Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
|Two Years Into Covid by Martin Kotyluk 2022 acrylic on canvas (detail)|
It is a thing.
To not mention it would be lying and I try to tell the truth here.
Our lives have changed because of that pandemic.
Our ways of being with other people have changed.
(my baking got better, my introversion got worse)
|Cabin Dream in the Big Muddy by Rob O'Flanagan 2020-2022 acrylic on linen (detail)|
My eye doctor had to close her local office.
Which meant that I had go into Sudbury for my check up.
I have not been going anywhere other than to the mailbox so this was huge.
Ned came too. It was his almost birthday and so we had a date.
(My distance vision got better, my myopia got worse.)
|Sick and Tired by Andrew McPhail 2021 sequins on bedsheet|
We went to two art exhibitions because they were there.
Both exhibitions had a pandemic slant.
|Pandemic Partners by Rita Vanderhooft 2021 photographic print on paper|
Art Gallery of Sudbury: "is this real life?"
A juried exhibition with a wide variety of media including ceramics, glass, textiles, photography, sculpture and painting. It was thought provoking. It was interesting. I found beauty too.
I recognized many of the names, I am friends with some of the artists.
|In The Shadows no 1 - 7 Trish Stenabaugh 2022 digital print on paper|
Gallery 6500: (a new gallery that has popped up in the hallway of the steelworkers union office)
Also thought provoking, this exhibition was self organized by the 'peer mentors group' of artists and poets. The loss of one of their members over the winter, Ray Laporte, may have been the trigger for this exhibition that was entitled "Lost and Found".
I am friends with some of the artists.
|Lost Dreams Elizabeth Holmes and Gunhild Hotte 2021 acrylic on canvas|
I wanted you to know that all this is happening in Sudbury.
Art. Poetry. Loss.
I'm changed because of our trip to the city.
I keep thinking about the art.
|Cabin Dream on the Big Muddy by Rob O Flanagan|
I'd almost stopped thinking about the pandemic, but it's a thing.
It's a whirl.
Friday, May 27, 2022
A I've been visiting a place that encourages me to work by instinct.
Q What is the name of that place?
Q What do you do all day?
A I make my own coffee and don't follow my usual routine.
There is absolutely no agenda on the weekends.
However, during the work week, I work.
The difference is that the solitude gives me a feeling of freedom.
I can't explain it.
I don't think about the work first. I don't plan it.
I just start.
It's as if I am a four year old child and the adult who loves me gives me construction paper and scissors and crayons and says: "make art".
So I just start. The adult who loves me (myself) tells me to.
I didn't know that I was going to make it when I went to bed the night before.
It's a huge piece, at least 100 inches square, but very light.
I am using up the cotton that I painted with iron water dots in July 2020.
That cloth had been folded up in a basket for nearly two years.
Q So you follow the materials?
I also think that something intuitive happens with the passage of time and personal and world events.
My brain didn't know, but my spirit and body did.
"knowledge grows slowly like a wisdom tooth" said poet Adam Zagajewski
Q Any other examples?
A I did make some break throughs in other media. I may post about them in the future, not now.
Q Tell about the circle stitching that you are doing.
A After mounting the exhibition last fall I had started an embroidery on some wool cloth dyed with avocado. It was like hugging myself, going round and round with the running stitch, but I had put it aside. I picked it up again in May. I hope to finish it this summer.
Q So this avocado piece was not planned either?
A That's correct. The two pieces in this post have no plot. They tell a story, but there is no plot.
Q But I thought that you sketched in your sketch book and worked with the design wall.
A With these pieces, I sketch them after I've stitched on them rather than before.
I figure out what to do while I do it.
Q How come you have solitude in May?
A Well, it's a busy time for my husband so he's been going in to work rather than working from home. He's also been away opening our cottage for one of the weekends and this last week, he's been on a fishing retreat with the guys. He comes back home today. I will be glad to see him and have him here with me at night.
Q Do you always have projects like this when he is away?
A Probably. But I think that this year something is different.
I seem to trust myself more. I don't care if I please others.
I don't know where it is coming from, but I am letting it come.
Q Please tell us about your unique mark making.
A Timeless geometric motifs have become my language: Circles, dot grids and simple running stitch.
And like a mother tongue, I speak them without thinking.
They seem so normal to me, yet at the same time,
I know that they are not normal because the way I use them is my own personal language.
Q Do you have a philosophy?
A I am a woman artist.
I look at the horizon from my window or I sit outside and listen to birds.
I always have stitching in my lap.
The archetypes and the female in me rise up like clouds and stars in the sky and I let them.
Carl Jung struggled with understanding his own unconscious.
He tried to find an image for the feeling, as if that would help him understand the feeling.
He identified the first shapes that all humans seem to understand.
It is difficult to translate our inner reality into a visual symbol.
Abstract art is a valid way.
Abstract art with the touch of my hands it my way.
"Classical art depends on inspiration. It exists in the mind, it doesn't exist in the world.
Many artists live socially without disturbance to mind,
but others must live the inner experience of mind,
a solitary way of living."
"I found a means to express my vital concerns as a woman;
my body, my feelings, my relationship to others, my frustrations
and my values: tenderness, resourcefulness, endurance."
Thursday, May 12, 2022
|Wedding ryijy from central Finland 185 x 152 cm (6 x 5 feet) (circa 1790)|
Tree of Life in the center with two male and two female figures, accompanied by hearts and crosses.
|Spot design ryijy 1825 189 x 130 cm (6'2" x 4'3") |
The initials of the owner (MIT) and the year (1825) are in the upper central field.
The central field is filled with dots. The bright red and green colours are typical.
My father came to Canada from Finland at the age of 5 years with his mother, Anna.
This is a post about Finnish rugs. First I need to say that there are two kinds of rugs made in Finland. One type is the woven rag rug, usually quite narrow, used as an everyday rug on floors. I've written about the Finnish rag rug before (here). My grandmother, Anna, was locally famous for how fast she could weave a rag rug. My art piece Not To Know But To Go On references the Finnish rag rug, but is not woven, it is stitched.
The second type of Finnish rug is the rya or ryijy. Although the rya is considered as art for the wall now, it originally functioned as a warm bed or horse-drawn sleigh covering. Rya rugs were woven from wool over a linen warp and have a shaggy pile, often on both sides. This post is about the rya rug.
I'm inspired to write this post because of my recent discovery of Tuomas Sopanen's collection of rya rugs. His collection includes pieces from the late 1700's right through to the 21st century. I am especially interested in the dot grid and the tree of life designs.
|Wedding ryijy 1825 pile on both sides 206 x 148 cm (6 '8" x 4'8")|
This is a wedding rya. It has the initials of bride and groom ( ABSD and IIS).
|Spot design bedcover ryijy 1843 with pile on both sides 174 x 127 cm (5'7" x 4')|
Another red and green rya, made for AKSD
|spot design bed cover ryijy mid 19th century 184 x 154 cm (6' x 5')|
When the multi-coloured dots are very dense, the pattern is called 'net'.
|Spot design ryijy 1860 183 x 129 cm (6' x 4'2")|
The dots are simple and sparse. This rya is a bedcover for one person.
|Wedding ryijy 1799 171 x 130 cm (5'6" x 4'3")|
An ancient net design, can you find the date 1799 among the figures?
Diamonds / bridal figures / flowering branches / tree of life symbols in eccentric sizes.
It was woven in two parts and then joined.
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
I also save things I find in old journals like this poem by Louise Rogers.
I tape the year on the spine