Monday, March 08, 2021

whole heartedly here

My laptop has been acting up, and I'm not sure how much I can write before it acts up again.
The laptop has become more important for me during this year of zoom.  I wish I didn't need it quite so much and I do avoid it on the weekends.
I suppose it has hurt feelings.
Have you noticed how the light is changing? 
We added a fourth quilt this week.  I didn't think we needed it but the added weight has improved our sleep.  Sleep has become another important thing for me during this pandemic year.  

But about that light. There has been a shift.
I felt brave at the beginning of March.  
I drew with velvet shapes on the back of a large piece.
I thought I wanted to make something on the verso side that was bold and other.
I put shapes on,
I took them off,
I put some back,
I removed some more. 

I also added stitch to the front, but wasn't sure about how much and what mark?

It was in a real relationship with this piece.    

Relationships teach me. By doing my work, I learn more and more about myself.  For instance, I learn to simplify and I learn that simplification is difficult.   

In my mothering relationships, I've learned that love is bottomless.  There is so much love inside each of us, and when we give it away, there is still lots left.  Be generous with it.   

Above is a photo of the front of the large piece.  

Why do I need to make such a bold drawing on the back?
The front is calm and beautiful on its own.  It's almost empty.  
Why do I feel that it is necessary to disrupt this calm with marks made on the verso side?
Maybe I don't. 
Maybe I won't.   

I think about love relationships and how much I've learned.  Love is bottomless.

I also think about death.  It's not gloomy or dire, but it is constantly there with me.                                  The fragility of us.      

In other areas of my so called normal life, I can't talk or think bout these things, but when I do my artwork, I can. 

I've also been starting several new nine-patch quilts.
One after the other.  
I'm not in a panic about them, but they are bubbling up.  They are so easy and make me happy. 
Little flings.  

"The reason I make things is because I find a real peace in the act of doing.  When there is something repetitive and set out as a task, you can shut off a part of yourself.  Once you do this, that part of yourself has had a deep rest.  It feels so good that it is almost like a drug."  Tammi Campbell

Above is a photo I took yesterday.
It shows the second side of a small piece I made in 2013.
I worked from both sides when I made it.  Actually, they are both the verso side, the wrong side.
They are both the inside.
I called it Yin Yin because it has two yins, no yang.

The photograph documents the beginning of the snow melt and the still bare winter trees. 
All this will change.    

My quilts hold all my thoughts.  They are a kind of universe.
They are a place of touch. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

Lawrence Carroll A Place

1969 by Lawrence Carroll
oil, wax, canvas, staples, wood
212 x 93 x 34 cm  2017
There's waiting a place

someplace.  I have

not found.

A place I know

but cannot picture,

cannot describe

cannot feel.  

Untitled (stacked painting) by Lawrence Carroll
oil, house paint, wax, canvas on wood 
63 x 41 x 8 cm 1992 - 2017

It's there, over there

not behind me, but

over there,

ahead of me

and my impatience,

Untitled 2005 (house paint, wood, wax, plastic flowers
and Untitled 2017 (house paint and wax on canvas) both by Lawrence Carroll
installed in Museo Vincenzo Vela, Switzerland in 2017 

a place I'll sleep

with knowing its

a place I can sleep.

And not turn from side

to side, night to night,

but a place not silver or gold

but something else,  its

not perfectly round

A Place by Lawrence Carroll
pencil, house paint, masking tape, wax on paper
43 x 35.5 cm  1985

it's over there,

ahead of

not behind me. 

Lawrence Carroll  (1954 - 2019)

More about this  fabulous artist over on modernist aesthetic.

There are also some videos here and here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Blogging, Instagramming, natural dyes

left: dyers mushroom and wool , right: linen unknown
both steeped for 6 months in jars and opened January 15 2021

This is my main blog.  Judy's Journal

I consider this blog to be an important part of my work.  I try to write once a week.  Thank you for continuing to read what I write.  Thank you for your comments and emails, I appreciate them all. 

onion skin, cotton with alum mordant, February 9 

Writing this blog is helpful for me.  It sorts things out.  I keep thoughts and can find them again easily.  I use the search button at the top of this page and type in what I'm looking for.  In a way, it acts like a filing system.  

the orange/tan pieces are onion skin on velvet, cotton, and linen,
the two pink pieces are unknown dye on a small piece of silk velvet and a linen napkin
(found in jar Feb 11)

Things have changed in the blog world since I started writing in 2006.  

More and more of us are using our phones to access social media.  Some social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are designed for phones, not desk top or lap top computer screens.

The blog format was designed for computer screen, not phone.    

avocado (pits only) with alum mordant
cotton, wool, velvet, linen  Feb 19

For those of you who are reading this blog on the phone, I invite you to please scroll to the bottom of the post to where it says "view web version" and click on that.  If you enlarge what you get, it is then possible to see the entire blog page, including that search button at the top that I mentioned.

view web version
red onion, alum mordant on wool and linen
avocado (pits only) no mordant on wool and silk velvet
Feb 20

See the buttons going horizontally along the top?

I'll go over a few of them here.  Try them and then use the back button to get back here to main blog.

judy's news     This is where I keep track of exhibitions and such, as they come up

avocodo pits with iron modifier added
silk velvet, linen and wool   Feb 21 

my process       This blog is updated more frequently than Judy's Journal.  It is a record of my design wall combined with the last entry in my written journal.  It gives a raw idea of how I approach my work.  I label each post so that I can see the development of a specific piece over time. 

avocado pits with iron modifier on linen
(scoured and pre-mordanted with alum   Feb 21

new work       This is where you can see a gallery of finished work.

Manitoulin Circle Project      The beautiful community project (2009-2013)

Modernist Aesthetic Blog    where I write about other artists who inspire me

100 quilts     an illustrated list of the over 100 quilts I've made 

Feb 22

Then there is the side-bar of the blog, designed for computer screens.

My email address is there if you click on view my complete profile 

Recent lectures and interviews are linked.  My Pandemic Summer, the Weave podcast interview, and the interview with the English school of stitched textiles.

Two websites are there, new and old.   These will both be replaced soon with an updated site.  

There are many more links and labels on that side bar.  

red onion with iron mordant on silk, wool, and silk velvet Feb 23

They are not visible if you look at the phone without going to the web version.  While it is not necessary to go to the web version,  I just wanted to point out that these additions are easily available.  The follow link in the sidebar.  (and a translate link)

Apologies to those of you who do read this journal on a laptop.

I hope that you have liked the images of my winter dyeing studio.  I've used kitchen waste (onion skin, avocado pits) with two kinds of alum and some iron.  Lots of simmering and steeping going on.

red onion skin with iron on silk and wool  feb 23

One more thing!  I love Instagram.

Instagram is where I go to find other artists and their thoughts.  I am very inspired by artists around the world that I see on instagram.  It's best to visit Instagram on the phone.  I do.  It's so easy.  

Instagram is very user friendly.  Many of the instagrammers I follow write as much in their instagram posts as I do in this blog.  

the same avocado pits (they were used 3 times!) on linen and wool  feb 24

I love Instagram because of the wider world that it has introduced me to.
I follow artists in Japan and Europe and Australia and the USA and if the language is different, there is a handy translate button.  My instagram handle is @judithemartin  .  I post there every few days.  

avocado pits on wool  feb 24 (still wet)

OK - that's all.  Love you xo

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

it will be ok

I am writing this post to help me see
what am I doing?
I don't know
I've been home a week.

I was in Ottawa with family.

I've been working on this green piece solidly since.

I keep simplifying.  There was more red, but I've removed it.
I've only left the heart.
I've run out of fabric, but I keep going. 
I scrounge yellows and creams to stretch the green.
This green nourishes me so much.  The happiness of it.  

The earthiness of it.  The hope in it

I'm also helped by the motion of my hands.
In and out the needle goes.  In and out my breath.
I had the idea that I was nearly done.

But I'm not.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

my ordinary yet dramatic life

The life that I am living through right this minute tumbles forward, all around, and is stitched into the work in my lap.
Fabrics from a challenging project become mixed in a personal lived way with my present. 

I spend quiet time with them, hours of time, using my body in gentle gestures,

to make something forever mixed with my ordinary yet dramatic life.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

blessed be thy mercies

This post contains an update about the large wool stitching promised in early December
A week ago, I took it down to our beach to photograph.  The ice had just come in over night, and there was a light snow.  The wind was fairly strong and damp.  

I laid it out.  The reverse side up.

To make a large hand stitched piece like this requires commitment and endurance.  The Finnish word SISU comes to mind. 

The repeated gestures I make while stitching put me into that beautiful, huge, contemplative space inside me.  I think about mortality, I think about legacy, I think about love.  I can't believe that love ends.

Made from three wool blankets stitched together to make a long horizontal about 13 feet wide, this object is heavy and awkward to handle and the wind that day was cold.  

I left it on the beach for a while.   

It became a landscape.  .  

An interior landscape.

OMG, our lives are so brief and fragile and gorgeous.
Last week my family tragically lost one of our young beloved stars.  

These photos feel as if they are from a hundred years ago, not just a week.  

My brother's son, Paul, wrote the following text about Sarah to post today on twitter.  

Last Thursday my sister Sarah @cervelle passed away at the age of 38, having lived with cancer her entire life.  Her example of how to be a sibling, scientist and friend continues to inspire me.  The family is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support from Sarah's friends around the world.  Sarah embodied SISU.

Monday, January 18, 2021

here we are

here we are

separated from what we knew

this is where we are

this is our time


I have another black cross quilt top in the works

I like black crosses

A black cross attracts the eye and holds on 

don't hate anything says Rilke

it seems as if something is disappearing

something fragile

stitching helps me to hold on

folded in the uterus
creased in death
we are like cloth
more somatic than cerebral
more felt than remembered

I piece together little squares with needle and thread and do not look for a short cut

I appreciate the slow way

I understand the connection to the body

I pay attention sometimes, other times I daydream

very simple

very quiet

simply to wake up 

to the very life we're living

which is so excellent

John Cage

honest                 true                    meaningful

open to wonder             hope-filled         calm 

love relationships        memory        

inner world                    passage of time


over all, like a halo, the love of the artist for her work 

aunt jane

Regardless of how abstract a soft sculpture is, it will unavoidably evoke the human.  Organic is another word.  When it becomes a factor of the material itself, softness takes on an alarming correspondence to our own transitory journey, our mortality.  Max Kozloff  1967  the poetics of softness

the simplicity

the variability of nature

the daydream

we don't know anything

we're going to do it anyway

I'm just trying to figure it out

the days are bound together
by my hands.