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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quiet and Peace

The house is quiet once again. Everyone has gone home and back to their active lives.
Tim left early for work yesterday morning and flew back to Fort Nelson. I will meet him up there on December 9th.

This means I have 10 days to myself. Probably the last time until opening the gallery in Wells next May. I have spent majority of time alone for the last 1 1/2 years. I have a great family and a generous and understanding husband but I like my own company. Creative time happens whenever it needs too! Art messes allowed. No being quiet for people sleeping. Not one component of a project moving. No being told what to do at all. Friends whenever I want them here for as long as I want.


Somehow I still made art before all this. It was just more challenging.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

All My Children

Family Row 1 Breanne, Vashti, Tim (Papa!)
Row 2 Steph, Brendan, Dane, Megan, Chris
missing but behind the camera me.

Pensive Vashti Four months pregnant

Breanna- one week to term

All of my children and their spouses were with me this weekend! First time in 10 years everyone has been together. Right now there are 10 of us, including 3 spouses and 1 girlfriend. In two weeks there will be 11 of us with Stephen's new baby. Chris's baby will be here by May.

Once again life changes!

And one of my stepson's spouses has decided I will be named Granny and has already hit me up for a childcare stint while she goes on a dig. She is an archaeologist. I promised to teach her kid how to spit and swear! Lessons that come in handy in this family. That and wall crawling!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Works

I am suffering from an anti-climax thing today. Months of expectation, effort and putting myself out there has now worn thin enough to require a break.

Fantasy is a good place to start. After I replenish for a week. Maybe two. So time to climb into this cosy bed and hide with a good book. Hot baths. Hot, homemade soup. Vitamins. Big, long walks. Singing a song or two. Avoiding most human contact.

Dane is home from Winnipeg for another day. His friend Divya had her opening at ArtSpeak last night and it was so strong. It included a sky banner pulled through the air by a real plane, a neon light sculpture of Gandhi, and an enormous birthday like cake with an iced inscription that simply said "Kashmir". It will be abandoned to rot over the next month. The opening was full to the rafters with hip-hop musicians, art critics and artists. Fun.

Tim wants me back up in the North starting Dec. 7. There are holiday parties to go to with Northern friends before we leave Fort Nelson with the moving truck. Then an eleven hour drive to Wells with the stuff. Then 10 hours back home to Vancouver to meet new baby Hurley.

Tomorrow my house will be full of beautiful, pregnant young women. Our young women. Maybe one will let me draw her after everyone gets fed. Breanne has less than two weeks to go before her baby's birth. Vashti is now half way.

I don't know when life started moving this fast again. I just know solace, inspiration and comfort are required right now. Sometime after lunch...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Globes on the display cases

People signing up for next series of workshops

Full house all weekend

The Eastend Culture Crawl is now over for another year. I had an incredible time. This might have been my favourite year.

I had plenty of help with the set up. Helpers included Brendan, Megan, Ashley, Derek, Una and Ava. Vivian kept bringing me tea and lovely ginger biscuits. Celine and Scott brought work over from Numen Gallery to plump up my inventory. Tina patted my back when I started to succumb to pressure. Rob brought me home brewed coffee and a snack. Maggie dragged me out for late supper and beer. Rod, once again, brought me an extravagant gift of a projector and set up a date to teach me how to use it.

My studio was full of people from beginning to end of the show. Lots of positive feedback, commissions and sign-ups for courses and play dates.

I set up the studio more as an installation than a craft fair. I still sold work.

My friend/future collaborator Barry came over from Victoria and accompanied me on a tour of the Crawl on Sunday. Our long ago rhythm kicked in and his presence and lovely energy made the weekend perfect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eastside Culture Crawl Time

Pebble Samples- 2011

The Eastside Culture Crawl is this weekend and I am now setting up the studio for visitors.
There are more than 350 artists involved this year and it promises to be very exciting.

You can find me or a helper showing off my work and my studio at #13 1310 William Street in Vancouver, B.C. starting on Friday at 5:00 pm, Saturday between 11:00 am - 6:00 pm and Sunday
11:00am - 6:00pm.

Come look and explore my finished work, sample table and library, and inspirational materials.
Remember that this is a look and touch studio where I actually share information and ideas for making magic with your own work.

Little people are more than welcome.

Check out a little sampling of my work at http://www.eastsideculturecrawl.com/

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Week Left!

Unfinished Mushroom Form papier mache, cotton, scorched layers

Mushroom Forms Mostly Completed

Miniature Sample and experiment collection in display box

In process- mushroom form paper mache, cotton, layering and scorching

Moon Snail Pods- silicone, acrylic, sand

Continued Copper Dye Sheet in process and continual evolution

Mating Frenzy Butterflies -2011

Inspirational object: Dreaded and now dehydrated carnivorous plant. Nearly the death of me

The CRAWL is in another week.

Instead of throwing myself into a panic I plan on enjoying the set-up.

Work from two shows has just arrived in the studio and looks great.

MaryEllen Johnstone and I will work in there today and pull the first part in shape and organize the work space. My son Bren and I will hang things later in the week.

Am absorbed with paper and gut mache in the last week. And little take aways for the CRAWL.

The work stolen from the transition from the S.A.C. to the Artisan Gallery will be financially compensated. I understand the artists in the group passed the hat to pay for the loss. I am so very touched at the effort they made to cover this theft. It really restores my faith in the goodness of pe0ple!

Feedback from curators this week..."Raise Your Prices" All right then!!

Friday, November 11, 2011


They didn't used to celebrate war on Rememberance Day. They celebrated hard earned peace.
There was no firing of guns to commemorate fallen soldiers. There was a ringing of bells to celebrate peace. PEACE is the ultimate goal and why the sacrifice was made in the first place.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Unearthed Unpacked.

S.A.C Show "Into The Woods" with the two missing globes and missing display dome.

Both the shows at the Britannia Beach Mining Museum and the Squamish Arts Council are now dismantled and unpacked. The efficient team had them down and packed into the truck by two o'clock. Wish set-up went that fast.

The mine became my second home this summer. The gallery space looked so empty when we were finished. It was a very worthwhile experience for me as an artist. Nothing was broken or stolen. Thousands of people visited and interacted with the show this summer. Children were very engage because I kept lots of the work at child eye level. there were tons of little hand prints on the cases. A little fact that thrilled me.

My experience at the SAC Building and Into the Woods was also mostly successful. I got to hang with some fabulous artists like Corrine Hunt and Martin Thorne. I loved visiting that tiny show packed with talent.

Unfortunately some of my work went missing in transition from one gallery to the next. Not sure if it was stolen or lost. I am upset about this but not naive. It happens now and then. One piece was not really for sale as it was an important personal piece regarding memories of my father.

I wish theft didn't happen but it does.

In full measure my experience with Squamish and Britannia Beach was well worth it. I'd encourage other artists to show there without hesitation. I will show in both places again.

Now time to seriously get ready for the CRAWL.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ownership Day 4


Insurance companies are not flexible at all.

I am now surveying everyone in town to find out who insures them and for how much.

So far the quotes I am getting are double what other people are paying.

What does this have to do with textile art? It has lots to do with our ability to sell the work and not have overhead higher than profit. The people who get screwed in this are the artists!

So I called the Wells and District Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Officer and let them know. I will make a presentation to Council and see if they can help at all.
New business is required to keep little towns going.

Oh ...and don't mess with Patricia. My street teeth have come out.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ownership Day 3

Man, I just love my insurance person Cathy Shaeffer from Integris. She is really spending her time thinking creatively regarding finding me an insurance provider.

I am asking for a few unusual things. Insuring a building that is in a remote town. The building is not occupied the whole year. It has a residence and a gallery. The gallery is only open seasonally.
For part of the year it will hold my equipment, my work, consigned work and things like cards, books etc. The inventory isn't large and the work isn't expensive. The public will be coming in the gallery from May 24th weekend to the end of October.

I have gone above and beyond providing security and building maintenance. The site has no debris or trees that can fall on it. The shed is secure. The building has new systems internally. It is spotless and in good order. I don't smoke and neither will anyone else in my sweet little building. The fire hall is 1 block away. I even have my own gold miner/biker named Grizz next door who will knock the block of anyone doing damage to my property. (Grizz also makes tea and gives hugs)

Wells is a little different than most towns security wise. There is very little crime there. One road goes into town and the same road goes out. People there are used to keeping track. The joke in town is that a kid ever went missing or something big was stolen the poor perp would be met by the time they left Jack of Clubs Lake. Then they would be easy to find in the lake!

The trees have eyes in Wells. Prospectors, loggers, road crews and ranchers are connected to the town by a radio and phone system. Almost everyone in town is involved in the Volunteer Fire Department. There is a tiny RCMP Detachment and the BC Ambulance Service. It is a very safe town.

What is the problem? I thought I could insure it for half the year as a residence and seasonal business.

It is really worth having some kind of business plan when you are an artist. Who'd a thunk it?
So far I have been able to list my inventory of work. my library and my equipment. I am able to tell them the approx value of consigned work. I am even able to give them an approximation of the number of expected guests. I kept track last time.

If they want I can tell them what my most populars items are, where most of my customers come from, and what they had for lunch the day they visited. I keep track.

Insurance is a small problem that will be solved. It reminds me of the importance of statistics even when on such a small scale. Kathy and I will beat this little challenge!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ownership Day 2

My little orange and blue gallery in the North iced with frost. The cairn is where Fred Wells is buried. He is supposed to be one of my relatives.

Tim has informed me he isn't coming home after all. Not sure when.
Something told me he wasn't. He has a tendency to make himself very valuable.

I just crawled back into bed and hid from the cold rain. Eventually I got up and decided to try to organize my Wells insurance again. It has become sticky because I am not in the Wells house until summer.

Typical of Wells...Dennis from Town Maintenance called me from his house at dinner. "Trish. There is frost everywhere and I can't turn off the water to your house. I can't really find it.".

I negotiated the best I could. I don't know where the town hides the water pipes. Dennis told me how to keep the water intake warm. I told him I could call Mike (my caretaker) and that he might be able to help. Dennis will try again tomorrow.

Bless thoughtful Dennis!

I have now owned the house for only one day.

Tim suggested I just go up there and live in it. He isn't coming home so that might not be a bad idea at all. After the CRAWL. The hardy ones are up there now. I am sure I could survive just fine. I could get lots of work done. But my plan was to be there in Summer.

I have more tests in the next few weeks. I will dust off my long johns and go up if the results are okay.

Something will figure itself out. Even disappointment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I picked up the keys and all the paper work today for my new house and gallery. It doesn't have a name yet. But I can open the doors when I finally get up to Wells.

I did it!!!!!!!!!