Tuesday, August 04, 2020

blueberry pie deep thought

When I make a pie, I follow a recipe
. If it doesn't turn out either it's a bad recipe or I didn't follow the instructions.
(Jay's sour dough bread )
With my art making there is no recipe. When my art doesn't turn out - then I have to either find a way to fix it or abandon it. It's no one else's fault. It's no one else's idea. Somehow, it's not even my own idea - it's more like my insides turned out.

Maybe this is the answer to that age-old riddle about art and craft.
With craft, you have a good idea how the finished product will look and do whatever it takes to achieve that. With art, you have no idea how it will look when you're done. It's a discovery.

Images from this week at cottage with the Jay family.
Text from an ancient blog post .  click here to see the original.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

and the light poured in

I look around me and
everything seems , what's the word I seek,
ephemeral?
beautiful? 
 spiritual?
I've been alone for a few days, not quite a week. 
The empty spaces became filled with green
and my needle kept going in and out, in and out

I made things in the evenings that I had not even considered when I woke up
My fabrics piled up around me and the light poured into the house
it poured in

it revealed  beauty I hadn't noticed
and also that unnamable something....
I've gone back and forth to my studio in town,
making making making
looking at the water and the sky

writing and unwriting journals
 a kind of transformation is going on inside me

a shifting

When you make something you have proof that something has been accomplished, something is different.  It's proof that there has been a change.  You have made a physical change. You have made a thing.  It's through the physical world that you can have a spiritual life.  It is about transendence.  Something has moved from one state to another.  Art is proof.  Art moves your insides into the physical world.  It doesn't rob you of your insides, it;'s just a representation and it's always different.  It's like a mystery and you're trying to rein it in or something. 

Kiki Smith speaks this way

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Outdoor Gallery


prayer to the sky  by Judy Martin
three layers of wool, indigo and madder dyes, hand stitched and slashed 60 x 64.5" 2019
Currently my work is simple.
I have to keep reminding myself about the aesthetic of simplicity.
It is challenging to be simple when the materials are lush.
I am concerned with the passage of time and use hand-stitch as a metaphor for time and touch.
red thread hearts by judy martin
 sixteen women's handkerchiefs, damask table linen, cotton and silk theads, hand stitched 76 x 76 "  2019
Subjects I keep returning to in my work are: vulnerability, female-ness, the inner dream world and love relationships.
The sense of touch is the mother of the senses.
I use it to reach the emotional inner world of my viewers.
I try to hold spirit within my work.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Vincent's words in my head

 I must continue to follow the path I take now.
 If I do nothing, if I study nothing,
 If I cease searching, then, woe is me.
 I am lost.
That is how I look at it -- keep going.

Keep going come what may.
 But what is your final goal, you may ask.
That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely,
much as the rough draft turns into a sketch,
 and the sketch into a painting through the serious work done on it,
 through the elaboration of the original vague idea
 and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought.
Vincent Van Gogh said these things.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

wanting to continue on

This post is about my count-down quilt.
I put two days of work into it every 6  weeks,
sewing log cabin blocks to foundations from scrap fabrics that have arrived in my life.

The intent is to celebrate that my husband and I will be married 50 years in 2023.
I'm making one log cabin block for each week as we count down to the 50th anniversary.
This is the first quilt top.
Probably there will be four such quilt tops when I'm done - as long as things continue on.

Wanting them to continue on.

This quilt is like a prayer.  I hope that nothing changes
166 more weeks to go. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

the poetics of space

We think we know ourselves but all we know is a sequence of fixations in the spaces of our being.
In order to analyze ourselves we need to put our important memories on the plane of daydream.
Memory is a strange thing.
Memories are motionless.
The more securely they are fixed in space, the sounder they are.
Space - not time - is important.
The unconscious is housed in the space of its own happiness.

Think of your intimate inner spaces as if a map.
Like a drawing that is not exact.
Psychic weight is dominant in this domain.
The real houses of memory are not able to be described, they are so intimate
Just mention them and you are set on the threshold of your daydream.
You find repose there.
All we communicate to others is an orientation towards a secret,
without ever being able to tell the secret.
The great function of poetry is to give us back the situation of our dreams.

Gaston Bachelard

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

creativity and confusion

This post consists of photos of my work and life during the last few confusing weeks.
Creativity has returned for me and I am grateful for time spent with new work.
I have several new starts, and if they were all pinned up side by side, I think we would see that I am following a new direction.  I don't quite understand it yet, but you know,  that's OK.
I just want to get this work out of me.
Although it makes me calm to do it, I am also in a kind of panic.
Our two youngest daughters are with us.
April has been here since the beginning of April and Grace arrived on June 4.
 I've been going into my town studio since June 1 - every week day.
 
When I'm there I use the large work table to support a piece I'm working on that is based on three old blankets.  It's immense, and each day's stitching is only a tiny mote.
Sometimes I listen to the podcast Sandy and Nora talk politics while stitching. 
 Just as often, I enjoy quiet.
I won't lie.
This pandemic time and this white fragility time  are very confusing and very heavy.
"There is no such thing as good painting about nothing." Mark Rothko
Take care of each other my friends.