Tuesday, November 24, 2015

drawing with touch

A drawing with thread
framed without glass, sewn to a linen-covered board
and placed on a wall with Tortoise (my sister's acrylic painting)  and the Energy Cloth I made in 2011.
Just looking.

To see an earlier presentation, entirely different,  click here.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Don't Worry

I've been spending quite a bit of time on this picture of red horses.  For some reason,  I feel that I need to finish it before going on to my real work but why did I even start it? Did I think it wouldn't take much time?  Wrong.
Did I think it would be something nice to hang as Christmas decor?  That's a good idea, but it was not the original intent.
It came out of me learning Janet Bolton's methods and seeing a photo of Swedish folk art.
This piece is a break from my abstract work.  A change.
A change is as good as a rest they say.
Maybe it is my don't worry cloth.
Maybe the horses are Ned and I, far away from anyone.  On a hill, with sun  and snow.
In our mid 60's lucky to have each other as life companions, on a timeline.
Too soon we will need to be changed, pushed, listened to.
Making it gives me space away from real life.
Making it gives me time away from real art.
This little thing gives me a place to not worry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

quilt as you go

In 1987, I taught myself the "quilt as you go"  method for making quilts.  Shown is one of the quilts I made with this technique that year.
Our youngest daughter (April) was born that year.
 I used my own blouses made from Indian cotton as the starting point for this white crazy quilt.
Each 5 inch block was constructed and quilted at the same time using stitch, flip and a sewing machine.  The blocks are joined with sashing on the reverse side.  I thought this quilt was lost, but I found it yesterday.  (read more about that discovery on 100 quilts.
 Log cabin (above) was also made in 1987.  (quilt as you go method)
 Blackwork was also made in 1987.  Quilt as you go technique.
 Above - the first quilt I made when we moved to Manitoulin in 1993.
 A bed size scrap - quilt as you go technique.
The last time I used this method was seventeen years ago.
 Hearth Rug For Hestia in 1998.  It is hand quilted.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Starting Fresh

 I read an interview with the painter Lucy Mink Covello last night.
She is an abstract painter.  I wanted to read what she had to say about her art because she has children, and there are just not enough role models for mother artists.

"I think my obsession with hiding thoughts in paintings will continue to grow. There are a vast amount of stories out in the world, but a painting holds mystery.  You can keep coming back.
I don't need answers, or plots, or outcomes.  I like vague."
Lucy Mink Covello studied with David Rich for her MFA and told the interviewer that he "pushed her to change what she was doing and start fresh." 

I am saddened today by events in our world.

I am working on some small pictures (images in this post are of my first one) for the Slow Stitch meetings I attend on Thursdays in my local community.  Book authors like Janet Bolton are my teachers.

Monday, November 09, 2015

the idea of thread

 I attended the International Art Fair in Toronto on its last day, October 26.  This post shares a few of the artworks I saw there that used thread or the idea of thread.

Above, Toni Hamel's drawing Flight of Fancy 2015.  (16 x 20 inches)
 The materials: graphite, watercolour on paper with thread.
 Art Toronto brings together galleries from around the world.
These container sculptures (above) and the tank in the image below were made by Jannick Deslauriers from organza, thread and beads.
 The gallery that showed this delicate work:  Art Mur from Montreal.
 Art Mur also brought new work by Nadia Myre to its booth at the convention centre.
Nadia Myre won the 2014 Sobey Art Award.  Her work is about healing and retaking control of the trauma caused by history.  These black and white digital prints show the threads on the backs of panels she made in 2000-2003.
The titles of these large prints (43 x 33 inches each) are from left to right Orison #3, Orison # 4 and Orison #7  all 2014.
The Orison panels are the backs of three of the 56 pages Myre and more than 200 collaborators worked on between 2000 and 2003.  Every letter in chapters 1-5 of the 1876 Indian Act of Canada was pierced by a needle and replaced with a bead.
Those black and white Orison prints show the 'hidden evidence of this act of subversion against a genocidal legacy of assimilation and colonialism, and also they are a poetic testament to the strength of connective threads that ultimately bind that resistance together."  Bryne McLaughlin, managing editor Canadian Art Magazine.
 One of the most luxurious uses of thread as an artist's medium is Ed Pien's Play 2012.
 The materials noted on the wall label state simply: 'rope',
Colour, texture, emotion and messiness are beautifully contained in this sculpture. Three of Pien's large ink drawings were mounted on the wall.  (glimpsed above)
 There is no thread in what appears to be an old fashioned one patch quilt by Mitch Mitchell,.
 It's digitally printed paper, folded and patched together with adhesive.  dc3 art projects gallery.
 My final selection of the many artworks that used thread or it's conceptual metaphor is this wall construction made from canvas that had been drawn on with ink, then cut up and sewn back together.
The artist is Jessica Bell from Ottawa.  The title of the piece is Folly, made in 2015.  It was part of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.
Art Toronto was at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre October 23 - 26 2015.  It is an annual event, so plan to attend next year if you are in the area.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

These birds are not on branches

I'm in a space now where I feel open.
This kind of feeling often happens when a big project has concluded and I usually respond by allowing time to play with new techniques or media.
Now I seem to want to do too much.
 I'm interested in many different branches that grow from the central tree trunk that is me.
Any one of them would be an interesting choice and would probably bear fruit.
But if I only go in one direction,  I will miss something delicious on the other branches.
I use a kitchen timer to divide my time.
It allows me to switch activities during the day.
Sometimes I feel as if I am accomplishing a lot.
But today I am feeling flooded.
I made a sketch to try to sort out the branches (see below).
It helped me to see.
Today is a beautiful day and I am working in the garden.
I have to take a day off.
I'll go see Dad.  He accomplished a lot during his working life and used a kind of kitchen timer mantra:
'One piece of baloney at a time.'

All images in this post are of a new piece.  I have been working on the reverse side.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

side tracked

In 2012 I wrote myself a mission statement that went something like this:  "I wish to create immense cloths that are beyond my reach in any direction and from afar seem to be empty, but, like nature, are actually covered with unique and repeated small marks."

Since then I have only completed one piece that fulfills that mandate.  Beginning with Time.  Side tracked by bubbling ideas, I've made smaller pieces ( Starry Night.  Yin Yin  ) that are ideal for group exhibitions,
and I made teaching samples. (shown in this post)

When I was invited to teach a design workshop at Fibrearts Newfoundland based on the  meditation panels of the circle project , I went into a flurry of producing art works that expanded on the stitches we used.  These 'samples' show how basic stitches and simple design principles can be used to express an original voice.
Both the blue moon folder (above)  and the dark dream cloth (below on left) were made to demonstrate how the archetype of a circle within a square can be a starting point for design.
 They a-wait finishing.
French knots were used in grid formations in both Earth Ark and Layers of Time.   To show a different way to use it, I made a murmuration of stitch.  (above on right)
 It a-waits finishing.
To expand on the reverse applique dot that makes up the lower half of Precious Water I worked up a whole cloth piece from organic cotton and commercial batiks.  It a-waits finishing.
The velvet sample shown above (the smaller piece  was made to demonstrate stitch and flip over foundation,  the main technique for Mended World.   It still needs to be completed.
Although I enjoy the connections I make through teaching and love sharing my passion for these easy techniques with like-minded individuals and I am pleased with the samples I made this year. (I would not have thought of them without the prep for teaching)  I want to leave behind a body of work made up of large pieces that communicate my ideas about intimacy of the hand's touch within the immensity we feel when alone in nature.

If I were younger and the days were longer, I believe that I would say yes more often to teaching.