Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trunk Show #1: Introduction

Power and Beauty, Amish diamond in square quilt, dyed wool, hand stitched with mirror work. Unfinished.

I'm preparing a trunk show to take to Toronto tomorrow. I'm considering using this unfinished piece in the introduction. (Sorry, but I don't have a photo that includes the 12 inch Amish style borders) My trunk show connects my art and my life.


I grew up on a farm in North Western Ontario.

My mother was an intellectual. Her parents were English/Irish. Her mother was the local artist. Her father a damaged WWI vet.

My father was an entrepreneur. His mother only spoke Finn. She wove Finnish rugs.

I’m 50 percent Finnish and the Finnish aesthetic – one of simplicity, elegance, noble poverty and love of nature informs my very being and all my work.

I’m finding that inner Finn more and more each year. The quilt that you see here has not been shown in public before. It’s not finished. It’s like me. I’m not finished either. I feel that I'm on the brink of a new and simple way of working.

This quilt is an Amish design embellished with Indian mirror work. Two very different cultures are brought together. Like so much of today's contemporary world, this piece is a hybrid.

I turned 60 this past summer. Emily Carr Visited Me 2005, painted and stitched rayon, pieced, appliqued, hand quilted. Turning 60 is a huge deal and instead of denying it, I am celebrating it. I am aware that the time available for me is limited. I believe that my best work is yet to come.

Emily Carr made her best work AFTER she gave up her boarding house business and went into the BC rainforest alone. She was 57.
detail. The blanket stitch embroidery is also the quilting stitch. oil on paper by Emily Carr.
This is when she painted her swirling skies and trees. She painted them when she was in her 60's.
oil on paper, Emily Carr oil on paper, Emily Carr. She painted all of these in her late 50's and early 60's. I am inspired by Emily Carr and her spirit continues to visit me and encourage me. My quilt appropriates her famous oil painting Scorned as Timber, Beloved by the Sky, that she painted when she was 64. But this is just the introduction.


Margaret said...

I turned 59 twelve days ago. I feel 60 creeping up on me. Thank you for the beauty and the comfort of your work -- and Carr's.

Serena said...

this is nice.

i'd love to see your trunk show, especially the works in progress.

i often think they are the most important and the most overlooked.

Penny Berens said...

I'm wondering if some of Emily Carr's spirit and your aesthetic might rub off on me now that I'm well into my sixties!

handstories said...

i'm a big admirer of emily carr & her trees.
& of your beautiful work inspired by her.

deb said...

Great post. A lot of us here seem to be in that age bracket. I'm celebrating too.

Nancy said...

I'm not quite there yet...but still like seeing this post :) Thank you for sharing.

Velma said...

a talk i would love to attend. thanks for sharing the intro. i remember discovering carr for myself. and then later on the group.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

I remember wandering through the Vancouver Art Gallery and seeing a display of some of Emily Carr's larger paintings. I felt like I was in the middle of an old growth forest. It was an interesting experience as it was obvious that she had a spiritual connection to those trees and it seemed that she passed that feeling on to myself as the observer. Simply awe inspiring!

I had forgotten about your talk and unfortunately won't be able to make it. I believe you told me where you were speaking and it's unfortunate that I have another engagement or I would be crashing the party! Giggle! Actually I have an open invitation, but just haven't ever taken them up on it.

Jackie said...

I adore that quilt that is unfinished... I still have to see Emily Carr someday=)

helen s. said...

It's nice to see you finding your "sisu" more and more each year. :) Finn's aesthetics seem to mirror alot of the American Indian ways, (I found from living in the U.P.)Their love of nature, their sauna compared to the sweat lodge, etc.Simplicity indeed.

Jeana Marie said...

I too wish I could attend your talk and see your work in person.

Judy Martin said...

The talk to the Pomegranate Guild went very well. They were a very suporrtive and receptive audience.

I think that I will post part of this trunk show every Tuesday on this blog. It will be a push to get things onto digital format.

Tuesday Trunk Show or something like that.

Filamental said...

You touched my heart with this post. I love your desire to use your time, all of your time, wisely.
I feel this way, too.

bwilliams said...

rhythm,energy, grace...in your stitches as in Carrs brushwork...come grow old with me, the best is yet to be...double nickels in just a few days........

MulticoloredPieces said...

Thank you for this post--Marvelous with Emily Carr's work and yours. I turn 60 this year and I'm looking forward to it, but a pep talk is always welcome!
best, nadia