Sunday, 10 October 2021

Bits and Pieces from "In the Middle of the World"

I have been stuck for words
Not knowing what say about sharing this beautiful space
with my dear friend Judy Martin 

We are both inspired by the landscapes we live in
Hers on the shores of Manitoulin Island
Mine in the tangled woods around the Annapolis Basin in Nova Scotia.

My process has been for many years influences by these words from 
Peter London's book 'Drawing Closer to Nature'.
"Find a portion of the world that is close at hand and adopt it. Become acquainted with it. Draw closer to it by staying with it over a long course of time. In all seasons, all times of the day, all weathers, all circumstances of your own life. The more often you return to this chosen portion of Nature, the more finally you will be able to perceive its more delicate features, as well the slow-to-emerge patterns and rhythms."

Each piece is about how the natural world around me has touched me.

Every piece has a story connected to simple daily observations
of life in the woods and marshes and shorelines
around me. 

I understand the immensity of Judy's pieces
I have driven with her through the mighty rock cuts of northern Ontario
I have sat with her looking out over the endless horizons of Lake Huron.

Love this photo of pieces waiting their turn to be hung!
So many thanks to our young curator, Miranda Bouchard, who works so diligently on our behalf
and writes so beautifully about our work.
(You can see her curatorial statement in the MVTM link below)
So many thanks to Melanie and Michael at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
who have provided the best environment for our show
which will remain there until December 17th, 2021.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, 17 September 2021

In the Middle of the World is Getting Closer and Closer

All rolled up and ready to go off to the 
The Middle of the World.
I was overwhelmed
had to sit down and wipe away the tears.

I am reluctant to let them go.

The pieces are the colours of Nova Scotia
from dye baths of local plants and trees.

There is a piece of me in every stitch.
Each stitch a reflection of my thoughts and feelings
 in that meditative rhythm of needle passing through cloth.

I feel I can say more with needle and thread than with words

Words are so black and white...they freak me out!

Stitching is where I can be truly me.

These pieces have been close to my heart for months
years even
and I want to keep them safe at home with me.
But then I remember part of the joy of creating
is sharing the work with others.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Birthday Celebration that Should Have Been


Happy Birthday Steven
On this day when you should have turned 49
My goodness me, that is nearly an old man!
You are loved
And missed so very much.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Summer....My Favourite Time of Year

It's been a glorious Summer
A time to dye
with Madder and Cutch and Myrobalan

A time for the garden to grow out of control
Full of abundant dye material

A time for my wild child to explore the dried out stream
But not too far my dear
There is a black bear cub and his Mom around!

We have managed to maintain our new civilized flowerbed
and the dahlias are still incredible.... 
....and so huge!

Even the Rusty Pups have enjoyed the abundance of flowers

....basking in the Sun has been pure joy!

For those of you whose Summer is coming to an end
I hope it was glorious for you too.
There are some whose Summer is just beginning
and I envy you. favourite time of year.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Small Observations Walking With Rusty Pups

We walk before the Day Lillies awaken

We walk past tree stumps
reminding me of those years long ago
when people were talking about insects taking over the world!
Perhaps they will.

We walk past grasses arching gracefully 
from what used to be our veggie beds.
We've given up on veggies
now it is left to nature for the butterflies and bees.

And then of course
there is always the favourite huge stick of the day 
that has to accompany us around!

This hot sunshiny summer makes the stream 
a very inviting cooling spot for Rusty Pups
who often dive in and splash their way downstream
disrupting the quiet, still beauty of reflections!

To my surprise I discovered 
there are tiny rusty critters who live close to the stream!

Everything is attracted to our quieter Rusty Pup, Brandy!
Others like the horrible deerfly really bother her
But beautiful butterflies, not so much!

LET me go inside pleeeease.
Rusty Pup, Ginger, is not a fan of the heat
When we sit out on the front porch
She likes to go inside and lie under an open window.
Close enough to still feel part of the pack!

Sometimes the small observations of daily life
are the most important.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Steven's Day of Memory

On this day of memory
We remember when we were complete

The wonder of a tiny tot when grandpa thought 
this was a good idea!

and the inquisitiveness of a toddler
exploring your great grandma Robin's gardening tools

We remember the simple joys of summertime on Georgian Bay

 and the infectious excitement of High School graduation.

We carry you always in our hearts

Something I don't often share is this piece
The Day God Called You Home
A piece full of symbols for words were hard to find.

The day started out so full of promise and future plans
and it turned out to be your last day
because an oncoming driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Those of us who have been able to carry on walking this world
remember you with full hearts
with tears
and laughter too
for you left those you knew with many an hilarious tale to tell.

God bless.


Thursday, 15 July 2021

In The Middle Of The World


My pieces for
 In the Middle of the World
have been lying flat on two guest beds.

As I started checking if they all had sleeves and labels
they became a crumpled mess.
I loved the look of this messy pile of stitch and cloth
and had to record it here.

Stitches on linen and silk, velvet and damask
all dyed with plant materials.

For me sense of touch is very powerful.
It is the reason I work with cloth and thread in my hands.

Every type of cloth reacts differently
to needle and thread.

Every stitched mark enriches a seemingly mundane cloth
and reflects your own thoughts and feelings
of that day.

When you spend hours, days, months,
stitching large works
you can't help but leave within that cloth a piece of your soul.

I know that Judy Martin is also working on the finishing touches for 
In the Middle of the World
Opening October 2nd
at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum
in Almonte, Ontario.

I know that our wonderful curator, Miranda Bouchard,
is working hard for us despite her responsibilities
and contributing so much to create a beautiful
and successful show.

I hope you have a day filled with the sense of touch!