My Kitchen From Memory. Slow Days I

It was so cold this morning (5 degrees on the thermometer outside the kitchen window) I was dreading going to my studio.   I had to take my car into the shop to get my snow tires put on.  Make a last run to the post office to mail off potholder, and get  to the bank to make a deposit.  I did all this busy work first, thinking by the time I was done, my studio would be warm.

And it was.  The sun was shining in my windows me as I sewed.  Little by little I took off my hat then my extra sweater then my scarf.

This weekend I bought a book of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen.  It was the illustrations that caught  my eye.  They’re by Sanna Annukka.   I had never seen her illustrations before, they reminded me of the  Disney ride It’s a Small World.  That ride makes me feel like I’m  inside a children’s book.

Annukka’s  drawings are made up of simple shapes, pattern on pattern, everything goes flat.

Her drawings made me think of a time, almost 20 years ago,  when my niece, Amanda was about  4 years old.  I gave her a big piece of brown paper and she made a drawing of my kitchen on it.   There was no perspective in the drawing at all.  Everything was flattened out.   The stove, sink, refrigerator and table and chairs floating in space.  I can’t quite remember exactly what it looked like.  But  it was drawn with so much confidence and it was so different from anything I had seen, that I always remember it.

I saved that drawing for years, but eventually threw it out in one of my moves.  I wish I had it now, to be able to see the way those every young and unselfconscious eyes saw.

This is how I came to stitch my kitchen on wall hanging this morning.

I couldn’t flatten it out the way Amanda did, but I drew it the way I would.  And I have learned that any line is a good line, as long as it’s a confident line.  And the  less straight my line is, the more expressive.

My kitchen from memory, I kept thinking, like a mantra,  as I stitched it.   I moved the blanket sized piece of  fabric under the foot of my machine as I drew,  only able to see one small section of it at a time.

The wall on the left, with the fridge, I stitched upside down, because I couldn’t squeeze all the fabric onto the bed of my sewing machine.

It’s not an accurate depiction of my kitchen, but then memory isn’t about accuracy, not mine anyway.   It does capture the essence of my kitchen.   And that’s what really interests me.

When I was done I hand sewed the piece of glass that I wrote about yesterday onto the fabric.

Then the sun went away, and it started to get cold again.  I had to pick up my car and drop off my other sewing machine to be cleaned.   I spent just a few hours in my studio, but they were good hours.

5 thoughts on “My Kitchen From Memory. Slow Days I

  1. Maria, my studio also is unheated. It sits beside open doors to the living room in which there is an insert and live wood fire and the dining room which is next to our family room with an ongoing woodstove all winter with a fan which pumps the heat into the rooms. I do have a supplementary electric baseboard heater in my studio which given the cost of Hydro One here is never on. So I can relate to your heating issue in your studio and the need to dress up working in there. As long as my hands are warm and I can work with them, that’s all that I am concerned about.

    But in looking at Sanna Annukka’s work which you shared here what came to mind is this…her work is very much into design, which as you say, is flat, two-dimensional and decorative. Then my question is, what is the difference to you, between design and Fine Art which is most often three dimensional on a two-dimensional surface. How would you define the difference between the two. This woman’s designwork is very very good. I’ve bookmarked her work, thanks to you.

    SandyP, in S.Ont.Canada where it is also bitterly cold with lots of snowm similar to your weather always.

    1. I have electric heat in my studio Sandy. But when it’s really cold, the sun shining through my windows can make all the difference. And about the difference between design and art….For me, art had many layers and meaning, it isn’t just something nice to look at. And the meaning comes from the artist, so it’s very subjective. My ideas about art are always changing though. When I was in arts school, I was more of a snob about it. Now I can see the artist in people in ways I never would have called it art before.

  2. Oh Maria, I am smiling and your comment about being a snob. I went into Art College, accepted at the age of 43 as a part time mature student, on the basis of my being a quilter and my quilts. Talk about being a snob…Fine Art was it, design was on down the list of snobbery and a quilter laid at the bottom of the pile. Well, interestingly enough, in my first year at the College, I had a quilt design appear in a national woman’s magazine, the paper pattern was sold, in one year, one hundred thousand dollars worth of patterns were sold. I received a ten percent designer royalty. I never said a word until I’d graduated and one of my instructors berated me saying, I should have told him and shared it with the other students because it would have encouraged them. You can imagine that by then I was so intimidated by the Fine Art Dept. and students with me being “just” a quilter….Sandy P.

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