Friday, May 27, 2022

solitude is a place

Q  Where have you been?  

A   I've been visiting a place that encourages me to work by instinct.

Q  What is the name of that place?

A   Solitude.

Q  Don't you get lonely?

A  Sometimes.  Most of the time I'm fine.  

Q  What do you do all day? 

A  I make my own coffee and don't follow my usual routine. 

There is absolutely no agenda on the weekends. 

However, during the work week,  I work.

The difference is that the solitude gives me a feeling of freedom.

I can't explain it. 

I don't think about the work first.   I don't plan it.

I just start.  

It's as if I am a four year old child and the adult who loves me gives me construction paper and scissors and  crayons and says:  "make art".  

So I just start.  The adult who loves me (myself) tells me to. 

Q  Can you give us an example?

A  One example is the new quilt that I started two weeks ago.  

I didn't know that I was going to make it when I went to bed the night before.

It's a huge piece, at least 100 inches square, but very light. 

I am using up the cotton that I painted with iron water dots in July 2020.

That cloth had been folded up in a basket for nearly two years.  

Q  So you follow the materials?

A  Yes. 

I also think that something intuitive happens with the passage of time and personal and world events.    

My brain didn't know, but my spirit and body did.

"knowledge grows slowly like a wisdom tooth"  said poet Adam Zagajewski

Q  Any other examples?

A  I did make some break throughs in other media.  I may post about them in the future, not now.  

Q  Tell about the circle stitching that you are doing.

A  After mounting the exhibition last fall I had started an embroidery on some wool cloth dyed with avocado.  It was like hugging myself, going round and round with the running stitch, but I had put it aside.  I picked it up again in May.  I hope to finish it this summer.   

Q  So this avocado piece was not planned either?  

A  That's correct.  The two pieces in this post have no plot.  They tell a story, but there is no plot.

Q  But I thought that you sketched in your sketch book and worked with the design wall.  

A  With these pieces, I sketch them after I've stitched on them rather than before.  

I figure out what to do while I do it.    

Q  How come you have solitude in May?

A  Well, it's a busy time for my husband so he's been going in to work rather than working from home.  He's also been away opening our cottage for one of the weekends and this last week, he's been on a fishing retreat with the guys.  He comes back home today.  I will be glad to see him and have him here with me at night.  

Q  Do you always have projects like this when he is away?

A  Probably.  But I think that this year something is different.

I seem to trust myself more.  I don't care if I please others.   

I don't know where it is coming from, but I am letting it come.

Q  Please tell us about your unique mark making.

A  Timeless geometric motifs have become my language: Circles, dot grids and simple running stitch.  

And like a mother tongue, I speak them without thinking. 

They seem so normal to me, yet at the same time,

I know that they are not normal because the way I use them is my own personal language. 

Q  Do you have a philosophy?

A  I am a woman artist.

I look at the horizon from my window or I sit outside and listen to birds.

I always have stitching in my lap.

The archetypes and the female in me rise up like clouds and stars in the sky and I let them.

Carl Jung struggled with understanding his own unconscious. 

He tried to find an image for the feeling, as if that would help him understand the feeling. 

He identified the first shapes that all humans seem to understand.  

It is difficult to translate our inner reality into a visual symbol.

Abstract art is a valid way. 

Abstract art with the touch of my hands it my way.   

"Classical art depends on inspiration.  It exists in the mind, it doesn't exist in the world.

Many artists live socially without disturbance to mind,

but others must live the inner experience of mind,

a solitary way of living." 

Agnes Martin. 

"I found a means to express my vital concerns as a woman; 

my body, my feelings, my relationship to others, my frustrations 

and my values: tenderness, resourcefulness, endurance."  

Radka Donnell


Jackie B said...

I absolutely love your words in this post today Judy. So full of wisdom and truth.

gladiquilts said...

Such a beautiful and thoughtful post to start my day! Thank you!

Liz A said...

this then ... "something intuitive happens with the passage of time and personal and world events"

Lida said...

Big Thank You for your words and big Heart for You. Just fantastic 💗

Saskia said...

yet another amazing quilt is born from your hands, lovely thoughts here and I just googled Agnes Martin, such an amazing artist, are you by any chance related?