Thursday, December 02, 2021

artist talk

I am excited to share the link to my section of the artist's talk that Miranda Bouchard, Penny Berens and I presented for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum on September 29, 2021.  I have a vimeo account and have uploaded just my small part.  


is the video of my 15 minutes.

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum will have a link to the complete talk soon.  As soon as that goes live I will share it here.  

As well, an online closing celebration is being planned for December 18.  Link to that will also follow.

For now though, please get your tea and come visit me on Manitoulin Island.  In this slide presentation I share my view through the cedar trees to the sky and the water.   It was my first time doing a live zoom with sharing my screen, so please forgive the first few minutes of not knowing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

about orbits and dreams and also about bed / boat and melancholy / fragility / durability and also about stars

In this dark month, 

I'm looking at things differently.

Embroideries I made in a younger time,

for a different project,

are cut and re-arranged into a garden,

stitched to new cloth.  

Seeing them being reborn enlivens me.  

enlarges my spirit. 

This new work is round and bright

and fragile and soft.

Stitching it, making it

helps me to accept the winter coming

and my ageing 

I have been stitching new circles

one after the other.

Bowls of silence.  (Rumi's words)

Circles and dots

that represent Gaia's rhythm.

The natural cycles of the sun and the moon and the planets and the stars

and how they relate to earth. 

Cosmic time pieces.

The earth revolves on her axis in one day,

the moon orbits the earth in one female month,

the earth orbits the sun in one year.

Gaia rhythm.

Earth clocks.

under the blue sky my clock-faced flowerbeds reflect the orb of the sun

they never sleep

lying awake under the starry constellations, they listen to the music of  time.

they chuckle, yes they chuckle 

and gossip.

I walk in this garden holding the hands of dead friends  

Old age came quickly. 

Cold, cold, cold, they died so silently.

My gilly flowers, roses, violets blue, 

sweet garden of varnished pleasures, 

please come back next year.

                                                                  Derek Jarman

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

beauty binds us together

 What is ordinary daily life anyway?
Breakfast – housecoats – diapers – bath – crying – cleaning up 
TV  - tea – reading stories – snowsuits – writing letters, reading letters,
holding babies, making sandwiches – heating soup 
 folding corduroys – sorting socks – tea – coaxing two year olds
 listening to seven year olds – thinking – quilting – my art 
the radio – the window – the dishwasher 
thinking – jotting down ideas – peeling vegetables
pouring milk – talking – piano lessons – undressing – sex
How would I define myself?
I would have to answer ‘ a mother ‘
When you have a seven-month-old baby, it does really occupy you the most. 
But I feel that I am an artist too.  I can’t call myself one this year though. 
 Now I am first a mother.

Journal Text from December 13 1987 

Images of stitching and nature walks from this week.


Thursday, October 28, 2021

loss / beauty /our exhibition

There's a beautiful exhibition going on right now, miles away from me.  It's called In the Middle of the World and I'm really proud of the work in it and how it is installed.  

It feels a bit strange though, to have my work up on display there, and yet continue on with ordinary life here on Manitoulin.  

"There is such a shock after a show.  A show is an experience and after a show the artist is a different person.  He/she moves on.  So does the work."  

Louise Bourgeois said that in 1976.  It's how I'm feeling.

The exhibition is a two-person one with my colleague and good friend, Penny  Berens, who lives in Nova Scotia.  Penny and I discussed our work and how and where it would be shown with Miranda Bouchard, a free-lance curator who lives, as I do, in northern Ontario.  We both leaned on Miranda for layers of support.  

I wrote about Penny Berens's beautiful wall pieces on my Modernist Aesthetic blog.  Go see


I wrote about my sculptural textiles on Judy's Updates.  Go see that too, please.   I included my poetic artist statement in with the images, so that it would seem as if you are listening to someone read it into your head as you move through the exhibition.

let it all go 
the small middling tall bigger really the biggest and all things
let them go dear.
so comes love.

All the images are from Manitoulin Island, taken from car windows during a drive with my husband last Sunday.  The stitching I had in my lap is a new piece, I don't know what it is about.  

Friday, October 15, 2021


Just a quick note here to let people know that I am fine.    
The exhibition is beautiful and I will write more about that soon.
For those of you who want to receive updates to this blog in your email, and don't already....please sign up for this service by emailing me.  Please put BLOG in the subject line.  The service that originally did this service stopped in August and some people have reached out about this.

You can find my email address in my profile and also in the sidebar. 
Things keep changing in Blogland, and it's hard to keep up. 
For those of you on Instagram, follow me there @judithemartin

I'm home now and loving being here after traveling to the exhibition near Ottawa and visiting some of our grown children and young grandchildren in Ottawa and Toronto.  

These days I am cleaning and decluttering my house, gathering my life story from my old journals and stitching in the mornings on my 90 inch square muslin and indigo quilt, grateful for it.   

The island state is a state of remaining within one's own boundaries, undisturbed by any external influence; it resembles a kind of narcissism or even autism.   One satisfies all one's needs on one's own.  Only the self seems real.    Olga Tokarczuk  

Sunday, September 26, 2021

boxes three and four : In the Middle of the World

 I am not like you, the old woman said slowly.

I do not tell stories.

I see visions.

I see that life is not a line, but a circle.

To be human is to be circled in the cycles of nature,

rooted in the processes that nurture us in life, 

just as plants breathe in and out their photo synthesis

breathing in and breathing out.

Elizabeth Dodson Gray   from Green Paradise Lost  (1979) 

Installation happens this week.
Four boxes of art, one box of rods arrived at the gallery on Friday, September 24.

I can not find the words to name how I am feeling.