Could Toronto be Lost in the Wood?

October 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is a long story.  I won’t fit it all in today’s post.  No way.

I’ll try to write a little each day to give you a sense of what this is.   Would it be that this conjuring finds a home.  And an extended family.

Toronto.  That’s my home town.  Is it your’s?  I’ve lived here all my life but as I’ve grown up so has Toronto.  Ahhh.  It’s not really growing up that I mean to say.  I’ve changed.  It’s changed.  Do I really know Toronto?

So, I made this work, an art work, that is.  It’s called Lost in the Wood.  It is a sculpture and a dining room, fully functional and, I gotta’ say, pretty fine looking.  She’s quite a captivating beauty, this one, and She loves company.  And some fine company she’s met.

Lost in the Wood lived for a month last spring at the Christopher Cutts Gallery.   We had some really fine gatherings at that time.

Interestingly, my mother and law died in the same period that the show was up……


October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

How do we account for what we’ve become?   This conjures both numbers and words.  Stories of fame, stories of wealth, stories of the poverty of saints and the unpaid labours of love.  If numbers are to tell the tale of my creative pursuits I am a pauper.   An act of charity.  How is it that we can have such great wealth, such access to resources,  such capacity to nurture our health and yet feel the emptiness in our pockets.  The poverty of our times sits with me at every meal.

Wet Felting

December 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Felting has become an interest of mine over the past five years.  I was introduced to it by friends.  It really is best done as a group as it can be quite labour intensive.   One of my first personal projects was to wet felt a piece with the kids and make a bag for Monica.  Then I made a pair of pants for Javi with alpaca fleece that I bought directly from a farm and carded myself.  Pants aren’t typically felted and we learned why…  I later reinforced them with another wool liner when they began falling apart.  More recently I have been inspired by Andrea Zittel’s practice of making components of her seasonal ‘uniforms’ by wet-felting ( although I think she does some pin felting too).  I continually swirl around the notion that art-making can be a daily living practice that is integral to the bigger picture of real needs on both practical and beauty-mkaing ends of the scale.  Hence my admiration for Andrea’s practice.  Hope to meet the gal one day!



December 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

IMG_4971     This idea has resurfaced… again.  Thinking about how it might play into things.IMG_4989

Cool cookies

March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

We’ve always wanted to try making these stained glass cookies and finally did for Mika’s school bake sale.  They went like hot cakes!  Surprisingly pleasurable to eat too.

Say cheese!

March 23, 2012 § Leave a comment


Making cheese has been a dream of Javi’s for quite some time so we finally signed up for the Glengarry Cheese Company’s one day course.  This is the first feta I made once back at home.

What is it about woodpiles?

October 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Woodpiles are so beautiful.  This one was lit by the setting sun and was shimmering as the light reflected off the lake.  What these trees have seen and the energy stored in them, the warmth and light they bring… it is all quite remarkable.  A big pile of time and memory.

Garlic in the ground

October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

With a week of rain on the way it felt like yesterday was the time to get garlic in the ground.  I’m a first time grower so I’ve been getting help from several friends who have been at  it for some time.  We had picked up 25 big juicy heads of some unknown type at a farm stand  north of Peterborough.    They broke up in to about 125 cloves but once I had sorted out the ones that the papery skin had come off of I had 109 to plant.  I put 48 in my backyard but as I do not get full sun I followed Steve’s advice and asked Jenny if I could plant the rest in her yard, a much more sunny property.  Karen’s beer bottle method for hole-making was brilliant.  I added manure compost to the soil first and piled hay that Javi had picked up for us on top of the plantings.  Spring seems a long way off.

Of course doing the grid of holes made me want to create an image with plantings of some  kind…!

Cottage DNA

October 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, the Thanksgiving days were none less than spectacular.  Balmy.  The light was beautiful, the colours gorgeous.  Even swam. Closing up things and putting the wooden shutters on revealed the DNA of the ol’ place.

The beautiful colours of salt

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

And some of Natasha’s beautiful feeding bowls

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  • Welcome to Panyarama

    In an attempt to make art in my way of living and living an art I practice, I thought it might be useful to start this journal to help me, and those who know me or my work, follow the threads of my days and endeavours. As I grow older and my life gets more complicated it gains a layered richness of struggle and beauty that in many ways I long not to categorize. Yet, I have done so here, perhaps to break old habits, old boundaries, and to allow myself a different way of seeing. Like looking at the back of a patterned tapestry it is the chaos of those unseen and tangled threads that is catching my eye.

    Panya Clark Espinal

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