Monday, August 31, 2015

tangled brain

I had this small red journal at the cottage.
Began it July 12 in Liverpool, and finished it August 18 at the family cottage.
but since I stayed at the cottage for another eleven days,
I had to find spaces in that little red book to keep my thoughts and sketches.
It became so crowded and tangled in there that I couldn't think.

I could not think!
and thought is the 6th sense, Boetti says.
My journals encourage the 6th sense in me.
They give me a place to listen to my self but more than that....
They encourage me to think.
 My brain became so tangled when I didn't have enough empty pages.
Louise Bourgeois said this.
I wrote it into the red journal twice.  Once July 24.  Again August 18.
I had written Tracey Emin's comment about solitude on July 19.

Solitude is like a new blank journal for me.
It gives me space to think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

exhibiting in Toronto again this summer

Hard Twist 10: Memory is being installed in the Gladstone Hotel tomorrow.
It will be open to the public August 27, and will remain up until December 27, 2015.
I will be showing my wool blanket piece, Red Moons, in this exhibit.  I had it here at the cottage so that I could add the second sleeve that the curators requested, and also to sew on a label.  Our daughter delivered it to the Gladstone for installation when she went down to Toronto yesterday.
This piece doesn't have the amount of stitching that I usually add to fabric, but it does have time.
It has over 90 years of time.
Made from the borders of a much loved woolen blanket, the worn marks left by human bodies and hands are the evidence of life lived, dreams, weather and sleep's vulnerability.
Hanging it from the two sleeves projects the piece out from the wall into our space.  It becomes sculptural.

The Hard Twist exhibit has its formal opening on September 10 at 7 pm.
Specific information about time, place and list of other artists are on my update blog - click here.
More photos and info about red moons are here.
The Gladstone Hotel has profiled my work on their blog today - click here for that.
I am very pleased to be included in this important exhibition.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

nature's embroidery and a memory

When I was a little girl I hid in the pantry.
I wanted to see how long it would take before people missed me.
There was a hook on the kitchen side of the swing door, but none on the pantry side where I was.   My mother had sent me in for some can or box.
I didn't really intend to hide, but once I heard my mother lock the door from the kitchen side, I realized she had forgotten about me.
So it become a test.
How long would it take before people noticed I wasn't around?
It took forever.
Eventually I had to rattle the door.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

quilt making

Did you ever think, child, how much piecing a quilt is like living a life?
Life gives you the fabrics, the scraps, the colours, the time...
but it's you who gathers them up, arranges them, and stitches them together.
I read Aunt Jane of Kentucky's story when I was about our daughter April's age.
(when I was learning about making quilts, and so busy living my life)
It's lovely to watch her continue the long tradition,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

time and accident

She told me that I don't need to completely cover the surface and that she notices the marks more if there are fewer of them.
I told her that my work is about time and accident and that both sides are the right side.
I want to communicate time spent and the unintended beauty of nature and human marks.
I told her that I want my viewer to look at my work and understand the thoughtful solitude that goes into the production of it.
There is a feeling of being alone with one's own meditative self.
This is my subject and what I hope to communicate.
"Are your memories coming to you or are you going to them?
If you are going to them then you are wasting time.
Nostalgia is not productive.
If they are coming to you,
they are the seeds for sculpture."  Louise Bourgeois

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


I continue to pare things down.
This summer I am only doing two things.

Family and stitching.

We've moved to the cottage for August.
Our Alaskan family is moving to Ontario.
It's an exciting time for all of us.
It may be that I am on a blog break.
Summer is short and kids are the perfect age for such a brief time. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

fly stitch

Stitching just a little more on this quilt lets me remain in a distant place, above it all.
Fly stitching.  Stitch flying. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

I saw a butterfly, there can be more to life

 I made this quilt in 1988.  (when she was three)
 Grace took it to university with her in 2003. (when she was 18)
 I'm glad to see that she really used it.
 I had discovered painting on fabric around that time.
I remember painting and then appliqueing these fantastical butterflies onto the scrap quilt base.
 The title is from a book I was reading at the time  about caterpillars. (and society)
I've started to mend this quilt for Grace.  She still loves it and uses it all the  time. (just turned 30)
A small thing I can do for her in the big picture of her life.