Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Betty Goodwin's notes

 Nest 1973 by Betty Goodwin, soft ground etching using copper plate (proof)

"A bird's tool is its own body and its nest is a house built by and for the body
 taking form from the inside,  like a shell. constantly turning round and pressing back the walls on every side 
 it succeeds in forming the circle. "
Gaston Bachelard, from the poetics of space  
copied by Betty Goodwin into her notebook
Disturbed Note 1973 by Betty Goodwin, etching using copper plate, (proof)

"In the late summer of 1969, notebooks replaced sketchbooks as vehicles to explore ideas for her artmaking, as places to record her own thoughts on art, or copy down quotations.  The notebooks became the repository for ideas that seemed to have no relevance at the time they were recorded."
Rosemarie L. Tovell from The Prints of Betty Goodwin
Note Two 1974 by Betty Goodwin, etching , (working proof)

These note etchings seem to be self portraits.  The artist working from her insides.
Judy age 2 or 3, photocopy of 1950's photo by Paul Johnson , pasted into one of my old notebooks.

In this post, I am making notes to myself.
I looked at these prints by Betty Goodwin in February, and photographed them then.
I was attracted to them then, and I still am.
They resemble stitching I suppose.
There is also something so vulnerable and emotional about them.


  1. OH, Gosh, Judy......when I moved to Toronto in 2003 the first gallery I visited had some of Betty's magnetic iron sculptures. I was so moved. And then I saw a large exhibit in Quebec City of her drawings on mylar. Again I was moved beyond description. She remains one of the most influential artists I have ever experienced....there was so much beauty in her pain. Thank you for this reminder.

  2. Yes.

    I've looked at her work for a long time, and am always moved. Her wide and generous use of materials - mylar, oil stick, empty clothing, mended tarps, along with printmaking makes me feel connected through the sense of intimate touch and the slow pace of skill and craft.

  3. Definately like stitching, etching is another beautiful form of intimate mark making.

    It's wonderful to read about Betty's sketchbooks and notebooks. Our notebooks contain all sorts of paraphernalia...images, quotes, memories, lists, day to day life. Maybe one day someone will look back at our notebooks/journals and enjoy our thoughts.

    Jacky xox

    Beautiful photograph.

  4. Beautiful. Like Jacky said, stitching and etching are both forms of intimate mark making.

  5. ... as the nest takes form from the "inside" you seem to point that the artists' work (here) takes form from the inside, becoming a nest ? Physical skin of the inner thing.
    I love this connection.

    What made the shift from sketch book to notebook, does there seem a reason or event?

    I love the way Judy uses her fingers to feel forward and into the world she enters. She is so very beautiful!

  6. Yes - emotional - the lines are vulnerable, open, searching. Beautiful. I love nests cause they are like lines, I love thes cause they are like nests, I see the stitch, too.

  7. I thought they were stitches when I saw it in my sidebar, and it is very inspiring to me...

  8. This time of year, the nests left behind become visible. How they were built might not be something you ever think about...
    Betty Goodwin came to my notice for the first time when a friend in Vancouver Island phoned me, on finding a book about her that she wanted to send to me; during the conversation we compared her book-images with what I could find on the internet, but in the end she decided to hang onto the book, and I could understand why. It's good to see more of her work.

  9. there are nests, and there are nests.


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