04 January 2013

Looking down the road

Every journey begins with the first step. The older I have become the less I know...which is a good thing. I am starting this year by stepping off onto the road of mark making. I "think" I am being guided down this road..but I shall see. All I know for sure right now is that I am really enjoying where mark making has been taking me.

I started a few years ago with the Jane Dunnewold, Leslie Morgan and Claire Benn book about finding your own visual voice. I blogged about this. I was so captivated by the mark making exercises that I created a book of marks.

Not long after starting this journey, I became aware of the Canadian artist Dorothy Caldwell. I began to connect in new ways with others artists like Sandra Meech and Gwen Hedley, finding ideas in their books, which I had owned for years, a real connection to their experiences with mark making.

Although much of the mark making is on paper and other substrates, the ideas, textures and images can be applied as well to textiles. All these substrates fall under the heading of FIBER. For the foreseeable future I will be blogging about Artists, books and my experiences along this road.

I do want to start with Dorothy Caldwell. Of all the people teaching in the art world, she is the one person who I would like to study with. I emailed her and found that her 2 workshops (one filled already) at Nancy Crows Barn were the only workshops she will be teaching in North America this year. I have signed up for her workshop and hope that this experience is all I am hoping it will be.

I have information about her not that easy to come by but I will share with you all I have found. Knowing she was Canadian, I was very surprised to learn she was born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1948. I was born down the road in Washington, DC in 1948. We might have things to talk about besides art.

Let me give you a bit of information about this amazing woman:
This is a YouTube video of her latest work, a workshop which she conducted, and this is a biography about her from her website. This is from her exhibit "In Good Repair" This is a post Dorothy contributed to in 2012.
In another blog post from February of this year, the subject of boro stitching arises and the questions of "Is it Art?" if it's not intentional arises. Very good piece and it also alludes to the questions Dorothy asked herself about quilts as abstract art by "untrained" woman like the Gees Bend Quilt pieces.
Boro stitching is also refereed to as Kantha in India and Sashiko in Japan.

Well, if you are still with me AND still awake, you might want to peek at my posts which will document my journey for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh, my! It sounds like you have a very exciting journey ahead! I plan to be a fly on the wall watching, and you have given me a couple of things to put on my 'to do' list for the year. Enjoy!

  2. It certainly will be interesting to see where you take this!

    My friend Judy (of my real time fiber arts group) studied with Dorothy Caldwell and her recent work has become quite influenced by her.

    Here's to the journey!

  3. It's a great post, thank you.
    Dorothy is a wonderful teacher and have enjoyed the same class in November immensely. I think mark-making is a central theme and it can really give you insights to your own personality - what kind of marks you make, which medium you use and so on. I'm so looking forward to exchange opinions and experiences about it.

  4. Very excited for you. You will learn and grow and I know you will share.

  5. Beth, I will defenitely follow your journey, thanks for this post. Now I will have to find out if Dorothy Caldwell has plans to visit Europe :-)

  6. A very educational pat, thanks for sharing!

  7. I meant post, of course.

  8. Thanks for the Dorothy Caldwell link...from another New Englander born in 1948.

  9. Hi Beth,
    I have spent the greater part of the day trying to find information out about Dorothy Caldwell. I am trying to locate any contact information for her. I need to replace my book "Out of the Ordinary: Textiles in the Everyday" would you know where I could find that information or the Book? I thought since you had insider information you might be able to help;)
    Thanks my email is office@christriola.com



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