Thursday, October 29, 2015

side tracked

In 2012 I wrote myself a mission statement that went something like this:  "I wish to create immense cloths that are beyond my reach in any direction and from afar seem to be empty, but, like nature, are actually covered with unique and repeated small marks."

Since then I have only completed one piece that fulfills that mandate.  Beginning with Time.  Side tracked by bubbling ideas, I've made smaller pieces ( Starry Night.  Yin Yin  ) that are ideal for group exhibitions,
and I made teaching samples. (shown in this post)

When I was invited to teach a design workshop at Fibrearts Newfoundland based on the  meditation panels of the circle project , I went into a flurry of producing art works that expanded on the stitches we used.  These 'samples' show how basic stitches and simple design principles can be used to express an original voice.
Both the blue moon folder (above)  and the dark dream cloth (below on left) were made to demonstrate how the archetype of a circle within a square can be a starting point for design.
 They a-wait finishing.
French knots were used in grid formations in both Earth Ark and Layers of Time.   To show a different way to use it, I made a murmuration of stitch.  (above on right)
 It a-waits finishing.
To expand on the reverse applique dot that makes up the lower half of Precious Water I worked up a whole cloth piece from organic cotton and commercial batiks.  It a-waits finishing.
The velvet sample shown above (the smaller piece) was made to demonstrate stitch and flip over foundation,  the main technique for Mended World.   It still needs to be completed.
Although I enjoy the connections I make through teaching and love sharing my passion for these easy techniques with like-minded individuals and I am pleased with the samples I made this year. (I would not have thought of them without the prep for teaching)  I want to leave behind a body of work made up of large pieces that communicate my ideas about intimacy of the hand's touch within the immensity we feel when alone in nature.

If I were younger and the days were longer, I believe that I would say yes more often to teaching.


  1. Judy!

    I learn so much from you and your BLOG, you are actually teaching us everyday with your writing, your art and your time.


  2. Thank you Tina. Thank you very much for saying this.

  3. Your work is so stunningly beautiful, I am overwhelmed every time I look at it, I hope you have "world enough and time' to complete your mission.

  4. Time and space....the field of being is so large that perhaps we need occasionally to swirl into smaller eddies and deal with life on a more intimate scale. Even the smallest thing holds the experience and vision you bring to all of your work.

  5. I second what Tina said. You are very generous to show us your work and to talk about it here. Sounds like it's time to minimize distractions and spend your time focusing the big vision. I hope we'll get to see your progress occasionally.

  6. So many thoughts filled my head as I read this post ... because I share your experience that teaching can be a very generative activity, even as it takes time from the very thing one wishes to be doing. Likewise, I share the sentiments of those above who find much inspiration and instruction here on your blog. Indeed the project you commented on in my blog was inspired in part by a post you wrote on August 19th.

    All that by way of saying I hope you find the balance between stitching and teaching and writing (not to mention family and friends) that helps you fulfill your personal mission and feel at peace with the moments that make up your days.

  7. your sidetracks are all so beautiful especially intrigued by the blue moon journal & that murmuration of French knots!!

  8. I appreciate your sharing unfinished work. wonderful by the way! I too have unfinished work, ideas that may never be completed

    i understand your desire and fulfillment with teaching. i taught art for 13 years and felt great joy from the experiences, i miss it

  9. C'est vraiment superbe!! merci pour ce partage visuel, c'est un plaisir des yeux

  10. Thank you for these generous comments.

    I have been doing quite a bit of soul-searching in regarding to teaching workshops. I had a great time teaching in Newfoundland and have received several more invitations to teach. It is time to give firm answers and set a schedule. As of this morning I made the decision to offer workshops until the spring of 2017, and then I will go on a sabbatical from teaching again in order to complete that mission I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Hopefully I will then be able to finish the new large pieces I've been dreaming about, enough for a solo exhibition before I turn 70.

    In regard to this blog. Daughter April told me that it is one of my art-forms and I do love writing it. It thrills me that so many enjoy it and learn from it. The internet has opened us up hasn't it? We have more friends...and that is a good thing. xo

  11. I hope one of those workshops will bring you West...we could stitch the sky...

  12. looking at all these, i feel like weeping. Maybe it's just
    my interior weather from my life right now, but
    i don't think so, but maybe that just makes me
    so open to what i see here, i love them....
    i just love the teaching pieces really, because
    they are most kin to anything i could aspire to
    your VAST pieces, so FINE but beyond anything i can dream
    I have written this post down so i can come back
    and feel the same over and over...
    you Teach. all the time.
    and i can say, because i am on the brink of 70, it comes quickly,
    before you know it......
    Thank you Judy and much much love

  13. i love how you draw with a needle and thread

  14. Maybe you just need to redefine VAST pieces. What you shared with us in pictures is the VAST-NESS of your knowledge and your skills. I think you have accomplished the goal you set out. Sometimes when we send our intentions into the universe , we don't recognize that we are getting just what we need to hear, feel, see, do, say, etc. By teaching you are sharing your VAST knowledge and energies and skills.

  15. these drawings/stitchings are just fine unfinished. are they unfinished?

  16. Yes, they are unfinished. I look forward to finishing them.
    They give me something to pick up and work on while I figure things out.

  17. I like to READ about your work in progress. I like to SEE your work in progress. It is comforting to know you also have lots that isn't finished. Is art ever finished? Da Vinci said," Art is never finished, only abandoned". I love this post Judy!

  18. Thank you for that quote by Da Vinci, Sandra. I love it and have put it into my journal. x

  19. Anonymous12:00 am

    I'm bowled over by your mission statement - I struggle to conceive of what my mission statement is - or could be. It is perhaps the most difficult act of inspiration to foresee what we might aim for in our work. I find your blog full of inspiration and ideas and definitely a great artwork in itself like your daughter said.


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