Monday, January 12, 2015

thoughts that come through touch

this piece has taken on a stubborn silent quality - it will not be defeated.

a few things have become evident
the dots below the horizon - are they the safety net I think about - or are they in this case, a depth we cannot fathom
value - the lightness (and darkness) of the threads is so important and I've had to change some of the threads because they were too disturbing
there is no eye level focal point - instead, a feeling of being lost in the woods -
the comfort usually associated with wool blankets is altered
 gravity - the heavy materials and dark colours have an emotional gravity as well as a physical one
movement forward - it seems as if the piece is pushing against the wind rather than allowing itself to be blown freely.  An old man pulling his heavy coat across him, his hat down, shutting his eyes, trudging on.
touching - the marks made by the wool threads make us want to pet it with the nap, along the grain, up and down and in circles.  I do anyway.

"It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable, experience to be lost in the woods any time.  Not till we are completely lost, or turned around, for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost - do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.  Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are, and the infinite extent of our relations."  Thoreau

26 comments:

Robbie said...

What a great descriptive post!!! I enjoyed it so much!!!

Debbie said...

Love this piece the colours are just fabulous.

Susan said...

The thread texture adds so much to the richness of the colors and comes across even from a distance. The colors are just beautiful. Rich mossy lichens. I feel so hungry for those lush greens right now.

Ms. said...

The feeling of being lost in the woods! Yet, though being lost can often imply fear, I have the feeling that feeling this cloth would be comforting, especially in the close up shot where the texture of stitches becomes very real, and the colors, like earth and forest, are reassuring. Wonderful.

Colleen said...

Your blog posts are always such a pleasure! The images you share, the way your thoughts serve as a kind of backstory, your stunning quilts, even how you title each post shows such reflection. This piece is stunning. I could sit in that chair in your studio and stare at it all afternoon.

Judy Martin said...

Michelle, your comment made me remember that I wanted to put up Thoreau's quote about being lost in the woods and so edited it into the post just now.

I am surprised all the time, how the work I do with my hands takes on a personality of its own, and really forces me to listen to it.

I love to work with the large piece in my lap, stitching away so peaceful and involved - but every now and then it is necessary to pin it up on the wall and have a good look. What is happening?

Doing this kind of looking and listening is so important for me. I like that Thoreau said that it is not until we have allowed ourselves to be lost, that we can then find ourselves.

It's a back and forth thing.

this piece is especially interesting for me because it seems so brave and determined. Braver than me.
xx

Heather said...

For some reason I want to say this piece is yummy. It pleases my eye no end!I would love to touch it, for now I will just have to luxuriate in its online presence.

jess said...

I tried to picture this piece with any random stitch missing and it would be sorely missing that one stitch if it wasn't there.

I love coming here, you are inspiring and warm.

Tina said...

I just cannot stop looking at this piece. Stunning

Jenny M said...

Your wool blanket looks as though it belongs in the woods. As Michelle commented, the colours of earth & forest are so reassuring and to me natural/grounding.
Thank you for putting your thoughts into words and sharing them with us, your readers.

wholly jeanne said...

"Amen" is the word that comes to my mind.

B. Garner said...

Stunning colour, amended cloth. Movement within, and steady, focused direction to the viewer. Take the step, and make it work. Not lost...seeking.
Bethany

Carol Wiebe said...

"I am surprised all the time, how the work I do with my hands takes on a personality of its own, and really forces me to listen to it."

I experience this as well. It is interesting that you said this happens "all the time" and yet you continue to be surprised. Is it social conditioning that fosters doubt about our work communicating with us, or does it simply create an inner dialogue that feels like a conversation?

Maybe it doesn't matter. It is just wonderful that it does.

Hedda Sidla said...

Judy, this piece has ignited my soul...your thoughts landing in my heart. best regards, Hedda

jude said...

this one has real "weight". I has become something grounding.

Mo Crow said...

your cloth laying in the snow is like a map for feeling your way through a blizzard
Have you read "A field guide to Getting Lost" by Rebecca Solnit?

Istanbuljoy said...

WOW! Fabulous to see it completed & what a stunning setting in which to photograph it! I particularly love the smattering of powdered snow over one corner...gave it a sense that it had been there for a very long time. And when the quilt is laid flat on the snow, it is less like the forest & more like the snow has melted & grasses are starting to emerge! Wonderful piece of work. Thank you so much for sharing it's development with us.

Judy Martin said...

Mo - yes, I have been reading 'field guide for getting lost' by rebecca Solnit.

It's so perfect for this current way of thinking. Have you read any of her other books?

Mo Crow said...

No that's all so far by Rebecca Solnit, want to read "The Faraway Nearby" next but am in the middle of rereading "Wild" by Jay Griffiths another very fierce brave writer

Monica said...

Just stumbled serendipitously on your post from Pinterest. Inspiring. And humbling. Thank you

Votedwithourforks said...

Love the intensity of colour against the snow. The linear elements remind me of Emily Carr's response to the coastal forests.

Judy Martin said...

Thank you very much for these supportive comments and responsive comments. Much appreciated.
xx

Velma Bolyard said...

you wrote that this piece is braver than you. i like that. i'm thinking you are going deep, held warmly.

Caterina Giglio said...

how often are we lost... this piece draws me in and I am especially enamored of the photo in the snow... exquisite work..

Threadpainter said...

An amazing piece of work ...
... begging to be touched and learned from.

pure curiosity, how much does this tapestry weigh ?

Judy Martin said...

Yes, it is heavy.