will be shown in an ancient stone monastery.

She also got me a catalogue for a show from the Prince George Art Gallery that I gave her a little help with when up in Wells. I just helped with some hemming and minor things but it was a thrill to contribute in any way. Her process is all encompassing. It involves space, materials and her body. She researches and experiments endlessly.

Happily I am hearing from Cariboo friends who are coming to my show at the Quesnel Art Gallery at the beginning of June.

The pile of work is building. My excitement has not subsided.

I will talk more about Claire's project next time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Exciting Progress

Add ImageAll samples are still being worked and overworked and are originals made by
Patricia Chauncey April, 2011

Woke up early this morning after a night of vivid dreams and ran to the plan and sketch books before morning tea. Ideas came out in a cohesive blob and the components now start to make more sense to me. Once again I dreamt in an instructional way and walked through the whole body of work in a logical sequence. I love it when this happens.

I once watched an interview with Mexican film director Guillermo del Torro and he talked about his relationship to inspiration. He made visually amazing films like Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth.
He says that he is often inspired at that moment right before he falls to sleep and also when at that half awake-half asleep place when he awakens. He referred to this as "Lucid Dreaming".

Today proved to be productive and delightful. Certainly an improvement after a grueling and unsuccessful day yesterday.

The photographs are of some of the progress I made today. Each piece is still in progress and will need more work. It is painstaking and intensive. Not one piece has less than five processes from burning, painting, patinating, painting, stitching, cutting and oxidizing. The house now looks like a workshop with projects on every surface including the bed. Clearly I have to move back into the studio very soon.

I am on such a roll.