I think about art all the time: the process, the way life impacts it… Wondering about how other people will see it, whether they will approve, like or dislike it, is the biggest buzz kill to creativity that I know of. But, I find, silencing those worries often difficult. The best steps I know to do is to dive in head first, and just go for it.
This last year has been one of exploration, diving in head first and going for it. If any of you are on Instagram, I post my works in progress almost daily. Below are three projects I finished this past year. I have four more in the works, but nowhere near completion.
This first is titled: Wandering Through the Past and was inspired by the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I went for one of Sue Spargo’s fabulous workshops put on by Madeline Island School of the Arts. As I wandered through the museum much of the work felt oddly familiar. I remembered that my grandparents had honeymooned in Santa Fe & much of the furniture in their Colorado home came from that part of the world. As I designed this quilt, I began adding things from my childhood spent in Northern California with parents who collected modern & primitive art. Wandering Through the Past was thus born using wool, cotton, velvet & silk, & embellished with a wide variety of threads and stitches.
The next one is a complete departure from the one above in that most of the fabrics were hand dyed, hand painted, using stencils, screen printing and mono printing, and is not representational. All techniques I learned from the talented Pat Pauly in a workshop I took last April at the Pro Chem studio. It was the first time I’d ever tried my hand at improvisational piecing. I free motion quilted it following the general shapes and paint strokes.
And this last one I began designing with the idea that I would use an old skirt from my mother. After a few weeks of struggle, I pulled out some of my hand dyed, Shibori, stencil printed, wax resist, silk screen & low immersion dyed fabrics. The fabric from the old skirt was pushed aside to make way for my hand dyed fabrics, which I then began piecing together with a few commercial prints. “Hope” was very bossy right from the start; demanding I use this or that fabric, slashing & piecing, reconfiguring… Mostly I just had to get out of the way & listen to its demands.