"After a long time, he drew her against him and spread the edge of his cloak over her. They lay side by side, barely touching, letting the power of the sun and the earth and the air move through them in harmony and she dropped into a dreamless sleep. "
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021
in her scarlet
if anyone touched her, the gown rustled
she stood, her face like a rose
shining she stood
and her mouth was a flower
and writ her love on a leafCarmina Burana 12th - 13th century
Sunday, July 04, 2021
This is a post about an exhibition currently on view in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario at the artist run gallery, 180 projects. A friend and I made the trip last week to view it. It was my first art gallery experience in 18 months and well worth the 3+ hour drive.
The artist is Sophie Anne Edwards, one of north eastern Ontario's most intelligent and passionate advocates for culture. She is a poet, a painter, a curator, a geographer, and a long time arts administrator on Manitoulin Island. I am enriched to know her.Emerald Ash Borer.
CSARN mentee in 2018 and we talked and cried together over a period of nearly 2 years. Her ideas about materials and what she wanted to say with her artwork were strong. Why did she come to me? I think that she needed to slow down. She needed to realize the comfort of hand stitch. Although she already understood the power and intimacy of this kind of mark making, I helped her to focus on just a few of her ideas and taught her the back stitch.
|Sophie Edwards wrapped one of the ash trees near her residence|
with a bed sheet marked with red thread and hawthorns and left it for two years.
A video of her suturing this ineffectual protection is part of the exhibition.
from the artist or from 180 projects that has gorgeous photos of the exhibition and more of Sophie's own words.
The exhibition continues until July 17. 180 projects
Monday, June 21, 2021
|the journals I'm working in now|
After years of stumbling, pushing branches out of my face, tripping over holes I didn’t see, I am finally on an open road, with daylight and a breeze, that continues and continues, not cluttered.
I’ve pared away many things so that I can spend my time doing the things I love. I no longer knit, I no longer sew clothing, I no longer paint, I no longer play the piano and no longer teach it, I no longer teach art or quilting, I no longer have young children because my four have grown into adults, I no longer travel although I would if I could.
I do still read a lot of fiction and non fiction, I still write in my notebooks daily, I try to walk every day on my country road. I love to have flowers in the house, I love and am married to the same man for whom I cook and bake, but I spend most of my time making hand stitched textile art. I collect cloth and dye it with plants. I arrange it and stitch it in place very simply and slowly.
|journals 2013 - 2021|
|journals in my dye studio|
I started dyeing cloth and creating art from that dyed cloth when I was a young mother, using dyes that I could buy at the grocery store. These were hot water dyes and disappointingly dull. I learned about fibre-reactive chemical dyes soon after and became an expert in overdyeing. I was able to create subtle colours for the story quilts I made in the 80’s and 90’s.
I switched to natural plant dyes in the 2000’s beginning with onion skins, golden rod and indigo. I am self taught in dyeing, relying on my own natural curiosity and also books by Jenny Dean, Indigo Flint and Rebecca Burgess. The quilts I make now are very simple, with the subtle colours of nature arranged in archetypal shapes like circles, dots, squares, triangles arranged with a lot of empty space. I hand stitch everything. It is rare when I use a sewing machine or an iron, but occasionally I will.
I have been helped to find this path because I keep journals. My journals and notebooks are part of my daily practice and have helped me to find this path and to stay on it.
|journals in the bedroom closet|
I grew up in a rural area in middle of Canada. I spent a lot of time alone and took piano lessons. My father was 100 percent Finnish, my mother was 100 percent intense.
I grew up with art supplies and a sewing machine. I learned how working with cloth and thread of all kinds made me go into my inner world and feel at peace.
More than anything, more than Bach, I loved repeated stitch. I think I might have been a bit strange.
|journals in the laundry room cupboard|
Tell us your story:
Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a dream world. She drew outfits on sheet after sheet of paper, imagining that they were already sewn into clothing that she would wear for wide variety of occasions, such as working in a big office with a tight skirt and high heels, or going to a ball in a strapless dress with huge puffy skirt, or riding a horse off into the distance, plaid shirt and tight pants. She never did any of those things in the real world by the way. She is now a queen and still lives in a dream world most of the time. Not all of the time, just most of it.
|a box of wrapped up journals|
|more journals and wrapped journals in downstairs bookcase|
I have pared away many creative activities to arrive at just three. Every single day, I stitch and do journal work and then usually three times a year, I also dye cloth. I hand stitch about 6 hours a day, and the journals pile up around me. I surrender to them. Journals are very important to my artistic practice because thoughtful writing brings the inside me out into a safe place. I re-read parts of a journal or two each day as a ritual. My journals help me to stay on my authentic path.
Monday, June 14, 2021
A vertical piece, like a tower.
Like something from another century.
with stairways that go up to the attic
where there is a fairy window
where there is a daydream.
where there is poetry
where there are no storms
where we stop reading
where we stop thinking
where we recognize
yet continue upwards
past the round window
that doesn't open
towards the ceiling
it's a narrow space
like I said, it's a tower
it's intimate, close and soft
the round window watches
it sees your memory
it views your dream
oh your serene face
I know it's a cover up
I know it's a blanket
I know you are alone
Tuesday, June 08, 2021
Tuesday, June 01, 2021
|rock cut side one, a two part sculpture to be hung from the ceiling, |
rescued wool blankets and hand stitched wool yarn,
each part 8 or 9 feet high and 13 feet wide,
still in progress after 4 years of steady work by Judy Martin
Two things: repetition and simplicity.
|rock cut part one, side one French knots made with wool yarn on wool blanket|
|rock cut part two, side two, reverse of couching stitch, wool yarn on mended wool blanket|
|rock cut side two, a two-sided two part suspended sculpture, |
rescued wool blanket, plant dyed wools, hand stitched
each part 8 or 9 feet high, 13 feet wide,
looking puny on the lawn
but it is a big piece by Judy Martin, begun in 2015
Two sides. That's because I want the viewer to move around the work so that the body is engaged, not just the eyes and mind.
Because we know with our bodies.
Monday, May 24, 2021
a spiritual place covered with marks
the directness of paint with the substance of thread
immensity of space, minutiae of surface
the time we need to cope with life and death