Monday, April 02, 2018

like a child

after anni albers watercolour on paper judy martin
I am painting first thing when I wake up.
I set the kitchen timer for fifteen minutes, and tell myself:  "Just do fifteen minutes".
I am using a desk near the kitchen to make it really convenient.
after anni albers 1 judy martin water colour on paper
Years ago, when I had those four babes, I came across advice to mother artists.
"use part of naptime for the inner self. Begin with fifteen minutes"

so I did

I give this advice out to women now.
use the kitchen timer as a limit and as a permission
begin with fifteen minutes
anni albers note book on left
a few years ago, my husband's christmas gift to me was six kitchen timers, one for each room.

Now I set my timer to one hour.
Then I set it again for a second one.
rainbow by aili, dot circle by grandmom  watercolour on paper
I've been struggling with getting back to painting for years,
but it was painting patterns with my four year old grand daughter last month that helped the most.
She painted rainbows and spirals, I painted waves on horizons and circles and dots
These very simple things were so easy, enjoyable and meditative.

Picasso said  "it took me four years to paint like raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child "
dot grid judy martin oil and cold wax on paper
Also, I am inspired by Matisse's approach to painting.
He put cloth into his compositions to help him work flatter
And a 3rd thing:  Anni Albers notebook.
She worked with half square triangles, page after page of drawings , her designs for weaving

I am not giving up my stitching and quilt making practice.
I still think that the sense of touch is more powerful for reaching the emotions and the inner self than the sense of sight.

I am looking to paint as a faster way to get my ideas out....that's all.
It's been a break through for me  to actually do this.
Last week, I talked about it with our daughter April.

Judy:  I was thinking about Matisse the other day.  He painted cloth (curtains, clothing, tablecloths in his paintings) to remind him to be flat"
April:  His work became so flat
Judy:  And Joyce Wieland, she wanted her work to be round.   I wonder what I want my work to be.
April:  " soft "


  1. One of my first quilt teachers had four children with a Vietnam Vet who had lost his mind. She was an artist and had an area in her kitchen that was always set up for painting. By the time we met, her children were grown and she had become a quilter. I would express to her my frustration with motherhood and how it left me little time to make. She said, if you have a clean house that is a sure sign that you are not creating enough. Let the house work go. Keep the craft moving. Lovely post Judy. Thank you.

  2. our children often teach us.

  3. your red dot painting holds your wonderful sense of touch

  4. I'm packing for an art retreat. Cloth,thread and dye. Just added my brushes to the kit.thanks!

  5. Yes Judy....the urge to quickly 'get it out' has overcome me too. ox

  6. I am surprised by your paintings...such details as those would take me longer than 15 minutes. But I am painting landscapes. Skies and foregrounds (prairie) in water-colour (with a hint of acrylic) on canvas...and add fabric and stitch later.

    It's not child like, but it's play for me.

  7. I do not make a painting in 15 minutes. I let myself paint longer .... and the half square triangle paintings took days to paint. I painted the tan one in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep. Probably 2 hours in a row there.

    Margaret, love your words - it's not child-like but it's play


  8. what good advice...15 minutes a day was how I got back to painting in 1995 and I loved how it became 30 minutes, an hour. I wonder if you know the work of Julie Green? She does a daily meditation of painting each day and has produced some amazing things. For four years she sumi-ed a few shells every day on rice paper until she had enough to wallpaper the whole gallery with her paintings hung on top. Her husband Clay Lohman is a quilter. Nice post...thanks.

  9. Thanks for sharing the peace and this piece of advice.

  10. Beautiful post and good advice. Thank you!

  11. Love your 15 minute a day idea. Most people have and waste way more then 15 minutes a day. I'm going to start this practice today, hand stitching on my quilts.

  12. Thank you Judi, excellent idea. My son has been urging me to write the family ‘memoires’ and I have been postponing because I never find the right moment to sit down and write. But I can certainly do it for 15’ a day! And, of course, I love your inspiring paintings.

  13. lovely work! When my children were young, I made my living as an artist. Naptime was a Godsend
    because I could paint and sew to my heart's content. Now I have all the time in the world and do nothing. I like the timer idea, have tried it before and it really helps.

  14. Your dot grid is wonderful. A small bit of time can make such a difference- a few stitches before heading off to school helps me find some center & calm.

  15. What your work should be, and is?

  16. northern angell1:14 am

    Thank you for the advice...I believe it will change things...remembering who I am...


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