Friday, July 18, 2014

Up and Down

For the past couple of weeks the temps around here have surpassed their usual, pleasant early July pattern (mid-twenties Celsius) and soared up to 30 C or more (with humidex).  When there's been a breeze, it's been fine for being outdoors.  Work on my kitchen cabinet painting project has progressed.  All nine doors up above the counter have been finished -- and of course, what was taken down had to be put up again:

First Doors Up

Now I am working lower down, below the counter.  You can get a glimpse of before and after all at once:

What a difference between old (L) and new (R)!


Most of Wednesday was too hot for this project, so I spent hours researching abstract painters for my online class, "Abstract Art for Quilters" with the wonderful Elizabeth Barton through the Academy of Quilting.   I found a gem guaranteed to inspire and buoy me up when I'm down in the doldrums, as I have been much of this summer.  Her name was Agnes Martin (1912 - 2004), born and raised in Saskatchewan, who studied and lived most of her life in the art mecca that is New Mexico.  Some of her wisdom re: art and life:
Do what you were born to do.  That is the way to be happy.
Art is the concrete representation  of our most subtle feelings.
 Music is the highest form of art.  It's completely abstract.
Although I don't believe there's any relation, her paintings remind me of the work of one of my textile art heroes, Judith (Judy) Martin of Ontario. to wit:

The Islands - Agnes Martin
72" b 72" - acrylic and graphite on canvas

paradise is what lies beyond the horizon (one)
Judith e Martin - 2012
19" x 19" - domestic linen, acrylic paint, thread, paper

You can follow Judy Martin on her blog HERE, and from there follow links to her work.  Agnes Martin's work is still being exhibited by the Pace Gallery.  You can listen to wonderful discussions of her work as related to that of other abstract artists, and to an interview with Agnes herself on You Tube - "Agnes Martin on Not Thinking".

(NOTE: the clip is preceded by an advertisement.)


Art making -- doing anything with my hands, really -- anything rhythmic and colourful -- is soothing.  It lifts me up out of the world, up out of the griefs and sorrows -- the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' (Shakespeare - Hamlet) -- that conspire to keep our spirits down.  Like Agnes Martin, I'd like to train myself to stop have "...a clear mind, so that when something comes into it, you can see it" and take it from there.

(For SAQA members, there are a couple of recent conversations underway on the  SAQA Yahoo Group about art making while living as we do in the midst of personal and global tragedy, violence and unrest...)

And that's whats off my wall today, so I might as well link this up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and see what the others think (and what they're up to)!


Darlene said...

Wow! And I thought I had a lot of fridge magnets! Great job on the cabinets. What a difference!

elle said...

Your cupboards are very cool looking. And to take a class with Elizabeth Barton! very cool. I have her two latest books right by my elbow and I'm think I'll be going page by page!

Jo Ferguson said...

I love what you're doing with your cupboards. You've almost inspired me to jump in and start mine.....then the humidity hits. Maybe this fall. Thanks for the inspiration and links.

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, the cabinets look great. I wanted to take the class with Elizabeth Barton but the timing is not good.