Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Her Interior Wilderness

Over the weekend I went out on the deck and stitched this piece,
enjoying the spring sunshine.
I outlined white petal shapes with black wool thread, added french knots here and there.
Stitching on paper is a slow way to make marks that appear to be spontaneous.
I thought these looked pretty free and easy,
until I looked at the reverse side.
Here it did look care-free. Intuitive.  WOW

I prefer this 'wrong' side.
I wonder if this is a metaphor for how we prefer our life to be like?
Sensuous and unplanned, barely contained.
Just going. Doing.  and it is beautiful.
I continued to work from the pretty side.  I like the pretty side.
But I love the messy side.
Her Interior Wilderness
That's the kind of day it was.
The eyes of the spirits winking off the water.
Richard Wagamese


  1. I'm with you, liking the tidiness, but loving the rarely exposed messiness. Perhaps because it seems like a metaphor for life's best stories ...

  2. Very special this stitching on paper, Judy !!!

  3. The 'messy side'...wasn't so messy after all, eh? Hugs! And blessings for Easter!

  4. Looks like a fragment from an archaeological dig--who knew on Manitoulin? :)

  5. More and more I love the back sides of my work too. They seem to reveal an innerworkings that is yearning to get out. Beautiful work Judy.

  6. Pretty and messy. Two sides of the same coin--and person. I love both as well.

  7. Hi Judy, I am amazed by the beautiful work you have done on paper... what kind of paper is it?
    i love both sides.

    Thank you for sharing your work with us. \Cheers

  8. So many thoughts pass through my mind here today. I first thought of a mirror how what we think of as a reflection isn't a true view but a reverse view. This prompted recto-verso imagery. The front-back relationship in printing. Going back a bit when paper (papyrus especially) was made only the one side, recto, was smooth enough to accept writing hence the front but for utility the rougher back was used. I see your thinking the opposite / other side might be a rougher part. More tactile. Your term sensual. Recto-verso drawings are pieces of work that intend both sides to be used. I was hoping the image of you holding the paper up to the light would show a ghosting images or a bleed. Isn't that a thought that the work could bleed. These are all from a Western's eye-ideas: Japanese, Arabic or Hebrew eyes would do it all verso:recto style. And you know too I'm sure Junko Oki's work. When she presents it, as in her book Culte à la Carte she shows both sides as equal. A good point to stop my rattle

  9. judy! lovely and rich and just wonderful. don't you love what happens as you stitch paper? how the surface becomes different? i looked carefully at your paper and wonder if it's flax?

  10. Velma, I think it is flax too.
    I purchased this large piece of hand made paper nearly 20 years ago from a papermaking place in Ottawa that is now no longer.
    It wasn't quite this shape. I soaked it in water about 10 years ago and crumpled it up and opened it out again - some idea that I didn't follow through with.

    Now - I come across this paper that to me is shaped like a female torso and I am using it. Much of my newer work is because of the materials I have saved for a long time- it's time to let them speak. I've kept them safe because I love them.


  11. And Arlee - Manitoulin has one of the most important ancient archeological digs on it about 10 minutes from where I live.
    9000 years of occupation.

    Here's a link to copy and paste for more information from heritage Canada



  12. Paper is a wonderful substrate and I love working on crumpled natural paper - no matter the fibre content. Flax would be delicious. The paper, like thin inner layers of fallen birch bark which is my favourite stitching choice, takes the stitches so beautifully and holds firm the connection between the artist and her thread of conversation. You are blessed to have the water to look at and listen to as it speaks it's messages to you.

  13. so beautiful from both sides

  14. There should be a show for us who love the backs of our work ... we could call it 'Backsides' ;)

    Love the paper history !

  15. When we create, What we are after is nourishment rather than self expression.

    Perhaps this 'other' side is closer to nourishment
    because it's just so generous, it gives itself to us without all the baggage of our anxious intent.

    we are taken care of by our own work.

  16. Both sides are lovely. Handwork leaves such a different "pattern" on the reverse side. I always want to see both sides.

  17. I too became drawn to what I call the "otherside" now, instead of the back. Over time it become the more comfortable place to rest, I especially love it because there seems to be more visible connections between steps.

  18. judy, i know that place in ottawa, the papertrail, which was sold to another papermaker, kevin martin and relocated. the former owner anagret nill (i hope i've spelled that correctly) moved on, but her assistant britt quinlin is still in ottawa making paper and moulds under the imprint paperwright. britt is very very cool! and her online shop is wonderful.

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