Saturday, November 16, 2013

Majorelle Blue

The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, Morocco is a botanical garden that was created by oriental watercolourist, Jacques Majorelle, during the 1920s and 1930s. 

Although the garden was opened to the public in 1947, the world rediscovered it when the late Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge became it's owners in 1980.  This was a place of great inspiration for YSL. Each time he visited, he created a specific design for the garden.  All of which are on display today in the garden's museum.  His ashes were scattered here when he died in 2008.  
It was that close to his heart.

Jacques Majorelle will not only be remembered for creating this incredible space, but also for the special tint of blue that he used on the garden finishes.
 Today this rich lapis lazuli blue with a hint of magenta, is referred to as Bleu Majorelle.

 I've had this dream to one day have a proper garden that is filled with scatterings of this wonderfully rich tint. I don't consider myself as somebody who is gifted with green fingers. But you might say that my fingers are blue... with paint....  
So I decided to start by having my own version of Majorelle Blue mixed. 

For a test run, my 2 year old and I tackled some of my outdoor moroccan lamps with paintbrushes. 
(Note to all: Use waterbased acrylic paint when joined by a toddler in your painting ventures!  It is odourless and washes off with water - no turpentine needed.  Oh, and a plastic paint jacket really goes a long way to help preserve the little one's clothing!)

Love this blue, but it needs to be toned darker for future projects.


Once my vision is implemented, I might just end up calling
our farmhouse Maison Majorelle....
What do you think?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Close to my Heart

Taking pictures of the progress of a journal spread or painting really filters out the emotional attachment that I seem to develop while working on something.  
 I tend to work very light. 
Because I'm a watercolourist at heart, you see.  
My darks can, most of the time, be made even darker.  
The camera lens gives me an objective eye to track my progress and the depth of contrast. 
Thank you digital technology! 
And thank you Jane Davenport and Rachelle Panagarry for your inpsiration.

And here is the final spread. 
Supply list: Acrylic and watercolour paint, brayer, acrylic texture paste, spraypaint, handmade stencils, stamps, coloured pencils, collage on watercolour and mulberry paper.

Windows open.

And windows closed.

3 moonchasers on the loose

There is much to be said about rituals. Being in a ritual space elevates any event into a highlight in one's consciousness. Creating rituals in family life frames those experiences in our future memories. I am a great believer in making something special out of everyday occurences and elevating them into small celebrations of life.

At this point in my life I would rather light a candle or pick flowers or make a mark on paper with my two year old than use my limited time and energy to tweet or facebook about it. Because toddlers benefit more if they are engaged in an event with tactile sensibilities in order to mark an event. A case in point was when Angeli's dad skyped her from the US during a trip. He said goodbye by gesturing a hug. She was left in tears, turning her back on the screen and sobbing that she liked real hugs.

So the other day at dusk, quite unplanned, the 3 of us jumped into our red pickup truck and took a scenic drive to a lookout point close to our house. We watched while the full moon was rising quietly while sounds from the valley below drifted upwards. Geese, kestrell, ibis, bullfrogs, the odd dog barking and some human voices. It was magical. No music. Nothing to drink or eat. No camera. Just us 3. Our eyes. Our ears. Magical.

When we drove back after dark we realised that this was the second time we had chased the moon. And so a small family ritual was born that day. That easy. That quietly.
Like praying together at the start of each day that we are gifted to experience together.
Small little tokens that will bind the 3 of us together forever in our memories.

Precious are the days that we are given to be witnesses to each others' lives.
We need to make them count.