Wednesday, April 25, 2018

retreat

I drove south on Monday
an early morning departure
early spring earth and air
to take part in the Ontario SAQA retreat.
(Studio Art Quilt Association)
Twenty five women are here
We brought our own projects to work on
I brought the 100 year old irish fine linen tablecloth
handed down through Ned's side,
hand embroidered long ago with clover and ribbons.
I am considering adding some red thread love marks, but am not sure how
or if.
We were asked to bring a show and tell item
and I brought earth and air - one of the pieces I made
last year for my exhibition at David Kaye gallery
I loved seeing it on the narrow bed.
I came because I want to connect with others
yet also have some time alone
Time to feel

Saturday, April 21, 2018

growing is what life is for

  A tree in the forest doesn't keep looking around at the other trees
wondering if its right to be putting down roots so deep
instead of using its energy for making acorns

it just grows
that is its job, to grow
only people drive themselve crazy asking
'what's this for?"
Am I doing all right?
am I doing better than someone else?
Is it all right to be doing this?
I copied this out and taped it inside my kitchen cupbaord ...
the one I keep the salt in, beside the stove
Learning my craft and then practicing it for no other reason than for itself
is one of the first steps I took in my life towards learning that

growing is what life is for
hand made paper by moi
type written text
text about taping the text to my kitchen cupboard where the salt is by moi
all the text about a tree in the forest, growing, is for by Beth Gutcheon  an early influence.
I'm getting ready for the Perivale gallery's 2018 season..
I will be showing stitched pieces mounted on linen-covered board, framed. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

the private side


I pinned the daily practice wall pieces up on the design wall.
These are daily collages that I stitched on every day between January 1 and April 7 2018
In the first one, I tried to make collages about observations and intuitions.  (Super Moon an example)
In the second one, I used abandoned work, attempting to give new life to some cyanotypes.
In the third one, I just recorded the passage of time and the containment of love.
Then I flipped them back to front...and wow.

They stir my emotions more.
I wonder why.
the reverse of these pieces are simpler than the front
minimal colour
naked maybe, yet marked with those black dotted lines
they are sensuous
private
there's a serenity to them
maybe they are more spiritual
more connected to something ineffable
 the materials are wool felt and wool thread
they remind me of the sweet grass baskets stitched with black thread that I collect here on Manitoulin
made by the indiginous crafts women
this scented grass remains so sweet even when it drys from green to a golden colour.
I began collecting these small and simple lidded baskets when we moved here 25 years ago
this one holds some pieces of mica, gifts from nature
the three wall pieces also remind me of mbuti bark cloth from the congo in africa
click here for more examples of bark cloth
To make the daily practices, I stitched arrangements of plant dyed velevt to the felt
always designing from the front of the piece.

yet I prefer the back sides.

The inner side.
the inner world.

The front is too distracting and noisy.


we've been thinking about being alive for thousands of years 
Jessica Stockholder

Saturday, April 14, 2018

you will be softer

when you meet that person
a person
one of your soulmates
let the connection
relationship
be what it is
it may be five minutes
five hours
five days
five months
five years
a life time
five lifetimes
let it manifest itself in the way it is meant to
it has an organic destiny

that way if it stays or if it leaves
you will be softer
from having been loved this authentically
souls come into
return
open
and sweep through your life for a myriad of reasons
let them be who
and what
they are meant
the text in this post is a poem by nayyirah waheed

I started this unfinished quilt a lifetime ago,
it's very soft. 

Monday, April 09, 2018

about love

only the earth lives forever, 2008 by Judy Martin
 favourite shirt on gessoed paper with hand stitch and painted cloth border
full of emotions

crying easily

needing a generous kind of love
the reverse side of newest stitching by Judy Martin
wool thread on linen   work in progress
having an inner world

seeking passion, intelligence

finding magic
feel better bundles by Judy Martin 2015
hemlock twigs wrapped with cloth and thread over a period of years.  (three times so far) 



"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel, 
that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people"  
Vincent Van Gogh

Monday, April 02, 2018

like a child

after anni albers watercolour on paper judy martin
I am painting first thing when I wake up.
I set the kitchen timer for fifteen minutes, and tell myself:  "Just do fifteen minutes".
I am using a desk near the kitchen to make it really convenient.
after anni albers 1 judy martin water colour on paper
Years ago, when I had those four babes, I came across advice to mother artists.
"use part of naptime for the inner self. Begin with fifteen minutes"

so I did

I give this advice out to women now.
use the kitchen timer as a limit and as a permission
begin with fifteen minutes
anni albers note book on left
a few years ago, my husband's christmas gift to me was six kitchen timers, one for each room.

Now I set my timer to one hour.
Then I set it again for a second one.
rainbow by aili, dot circle by grandmom  watercolour on paper
I've been struggling with getting back to painting for years,
but it was painting patterns with my four year old grand daughter last month that helped the most.
She painted rainbows and spirals, I painted waves on horizons and circles and dots
These very simple things were so easy, enjoyable and meditative.

Picasso said  "it took me four years to paint like raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child "
dot grid judy martin oil and cold wax on paper
Also, I am inspired by Matisse's approach to painting.
He put cloth into his compositions to help him work flatter
And a 3rd thing:  Anni Albers notebook.
She worked with half square triangles, page after page of drawings , her designs for weaving

I am not giving up my stitching and quilt making practice.
I still think that the sense of touch is more powerful for reaching the emotions and the inner self than the sense of sight.

I am looking to paint as a faster way to get my ideas out....that's all.
It's been a break through for me  to actually do this.
Last week, I talked about it with our daughter April.

Judy:  I was thinking about Matisse the other day.  He painted cloth (curtains, clothing, tablecloths in his paintings) to remind him to be flat"
April:  His work became so flat
Judy:  And Joyce Wieland, she wanted her work to be round.   I wonder what I want my work to be.
April:  " soft "