Sunday, August 13, 2017

quilt national 17 with live interviews

Quilt of Fantastical Things by Judith Quinn Garnett
40" x 40"  acrylic paint, cotton canvas, threads, felt, linen and bottle caps
detail of Quilt of Fantastical Things
 Fatigue Threshold by Amy Meissner
70" x 54"   abandoned quilt top, vintage domestic textiles, cotton embroidery floss
Detail of Fatigue Threshold
Shift 1 by Liz Axford
75" x 69"  hand dyed cotton
Award of Excellence
Detail of Shift 1
Defining Moments 12:  NO means NO  by Carol Larson
49" x 39"   cotton sateen, perle cotton, textile paint
Detail of NO means NO
 Whitewater by Benedicte Caneill
36" x 36"  cotton fabric, textile paint, mono printed and quilted
Detail of Whitewater
L'oiseau de Mme Wazoh  by Ginny Smith
38" x 36"  feedbag dishtowel and cotton
Detail of Mme Wazoh
Soft Summer Gone by Judy Martin
100" x 100"  plant dyed silk, silk and wool threads, hand stitched
Lynne Goodman Borgman Award for Surface Design
also  Surface Design Association award for Surface Design

Click on our names for the individual 2 minute videos produced by Quilt National of those of us who attended the opening.
detail of Soft Summer Gone
full view is here

"Many of the individual artists clearly have given heart and soul to create some of the best work of their careers and I emphatically congratulate them"  Nancy Crow - founder of Quilt National and juror of QN 17

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

my early life

the images of my youth in this post have a freshness for me that my newer ideas can never have
my mother made her own clothes from vogue patterns

my sister is 5 years younger than me, my brother 20 months older
my father designed and built our house on the highway

I grew up on acerage in north western ontario, Canada
 In art you need two things

a)  a feeling of groundedness
b)  a place of risk where you are not quite sure what will happen
a vulnerable space
 I repeat myself all the time

what is our interior landscape?
why not pay more attention to the fragility of our own life?


the mark - and also the space around the mark

our son Jay scanned my father's slides 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

It's summer

It is summer

and I have been immersed in family
it's a good busy
The kids are doing the cooking and also the planning of what to cook.
The grand kids are doing the cannon ball diving, the fishing and the comic book reading.
I'm working on a large piece.

It has a wool central area, dyed with plants and stitched in several colours of thread
surrounded by linen damask, pieced with raw edges, strengthened with big stitches.
life and death are not opposites
death is enfolded in life's centre
'when I keep my heart open, when I let it be touched
I learn that it is botttomless, it is vast, limitless
 I discover how much warmth and gentleness is there,
 how much space'
(pema chodron idea)
the Alaska family was here for 11 days and time stopped for me while I watched them

Monday, July 24, 2017

principles of uncertainty

True communication can happen only in an open space.
 It's good to not know what to say.
 It's good.
End of discussion.
 "Washing dishes is an antidote to confusion."
 Maira Kalman

"The question is, does one need to know?
And what is it you know once you think you know?"  Maira Kalman
 " We see trees.  What more do we need"  M.K. 
Most of the text in this post is from The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman
a book I read each year when I come to the cottage.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


What I do know is that I do not know.
My path does not already exist, it comes into existence moment by moment and at the same time, it drops away.
My father passed away very peacefully early yesterday morning.

He always always gave me unconditional support and love.
never criticized me, taught me how to drive.

I've written about him many times over the years.  Here is the first time.
I shared  his mantra here.
For more about him, and our relationshiop, click on the dad link in the side bar.

I am feeling something but can't quite name it.   I suppose it is grief.

May 14 1923 - July 17 2017 
 Paul Elmer Johnson

full obituary here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

how to love

I am writing this from Georgian Bay Canada.
Where the rocks are ancient spirals.
And folds.
And they have been here forever
and they shall continue.
And I've been working on the same pieces for months
And I shall continue.
And April and Jordan arrived on my birthday all the way from Chicago, and then they made a cake.
And we went for a sunset boat ride to celebrate.
And the sun continued its journey
And it too shall continue tomorrow
and the next tomorrow too
And then the next day April began to work with  a remarkable quilt top
Rescued from a flea market in Wisconsin
And finally,
the centerpiece that Jordan crafted for the birthday dinner
using wildflowers that have grown here forever
and they too shall continue
All these things fill me with gratitude
and tenderness
and wonder
and love.