The word "quilt" comes from the Latin culcita meaning a stuffed sack but it came into English via the French word cuilte. The earliest known quilted garment is depicted on the carved ivory figure of a Pharaoh from the ancient Eypt (-3400 BC).
Quilting exists in cultures around the world from the Americas to Africa to SE Asia. During American pioneer days, paper quilting became popular. Paper was used as a pattern and each individual piece of cut fabric was basted around the paper pattern. Paper was a scarce commodity in the early American west so women would save letters from home, newspaper clippings, and catalogs to use as patterns. The paper not only served as a pattern but as an insulator. The paper found between the old quilts has become a primary source of information about pioneer life.
Historically, quilting is associated with women and domestic labour, therefore the art and history of quilting has been undervalued and overlooked.
In just one generation, hand-written letters have become an old fashioned relic of correspondence. They represent a slower time when people chose their words with more care. A time when people had to wait weeks - or months - for a penned response to arrive from overseas. The paper and penmanship render each letter a unique reflection of its author. I have always been fascinated with the beauty and significance of a hand-written letter that arrives through the post. I could never bear to throw out old letters and wanted to find a way to honour them. Paper itself is delicate and breathes and wrinkles which reminds me of how our skin ages and tells its own stories.
Ultimately, I began quilting with these letters - instead of fabric. Rather than sewing together scraps of cloth, I have used real letters and other documents from my life, weaving them together to reflect the laborious ways in which we slowly build our relationships, our careers and ultimately our lives.
These letter quilts begin with a traditional pattern - but become waylaid as the quilt grows. The mutating patterns reflect how we may try to navigate life with a master plan in mind, but that template is often disrupted by personal circumstance, chance encounters and global events.
I met Yousuf Karsh - the man who inspired me to pick up a camera - on a bridge in Ottawa one fine spring day in 1996; he was living in the Château Laurier back in those days. I was carrying an old metal Nikon FG and we spoke briefly. I discovered that we shared the same birthday, and he sweetly told me that I had the eyes of a photographer.
“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” Steve McCurry
You can follow my photo journal here on Instagram.
Image 1: San Francisco, USA - Golden Gate Bridge
Image 2: Los Angeles, USA - Griffith Observatory
Image 3: Oaxaca, Mexico - Hierve el Agua
Image 4: Toronto, Canada - Trinity Bellwoods
Image 5: Toronto, Canada - CN Tower
Image 6: Commission for dance performance
Image 8: Berlin, Germany
Image 9: Breakfast of Champions
Image 10: Chopsticks
Image 11: Santa Monica, USA
Image 12: Self Portrait
Image 13: Paris, France - Charles de Gaulle Airport
Image 14: Commission for performance posters
Image 15: Oaxaca, Mexico - Traditional Oaxacan dress
Image 16: Venice Beach, USA
Image 17: Tulum, Mexico
Image 18: Monterrico Beach, Guatemala
Image 19: Oaxaca, Mexico
image 20: Toronto, Canada
Image 21: Toronto, Canada
Image 22: Toronto, Canada - Toronto Island
Image 23: Tulum, Mexico
Image 24: Roatan Island, Honduras
Image 25: Istanbul, Turkey
Image 26: Fort Henry Guard, Kingston, Canada
Image 27: Montreal, Canada
Image 28: Punte del Este, Uruguay
Image 29: Toronto, Ontario - Bathurst Station
Image 30: Oaxaca, Mexico
Image 31: Toronto, Canada - Sugar Beach
Image 32: Toronto, Canada
Image 33: Toronto, Canada
Image 34: Toronto, Canada
I work with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create graphics.
Image 1: Logo design
Image 2: Custom-design branding images
Image 3: Poster & invite design
Image 4: April Showers
Image 5: Bring May Flowers
Image 6: Map insert for event invite
Image 7: Large scale stencil wall wraps
Image 8: Old-Fashioned email stationary sets
Image 9 & 10 : Branding designs
"These boots were made for walking, and that's just what they'll do." Nancy Sinatra
I've lived in eight countries and traveled through over forty. The good news is, there's still another 155 out there to discover.
See you on the road, friends.
I work with oils and acrylics and enjoy portraiture and abstract work.
Image 1: Jean-Claude, 2015, Oil on canvas, 12 X 12
Image 2: KInd of Blue, oil on canvas 2010
Image 3: Virgin Palette
Image 4: Intersection 2014, Acrylic on wood, 10X8
Image 5: Girl in Black- Green Series 2000, Acrylic on canvas, 6X4
Image 6: Portrait 3 - Oaxaca Series, 2014 - Acrylic on canvas, 6X4
Image 7: Detail of Girl in Black
Image 8: Commission for HGTV - Home renovation install
Image 9: HGTV Commission installed
Image 10: Marshall McLuhan, 2011, Created for the McLuhan Conference
Image 11: Detail: Marshall McLuhan, 2011, McLuhan Conference
Image 12: Cafe Series 2015, Watercolour on paper
Image 13: Various still life studies, Oil on canvas
Image 13: Full Moon, 2013 - Acrylic on wood, 12x12
Image 14: Palette post-paint
I doodle, therefore I am.
Pen, ink, charcoal, water-colour and markers are my favourite tools.
Working with my hands is one of my favourite activities and frankly - it's good for the soul. With my background in painting, sculpture, silver-smithing and prop-building, I like to constantly explore new mediums.
Leather work, fabric design and carpentry are my current loves.
Image 1: Upcycle wood chairs with a little paint magic
Image 2: White leather keychains with brass bolt fasteners
Image 3: Tea towels created from pen & ink sketches printed onto cotton
Image 4: Hand drawn and screen-printed fabric - sewn into pencil cases
Image 5: Reupholstered vintage chair
Image 6: Reconstructed, refinished and reupholstered Mission rocking chair