Jean M. Judd
Wisconsin Contemporary artist Jean M. Judd has been working in Mixed Media utilizing textiles since 1990. She creates work for individual collectors, private commissions, as well as for fine art exhibitions and design projects across the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe.
When asked, her medium is “hand stitched thread on textile”. That statement can further be explained by whether the textile is a commercial textile, a hand dyed or painted textile, or an enhanced textile with rust pigmentation that was created in her studio.
Over thirty years of experimentation with these materials has led to a distinctive narrative in her artwork. The series that have developed and are still being built out, show a wide range of subject: non-objective, abstract, geometric, conceptual, and minimalism. The intricate and dense hand stitching in each work gives the piece a visual and physical texture that creates interesting shadow and light play across the work.
The common factor in all of her mixed media textile artwork is that cotton fabric is the canvas on which she works, and hand stitched thread is her brush. They are used to create a piece of fine art with visual as well as physical texture. The design process starts with a hand dyed, marbled, or dye painted fabric ground. It is eventually transformed over time into its final reality with the last hand quilting stitch in the artwork.
Often the finished piece is nothing like the original vision which adds to the excitement and the design potential for the next artwork. What started in the artist’s mind as a vague idea is transformed into a larger, more complex, and more dramatic finished artwork than intended.
Each piece is a journey filled with the artist’s emotions and life experience. The hand of the artist can be seen and felt in every inch of the artwork. This aspect draws in viewers for up close, intimate experiences with the artwork. Involuntarily they reach out to feel the work and to connect with the artwork and artist in the most basic of senses…the human touch. This intimate connection fostered by the tactile artwork transcends emotional and physical boundaries.
The artwork is intended to be displayed on a wall, suspended from the ceiling, or in a multi-piece installation. Many of the artworks are designed to be rotated and can hang in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, which makes for dynamic presentations and changing free-form displays of the textile artwork.
Her work is valued by collectors for its unique use of thread, textiles, dye, rust, color, form and shape. It is not production work or multiple prints, but individual artworks created one at a time. Attention to detail is paramount and reflected in the work. Memories of heirloom quilts, family members, and the warmth of textiles are reflected in each piece as an underlying subtle message.