Monday, 27 July 2015

Quotes: Thich Nhat Hanh

"Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed." –– Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926) Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and author
* Source: artpropelled April 5, 2015

Friday, 24 July 2015

Of Note

We have finally reached zucchini nirvana and for the first time ever have far more zucchini than we can possibly eat. This is a good problem that I have been aiming for. Today I learned that a zucchini can double in size in just one day. 

Here's what's rocking my world this week:
1. Japanese Outsider artist Satoshi Morita's stitching is out-of-this-world. Satoshi's work was exhibited in Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at Wellcome Collection in the U.K. in 2013. Oh my!

2. This week I finished reading Stuffocation by James Wallman. The one tidbit that set my mental lightbulb ablaze was an endnote that cites the research of historian Eve Fisher about what a shirt made during the middle ages would cost in today's dollars. It's brilliant. The $3500 Shirt is a good read.

3. My printmaking class may be over for the summer, but I'm still looking at contemporary screen prints to feed my mental image bank. Linda Linko's prints are delicious. Found via Anthology

4. I am in clean up mode around here. In the process of unearthing two tables in my studio, I found an old Surface Design Journal article (SDJ Spring 2001) about Jeanne Williamson's weekly quilts, and monthly 12" X 12" artworks. She's still at it.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Quotes: Toshiko Takaezu

"You are not an artist simply because you paint or sculpt or make pots... An artist is a poet in his or her own medium. And when an artist produces a good piece, that work has mystery, an unsaid quality; it is alive." –– Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011), American ceramic artist and painter

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Sneak Peek: Judy Martin Mended World

Judy Martin Layers of Time detail; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2015
Here's a sneak peek of an upcoming blogpost about Judy Martin's Mended World: an exhibition of the Manitoulin Community Circle Project at Homer Watson House and Gallery that was from May 9 to June 14, 2015. She exhibited five large quilts, a textile installation, and an artist book. The above detail of a mass of stitched eyelets took my breath away (yes, it really did).

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


This is the 1000th post that I have written, but between 2012 and 2014 I deleted 26 posts from my early days. So, this is simultaneously #974 and #1000. Cool, eh?

Monday, 13 July 2015

Quotes: Seamus Heaney

"'The main thing is to write
for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust
that imagines its haven like your hands at night
dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.
You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
Take off from here. And don't be so earnest,
so ready for the sackcloth and the ashes.
Let go, let fly, forget.
You've listened long enough. Now strike your note.' "
–– Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) Irish poet
*Source: "Station Island," Part XII, in Opened Ground, p. 244-245

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Summer rhythms, etc.

You may have noticed that I've been a bit quiet here. November marks the fifth anniversary of this blog and this year I decided to slow down my summer blogging and actually take some time off. It's my first "break" in nearly five years. I'll write the occasional post, but not three days per week as is my custom.

On another note, I'm learning a new photo editing program (a basic program that came with my scanner) because my Adobe Creative Suite locked me out after nine years of use. It's a legal copy that I paid for, but Adobe wants me to keep spending money. It's caused me rethink how I make my work. Once I find a tool and learn how to use it well, I don't necessarily want to keep having to relearn computer programs. It slows me down and cuts into my efficiency and happiness. Also, I've read that each new iteration of Photoshop and Illustrator is not necessarily better and many folks are unhappy with being forced to use the Creative Cloud. New is not better. Such is life.

My hubby is taking a chunk of time off this summer and we are taming our wild garden. Last week I built 90% of a stone wall and it looks fantastic. Garden work with my hubby means less studio time and solitude, which means less focus. One of my artist friends once commented on summer rhythms as "seasons of work" and this is comforting. Canadian summers are generally only two months long, so I'll mark them with picnics, gardening, sky gazing, and visits on the back patio with friends. In mid-September I'll be back to a regular studio and blogging practice. I haven't yet decided what this blog will look like after the five year mark. Time will tell.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Quotes: Marcel Duchamp

"I force myself into contradiction to avoid following my own taste." –– Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French  conceptual artist

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy 148th Birthday Canada!

Canada is 148 years old! 
Psst, you know what that means don't you? Canada will be 150 years old in 2017.

Where exactly did June go? Is it with my lost socks?