I want to thank my dear friend Frieda Anderson for inviting me to participate in this artists blog tour.
Frieda and I first became friends when I moved to Chicago in 2005 and she and Laura Wasilowski took me under their wings, introduced me to other textile artists in the midwest and signed me on as ‘adjunct faculty’ ,-) at the Chicago School of Fusing, until I moved back to California at the end of 2012.
Frieda has been a wonderful mentor to me over the years, so supportive and generous with advice, I’m honored to be her friend.
1. What am I working on?
I’ve been working on a new whole cloth art quilt that was painted with both acrylic inks and textile paints.
I’ve taken the samples, cut then up and reassembled them as base fabric to paint imagery on top of.
I’ve got 3 separate pieces in the works right now. I’m very excited about this new direction. It’s on the smaller side, 12 to 18 inches right now and I’m thinking about not quilting some of them, but just mount them on canvas, so they really fall under the mixed media category and less art quilt. I hope to develop this more before my teaching schedule gets busy again.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I like to paint, and I like working with a variety of different paint media depending on what kind of look I want.
I have two very different approaches with my textile art. I either work in a spontaneous painterly manner incorporating a variety of techniques from collage and stamping to painting or with a preplanned design, that I transfer to fabric and paint. I prefer to paint in a more stylized graphic way than realistically, I think that stems from my previous work as a graphic designer. I’ve never been interested in painting images photo realistically, since a camera can more readily reproduce an image in far less time.
3. Why do I create what I do?
Because I love painting and stitching, I like the process of ‘quilting’ lines of stitching to add details and definition and creating another layer of visual texture.
4. How does my creating process work?
I begin with an idea drawn on paper, scanned into the computer, refined, enlarged, printed out, then traced onto a bleached high thread count 100% cotton fabric and painted with textile paints.
Often imagery starts to develop in my mind when I look at the brushstrokes and texture of the paint, sometimes my mood or emotions come into play as well, when I’m working through something in my personal life. This imagery grows as I build up layers of acrylic ink using a variety of different techniques, as I did with these pieces:
Then other times I want to explore the possibilities of stitching or painting with alternative materials like tea bags, or various kinds of papers collaged on fabric or incorporate metal into my work:
I also really enjoy teaching others how to use different types of media. I think the more techniques one knows and feels comfortable using, the more opportunities there are to express ones ideas.
Now I would like to introduce you to a few of my friends who work very differently than I do, be sure to visit their blogs next Monday, December 1, as the world tour continues.
I’ve been friends with Vickie Hallmark for more than 15 years. We first met when I lived in Austin, TX when she was making jaw dropping award winning art quilts. Vickie now devotes most of her creative time to making beautiful jewelry with precious metal clay. She works in a variety of metals, and incorporates stones, enamels and patinas to create one of a kind art to wear. She also writes articles and teaches online.
Mixed media artist Alysn Midgelow-Marsden and I met in Canberra, Australia last April when we were both teaching at the Creative Textiles Show. Alysn lives in New Zealand, (she moved there from England a couple years ago). You may be familiar with her wonderful books on stitching metal scrim, metal fabrics, angelina fibers and textiles. She also incorporates beads, paper and decorative stitching in her work. The exciting news is Alysn’s organizing a teaching trip to the US in the spring of 2016, so if you’d be interested in booking her to teach, please drop her a note about it!
Last, but definitely not least, I want to send you over to San Francisco to see my good friend Joe Cunningham, otherwise known as Joe the quilter. If you know Joe, you know he is charming and funny, plays guitar and sings and does really wonderful contemporary art quilts that harken back to the roots of more primitive traditional scrap quilts.