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
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
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
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 "

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I Begin With Silence

When I first started to make quilts, all my efforts were accompanied by questions: to speak or not to spaek? to be silent or to talk back? to explain or let it pass? to interrupt or let it be?
In earlier times, in Bulgaria, women kept a little stone inside their mouths to keep them from talking back or screaming.  It was a woman's Stone of Wisdom.
Silence is my best friend and my shadow, I work from silence and I speak out of silence.
To interface with silence is stilll the most sustaining, assuring, and calming reality of quilt work.
I begin with silence to articulate the acts which quilt making covers and the actions it contains.
My experience has taught me that silence, the production of cloth, and the work of touch are basic forces.
Using silence as the over arching metaphor of my discussion of quilts, I intend to dynamize our view of the emotional surround, the emotional energy and the practical efforts that go into quiltmaking.

If taken seirously as women's art, quilts cannot be perceived and enjoyed as isolated aesthetic objects divorced from the relationships of women to each other and to the rest of human kind.
I work out of silence, because silence makes up for my lack of working space.
Working on a quilt I am wrapped in silence, wrappped in thought.
Anyone contemplating quilts and quiltmaking also has to enter this space of being wrapped so as to emerge transformed.
All text by Radka Donnell 1990, an art quilt pioneer
All images of a new work in progress, the middle and back are rescued blankets, the top pieced from plant dyed flannel, quilted with red thread grid. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

red and white

 In 2013 we  visited Cappadocia, Turkey.
In the Valley of Goreme there are many churches carved into the small stone mountains.
 This post is a document of some of the red and white very early Christian markings inside those carved rock sanctuarys.
 St Barbara's church 
 The Goreme area is a world heritage property
 9th century
 rows of triangles
shapes lifted on pedestals
I was very inspired by these paintings.
They reached across the centuries...
they are timeless.
new work in progress Judy Martin