Wednesday, February 13, 2019


 I wanted my quilt, Soft Summer Gone, to have a kind of timelessness, as if it has always been.
 I made it large and simple and open with emptiness.
 I coloured it with yellow golden-rod wildflowers gathered at the end of summer from the fields and ditches.
  I stitched it with large gestures that reached and crossed and with small circles that rose up.
 I wanted my viewer to yearn to touch the stitches and the soft cloth.
I hoped to cause a poetic experience deep within.

Quilt National sent our work back to us last week.
I unfolded her softly.  

Friday, February 08, 2019

my life work

counting my blessings 1999
about my children
cry me a river 2001
about my mother
hold me 1993
about my husband
thunder and lightning 1989
about my  work
order belies chaos 1990
about my marriage
fragile as a leaf in autumn 2004
about my husband and about the earth
between the leading note and the tonic 1998
about teaching
something more magical than it ever was 1991
about memory
Gaea Enthroned 1992
about spirituality and mother earth

My roots are in the grand narrative of traditional quilt pattern and symbolic language.
My subject is our releationships to each other and to the earth.

These quilts were made when the kids were still at home, minutes here and there over months and years, I needed to get them out of me and into the world.

They are on my  mind today because a new website,is under construction and decisions have to be made about content.  These pieces will be in a folder entitled Story Quilts.

felt in the body

Thursday, January 31, 2019

lumpy-bumpy research

This week I continue to stitch into this layered cloth, adding the weight and tension of jeans-top-stitching thread on top of what is already stitched.
An entire spool in 4 days.
The thread twists on itself and often knots up, one long thread taking nearly an hour to lay in.
My nick name for this piece is sunny-rainy.
The rainy part because of the soft rain-drop shapes of velvet in the darker border.
This week after seeing it on the wall, the name has lengthened to
I still love you Sunny!
Even though you want to stay in my lap way past the time you should be independent.

So this post is about my research into dimensional wall presentations  (a Regina Benson term)

The work from the artists I have curated here is interesting, beautiful and very alive.
Whatever imperfections in the work have been embraced.
Whatever distortions that happened during their creation, are shown off.

KYUNG AE WANG     her archetypes from 2008
NUI PROJECT      Atushi Yoshimoto
NUI PROJECT       Keisuke Nomaguchi
NUI PROJECT        Tsutomu Maeno
MAGDALENA ABAKANOWICZ          Yellow Abakan
MAGDELENA ABAKANOWICZ    Red Abakan and Black Environment

the piece is more thread than cloth now
and my wrists ache
"I wondered why I was insisting on negating some of the characteristics of my fibreworks, when their living materiality was what had drawn me to the medium"  Regina Benson

Friday, January 25, 2019

I get emotional

My Light Green Heart by Judy Martin and Gourd (hulu) series by Lin Xu
at the Quest:Innovation 19 exhibition in Midland Ontario  
Help Me To Balance 2018 by Judy Martin (detail) upcycled flannel blanket and cotton hand towel
I went to two openings this month.  
Both of the exhibitions were juried fine craft, not just textiles.
Three Chairs made in 2018 by Amanda McCavour from thread and Bone 2017 by Wanxing (Samson) Wang (furniture) 
Last night I was at the Housewarming exhibition at Craft Ontario gallery in Toronto.
My flannel quilt Fields of Brown Grass was juried in.  Ned had a meeting the next day, so I came down with him and we both went to the opening.
Recipe Cards 2018 by Elycia SFA   handwoven silk linen with sewing thread inlay (group of 7)

Recipe Card 2018 by Elycia SFA handwoven silk linen with sewing thead inlay (from group of  7)
These two pieces are by Holly Fedida and Christopher Mendoza and the title of both quilts is
Interminable Fields (I am with you) made in 2018.  Painted, embroidered and pieced fabric quilts.
They were awarded a Design award from Design Toronto.
I am posting images of just the textile work in this show.
When people are at openings they look at the work a little bit, but mostly they meet up with other people that they already know and catch up.  I knew a  few people and talked to them, but mostly I stood around feeling uncomfortable.
Be Careful Where You Step  2018 by Vanessa Dion Fletcher   Trampa Mat and porcupine quills

Fields of Brown Grass 2018  by judy martin plant-eyed flannel and cotton, stitched with red thread
The other opening that I attended was in Midland, Ontario on January 11.
My daughter April is working in Toronto this winter in the ceramics studio at Harbourfront, and I asked her if she would meet me in Midland (2 hours north of Toronto) and she said yes.    Images are of ceramic and textile pieces in the Quest Art School and Gallery's juried show.
Gourd (hulu) series  2018 by Lin Xu from Brandon Manitoba, from local clay

Pillow 2017 by Lin Xu, woodfired Japanese clay started in Japan and completed in Brandon Manitoba, with bone beads and rachis from feathers
Maria DeGraff mixed textiles and thread by Fuzzy Mall

Inheritance by Charlene Colette   Hooked Kraft paper and projected image

We Talk About That Storm But The Ice Was Beautiful, 2018 by Victoria Carley, pieced mixed fabrics
The next day January 12, there was a symposium.  Susan Low-Beer was one of the panelists and also offered a hands-on workshop that April and I took part in.  That was fun.  Collaborative tea-pots that the class made in 12 or so  minutes shown below.
About last night.
David Kaye and I had arranged to meet at the Craft Ontario exhibition as his gallery is just around the corner and I needed to pick up my work.  I am so sad that David is closing his gallery.  He made the difficult decision in December, and Toronto will not be the same for me without that beautiful gallery.  I got so hot at the Housewarming reception and needed to leave so Ned and I just went to David's and knocked on his door.  He was there, packing up.  As soon as I stepped in, I started to cry.
patchwork by Susan Low-Beer
Why did I cry?
I don't know.  All the packed up boxes and wrapped textiles.  David in his denim shirt.  Realizing that I do not know the art community of Toronto.  My aching body that had stood and chatted for more than an hour.
Ned put my work in the car.
We also put the above sculpture, Patchwork, by Susan Low-Beer into the car as well.
I had admired it at David Kaye's during my show there in October 2017.
Now I give it to myself.  I deserve it.
My Light Green Heart 2017 by Judy Martin

 I get so emotional when my work is out there mingling with others.