Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Steven's Day

On this day in 1994 we lost our son Steven
He was a young man studying art at OCAD
and full of plans for the future

As he drove to his summer job
he was hit by a car whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel
Our Steven had no chance
On this day of memories this poem by Ron Tranmer often comes to mind

The Broken Chain

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
We feel you around us all the time
and now, Steven, you have two little nieces to watch over
both named after you
Ashley Rose
Stevie Ray
Me thinks that would tickle you pink!
and boy would you love them

Monday, 17 July 2017

All Caught Up

Found on the shores of Georgian Bay.
It is kind of funky isn't it.

Lots of white stones scattered about Ontario.

Simple beauty

 Pitted white. Must be chalk surely.

Love this one.

More funkiness from Ontario!

Love this one too.
It is the simplicity of running stitch appliqué.

I'm relieved to be caught up.
Moving on to next week's stones
and a Summer of stitching.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Stones in Absentia

Every morning as the rest of the family began to stir
Ashley and I would examine her Mommy's
rock collection.
Precious moments to start the day.

Sometimes we would just examine them.

Sometimes we would trace around them.

When Ashley discovered my eraser
she took great delight in returning
all our hard work to white pages again.

By the way, Vicky....
do you recognize the background stitches!

It was so wonderful being a grandma
to our nearly three year old....

....and our new 2 month old.

Two weeks of precious moments.

I hope your day is filled with memorable moments.

Monday, 3 July 2017

While I'm Away

Cracked marble

Smooth and speckled

A nose and two eyes
A mouse perhaps.

Wrinkled like a comfortable old shoe.

Stones exist in the moment

This one decided to become a teeny tiny slither.

Kind of.

Have a great week.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Resting Between Night and Day

  'Resting Between Night and Day'
43" x 50"
Hand stitched on Natural dyed silk & linen
with discharged black cotton.

We packaged it up and sent it off

for the new Connections Fibre Artists show
'Running with Fibre'

is a group of amazing artists and friends
that I have had the privilege of being
a part of since I started this journey into stitch
way, way back.

As I photographed this piece 
I noticed all the small pebbles stitched into the
body of the large rock.

Working every day
threaded needle in hand
Cloth either stretching out flat on the table
or stretched in a frame on my lap
is what I do
and love to do.

It is hard to send a work like that far away.
I wonder if I will see it again
for it is like an old familiar friend
after months of stitching.

'Running with Fibre'
will run from July 15th to September 24th
at the Gallery Stratford, Ontario, Canada
with opening reception on July 14th 7-9 pm.

Monday, 26 June 2017

When a Stone Travels

This little beauty arrived all the way from Washington State

It arrived with two lovely stitchings from Vicky
So kind of you....thanks!

Love this chevron marking.
The other side is beautiful too
but so far I have insisted on a new stone every day.
Perhaps I might allow myself to use both sides of one pebble
in future.
Some are just too beautiful to miss.

Encircled by wrappings of tiny marks.

I thought it was interesting that as soon as I spied this one
on the ground I thought needle weaving.

A tiny speckled stonette!

A streaked beauty

Nature did a much better job than me.

Now I am off to visit the grand little girls for a few weeks.
Can you imagine Ashley, the 2 3/4 year old,
is now playing (?) soccer!
And Stevie, the 6 week old, now
actually looks at the screen as we Face Time!
It is so amazing watching little ones grow and unfold.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Walking Woodland Stones

'Walking Woodland Stones'
Natural dyed and printed silks and cottons
Threads of cotton and wool.

Running stitch
straight row upon row
Higgledy piggledy
Loose and lumpy
but running stitch all the same

Couching travelling the edge of stones.
Imagining the footsteps of insects and small critters
marking pathways across the stones.

The woodland canopy keeping the land beneath cool.

Touching the edges of rocks.
Can a rock speak of what it is feeling inside?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Feeling Stones

Touch is crucial to our experience here on earth.
I suppose some of us become more immersed in the sense of touch than others.
I surely am drawn to expressing myself with thread and cloth
simply because of the immediacy and honesty of touch.
After all, your eyes can deceive you
but touch confirms that which your eyes can't believe.

In his book 'The Senses of Touch'
Mark Paterson reminds us of the expression
"Seeing is believing, but feeling's the truth".
Interesting how nowadays we seem to have dropped the second part.

Touch also makes me think of intimacy and proximity.
Holding my loved ones in my arms
gathering those little grand-girls in a close embrace
and I am eagerly awaiting being able to do exactly that very soon!

But there is more than the immediacy of touch on the skin.
I have always felt that
"Art can and should be a touching experience."
And Paterson goes on to explains this further
"Standing in front of a painting, appreciating a sculpture, or walking through a building, even if we are not permitted to physically touch the work we should at least be touched by it."

Therefore we feel or have a haptic experience
not only through our skin
but internally because of our aesthetic ability
for feeling, sensing and being affected
by what we see.
"Haptic Aesthetics"

 As a teen, before I thought of stitching as an expressive art form,
I loved (for teens always love or hate don't they!) the paintings of Cezanne.
I never understood why
but reading this book I am trying to understand why.
"Cezanne himself rather boldly declares that talking about art is almost useless since the man of letters expresses himself in abstractions whereas a painter, by means of drawing and colour, gives concrete form to his sensations and perceptions."
I think it must have been his direct approach
his ability of creating an aesthetic haptic experience for me
because of his ability to translate depth, smoothness, softness, hardness and even smell into paint.

He was able to "paint the sensation".
I am still absorbing and thinking
trying to simplify Paterson's complex thoughts
and bring them into daily life in the studio.
Working towards stitching the sensation
Sometimes successfully
Sometimes not so
but somehow people like us are driven to try and try again.

I hope you have a haptic aesthetic experience today!