Friday, September 21, 2018

driving northern ontario

These photos are of northern Ontario, all of them taken through the car window.
We were married in Thunder Bay on a beautiful September day and we drove back there last weekend in celebration of our long marriage.     45 years

Thursday, September 13, 2018

what if you dreamed?

what if you slept?
and what if, in your sleep, you dreamed?
and what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and plucked a strange and beautiful flower?
and what if, when you awoke
you had the flower in your hand?
ah, what then?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

images are of the back of this piece   

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

seeking grey

rug hooking wool
There are leftover potions from April's visit
goldenrod, onion, avocodo, sumac drupes, sumac leaves, and iron water
and I am seeking grey from them.
linen damasks
cool grey, warm grey,
it's not a neutral for me
it's a magical lifter-upper in my cloth paintings
any colour placed next to grey, glows
cotton, some overdyed
tanin plus a little iron = grey

Iron water can be made by soaking rusty bits of iron in a solution of vinegar and water for a few days before adding to the plant solution..
Alternatively, ferrous sulphate (available from Maiwa) also works to sadden the plant colour
I have been having new ideas.
The trick is to be AWAY from the studio for a month or so,
then return home and start cleaning it.
Ideas flow like water.
if you keep working on old ideas, new ones can't show up.
cosmic law

Friday, September 07, 2018

fam jam 2018

 The Alaska family was with us at the old family cottage from August 22 until September 4.
 The two grand boys did a lot of fishing
 They also did a lot of swimming.
and a lot of comic book reading. 
April made fresh bread for breakfast every day.
 Our four.  April, Oona, Grace and Jay.  (Oona's husband Matt in background)
a beautiful and gentle time 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

recently I have been making white quilts

 I looked at three of them last week.
Anything that slows us down is a spiritual practice. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

April in August

red sumac tanin and onion skin
 April has been home with us on Manitoulin for about a week. 
staghorn sumac drupes dye
She has been passionately gathering and processing staghorn sumac and teaching herself about natural tanins and mordants.
sumac leaves tanin
I am learning along with her.
I'm starting to dye some of the damasks I've collected.  These greys!
 April dyed these pinks using Sumac drupes.
Her childhood landscape.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

so much is embedded in these marks

the front of this piece is plant dyed cotton flannel
I like producing my own work slowly over a lengthy period of time and allowing it to change along the way.
the reverse is ancient flannel bed covers
I am mesmerized by the work of it.
by the steady rhythmic marking.
 So much is embedded in those marks.
 Time for one thing, the time it takes to place them.
Touch for another.
The silence, but also the quiet sounds of the mark making itself.
What interests me is very very simple and quiet
and marked repeatedly with the human hand.
I was here.  I made this.
Feel my touch.
and remember me.

text from my 2010 journal that I re-read for 3rd time in August
images are of a work in progress

Friday, August 10, 2018

I love you every day

How one lives as a private person is intimately bound into the work.  At some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth.
If we are to understand the human condition , and if we are to accept ourselves in all the complexity, self doubt, extravagance of feeling guilt, joy,
the slow feelings of the self to its full capacity for action and creation both as human beings and as artists, we have to know all we can about each other and we have to be willing to go naked.
images: cottage time with our younger daughters (the aunties)
              and oldest grand daughter (4 years)
text:  May Sarton