Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Interview question

Mary Cassatt, Breakfast in Bed

World of Threads question: Are there any specific historic artists that have influenced your work? Please explain.

Judy Martin answer: I have been fascinated with art all my life and am humbled by my ongoing studies. I got my first fine art degree in the early 90's and was influenced at that time by the work of feminist artist Miriam Schapiro and by the ideas of Judy Chicago.

It's hard for me to say if one or two specific artists influenced my work. I have been inspired by so many artists and types of artwork. I like very early Greek statues, I also like Giotto's simple figures from pre renaissance Italy. I like the humanness of Velasquez's faces and the passion of Goya's narratives. I like Picasso, the flaunting of his masculinity and the immensity of his vision, I like Matisse, such simplicity in his lines and shapes, I like Van Gogh, the energy and inner passion in his wonderful brush strokes. I like how DuChamp made us notice the mysterious in the every-day and how David Hockney realized time passing with photography. Whoops, those were all men I just mentioned. But that was the art history I studied. Joyce Wieland, Reason over Passion

My work is influenced by Joyce Wieland's use of feminine imagery and domestic technique, Louise Bourgeois's grand idea that art is therapy, Emily Carr's connection with the spirit of nature and Mary Pratt and Mary Cassatt, who painted women, children and the domestic.

I also love Mark Rothko and Paul Klee, those guys who painted empty contemplative space and who attempted to make visible the invisible.

Agnes Martin's committment to solitude and work and Frida Kahlo's confrontational look at her own life story through painting. Those ideas inform my work.

Recent Australian acrylic painting is very inspirational right now. The empty spaces, the human gesture of line and shape. Wow.

Louise Bourgeois, Femme Maison
Indian embroidered tunic

I am in awe of those anonymous early quilt makers who were able to really see their surroundings and create beautiful and meaningful repeated patterns. I have respect and admiration for early Amish quilt makers, as their placement of colour is fantastic. For a long time I have admired the earthy minimalism in Dorothy Caldwell's resist dyed work. She remains a huge inspiration as does the passion of quilt artist Nancy Crow.

World textiles knock me over. African, Indian, Japanese cloth. Embroidery, dye methods, meaning.


  1. judy, it appears that you are doing a wonderful year's ending reckoning, which i find inspiring.

  2. Actually Velma, this is part of an interview from World of Threads, based in Oakville, Ontario.
    They are putting up a new website in the new year and over the course of the year are featuring several artists. I am one of them it seems. I don't know who the others are.
    However, I suppose that this post is a kind of reckoning in a way however, as the question made me think about which artists from art history have influenced my work. I know that I have missed many.

  3. Anonymous2:35 pm

    i'm always a fan of survivors and the enduring artists who overcame war, poverty, difficult lives to make something beautiful.

    i find myself drawn to sculpture, instillation, or paintings done on a large scale. i think because quilting had that feeling to me as a young kid. my moms quilts were huge, oceans, pieces i couldn't count.

    i've also always loved the hidden. symbols and social commentary buried in the traditional.

    and the feeling of community, whether created or represented. i think that had a lot to do with my moms native american/small town heritage.

  4. May I share a haiku for Vincent van Gogh in


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx