Margaret Blank – Series #3 – Agnes Meets Judy in the Spring
In keeping with my exploration of “Seasons in the Abstract”, I’ve moved into a closer study of Canadian-born, American painter, Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004). She was a complex personality, a “character”, whose Muse dictated her painting — mainly in a quiet, deliberate, sometimes almost invisible style. Latterly, her work featured translucent, gentle colours and a penchant for grids, as shown below:
There is another “Martin” whose work I follow — that of textile artist and SAQA Juried Artist Member, Judith (Judy) Martin of Manitoulin Island, Ontario. While not so often working in grids, her pieces are quiet, rhythmic and deliberate. She too listens closely to her Muse. I was first introduced to her work through the Manitoulin Circle Project, which inspired in part my own Mark on the Body Project.
In this third piece for the Series project, I have attempted to blend the work of these two talents in my piece entitled Agnes Meets Judy in the Spring:
I selected a soft green palate in strips alternating between my own hand-dyed cotton fabric and a commercial poly-cotton. These strips were done “quilt as you go” with the “flip and stitch” technique, using 80-20 cotton-poly batting and a commercial cotton on the back. I then created a subtle grid by hand quilting using a hand-dyed silk floss that toned in with the background, and stitches ranging from 1/8″ to 1/4″ in length. I took some care to mark with dots the first line of each pair, but stitched the second line without markings. I also measured so that each pair of lines is about 1 1/2″ apart across the piece.
As I’d decided to apply the facings around the piece before I did the hand-stitching — so that none of the hand-stitching would be lost in a facing — I found to my chagrin that the quilting shrank the piece from it’s original 15″ square (faced) to 14 1/2″ square (faced and hand-quilted). Nonetheless, I am pleased with the piece and find it soothing and calming to look at. I expect there will be more emulations of Agnes and Judy as I continue to explore their work.
Quilts in Series:
Quilt 1 Quilt 2 Quilt 3