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Judy Coates Perez

life in a tailspin

“My life went into a tailspin and I produced some of my best work”. Judy Coates Perez tells us more about how life events have formed her art.

Text and images by Judy Coates Perez

Art has a tremendous ability to heal and transform one’s state of mind and well-being. On the angriest night of my life, the night I let the volcano of emotions erupt over my husband’s affair and the end of our twenty-year marriage, I pulled out every jar of red paint on the shelf and brushed, splattered, and flung it onto a large piece of cotton batting while I poured out my grief. The next day, using a rotary

cutter, I cut big gashes in a piece of aqua-blue hand-dyed cotton, backed with Mistyfuse, and ironed it to the painted red batting. The calm, watery blue surface, evoked the emotional place I was seeking, and the exposed red batting was like my raw and broken heart. I quilted long, undulating, waterlike lines over the blue and filled the red batting with hand and machine stitching in an attempt to transform the ugly raw anger into hope and beauty and come out the other side in a better place. To complete the design I satin stitched a black Tarot symbol 3 of Swords, to represent loss, betrayal and heartbreak. A year later, I used acrylic inks to paint a field of colourful flowers for Black and Bloom All Over. I began by randomly brushing large strokes of colour on a piece of white cotton, then used a permanent marker to write aspirational messages for myself, that were not meant to be read clearly in the finished art, just embedded talismans for my healing. Using a white paint pen,

Left: 3 of Swords, Judy Coates Perez, quilt, 36”x 48”, 2010 Painted cotton batting, hand-dyed cotton fabric, hand stitched, free motion machine quilted. 29

Through Our Hands Magazine, Issue 7 | winter 2015

Through Our Hands Magazine | Issue 7 - Winter 2015  

Art and inspiration from Through Our Hands. Featured artists this issue include Mathilde Renes, Rachel Wright, Luke Haynes and Gay E Lasher....

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