Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring

4 Drawings by Mark Goodwin, 2009

Happy Spring! I think the drawings my husband, Mark Goodwin, is doing now have all the joy that comes from anticipating warm days, fresh vegetables, and flowers blooming. His process, which is one of spontaneity and material explorations, is so different than the one I am following for current jacquard weaving. I spent two days working on images of collaged tree branches and words and felt completely disgusted when I went to bed last night. I never liked prep work, preferring to paint warps and respond to what came up with brocading and pickup in earlier weavings, and, as in the recent place mats, to let one study lead to the next. But in jacquard I am forced to decide on an image, then consider the appropriate structures, modify the image down to the number of structures I will use, make the structures (if I haven't already done so--though more than 1400 are available on the CD that comes with The Woven Pixel), apply them, and go to the loom. Since I have the TC-1 right here, I then go to the loom and do a test to count the picks per inch--then return to the computer to modify the weave file accordingly (so my images won't be squashed or elongated). I can change a structure if I don't like what I see, and I have total freedom to change my wefts at any time, but the decision about the basic image is a starting point that almost brings me to tears.

I probably wrote this already--nothing seems important enough. Often my mind is just blank in terms of images--just full of words. Right now I think my head is so dense with thought that it is going to explode in flames. So going into Mark's studio each night and seeing what he has done that day brings on a wave of amazement at his fluidity, appreciation that I get to see his work, and a bit of envy (though he assures me it is as hard for him as for me; we are good examples of "the grass is always greener.") A few years ago I took digital images of some of his small drawings and assembled them into a warp tapestry. You can see some of his drawings below, and then the resultant cloth. Though his shapes are retained, none of the sensitivity of color was captured. His drawings are clearly one species, and the warp tapestry another.

3 Drawings by Mark Goodwin

3 Drawings by Mark Goodwin

Warp Tapestry by Bhakti Ziek based on drawings by Mark Goodwin

Even baking madelines yesterday didn't dispel the blues. Not purely brought on by design process indecision--it hasn't helped that today marks one solid week that our phone and Internet connections go dead for hours on end and Comcast has not found a solution. Today they will try again. I have hopes that as a gift from Spring they will succeed today. I thought you might want to try the madelines yourself--so I took a picture of the recipe that is on my refrigerator door, written in my mother's handwriting. If you can't read it, let me know and I will post Nona's recipe. Oh, and I decided instead of my own writing, I will use this recipe as the ground for my design--so maybe I am making progress.


  1. So nice to see Mark's recent drawings! And I can almost smell the madeleines.

  2. Mark's drawings are so beautiful and so ethereally solid. And they look like pastel colored madeleines.