Stenciled, marbled, printed and over dyed papers from around the world are cut, pieced and then stitched using a zig-zag sewing machine. Once combined, the papers are reinvented into a composition of rich new patterns, vivid colors and striking textures. The image is then completed with a border, also of paper, and the result is a one of a kind paper art quilt.
Delicate Paper, Machine Stitching, and
Traditional Quilting: A paradoxical idea when thinking of combining these
elements in a Paper Art Quilt. Yes?
A paradox can express the tension between
ideas that are contradictory, and yet both/all are true. Integrating a Paradox is not
blending these opposites into some neutral compromise, but joining them in a
way that each element retains its unique character - yet somehow working better
together than apart.
Art Quilt is itself a paradoxical medium: papers cut and fractured in
pieces & stitched into a whole; contemporary art & traditional craft. .
• Art often expresses a conceptual paradox:
order & chaos, beauty & ugliness, love & hate, hope & grief,
pain & joy, insanity & sanity, turmoil & peace . . .
• Life is filled with contradictions: control & risk, community &
solitude, independence & dependence, strength & weakness, integrity
& falsehood, denial & reality, pain & joy, work & play, internal
drive & external motivation…
• Design elements can embody paradox: dark
& light, pattern & variation, harmony & discord, hard & soft,
cool & warm, symmetry & asymmetry, flat & dimensional . . .
My work is a process of engaging the
paradox: stenciled, marbled, printed,
and over dyed papers are cut, pieced, and then stitched into blocks, using a zig
zag sewing machine. Blocks are then laid out in a composition, sometimes born
out of the repeating pattern concept of traditional quilting, sometimes not. The
“quilt” is then completed with a border, also of paper, and the result is a one
of a kind image. The rich and exotic
papers which form the foundation of each Paper
Art Quilt provide me the opportunity to forge complex and unique
combinations of color, texture and pattern.
You are invited to view my new work at the By Hand Gallery. Hope to see you on August 3 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm...or any time between August 2 - September 2, 2012.
I was born and grew up in Seattle, Washington with my parents, a brother and two sisters. After high school I pursued a degree in
Social Work and Community Organization and earned a degree from the University of Washington in 1972. I got my first 35mm camera while still in high school and was only partially aware of my aesthetic and creative interests. I did not
entertain the idea of taking them seriously until I was in my early 30’s. I
began school again as an undergraduate art major at the University
of Nebraska in Lincoln. In 1988 I arrived in Bloomington, Indiana
to begin graduate school. And was awarded an MFA degree with a studio
concentration in Textiles by Indiana
University in 1991. Along the way I experimented in printmaking, photography and painting, as well as work with handmade paper and hand dyed felt while in graduate school.
Now we fast forward to the
summer of 2008. I found myself longing for a new avenue of creative discovery.
The time had come to lay aside the photo collage work that had engaged me for a
number of years. This passage from one artistic endeavor to another is not new
for me. When the time comes to search for new materials, process and form, it
is always clear there is no going back. So goodbyes are said and the seeking
The creative yearning was
answered by the discovery of a new art form, the paper art quilt. The journey began with an opportunity to study
with Anna Velez at the Indianapolis
Since 1994 she has refined a variety of techniques for the construction of
paper art quilts and in particular her repeating block design system. She
generously shares this information with students.
I came away with the answer I
was looking for. I am attracted to formats and materials that are process
oriented and physically engaging. Within the construction of the paper art
quilt there is the opportunity to surrender to the unpredictable. While
working, I enjoy being patiently absorbed in the work of transforming the raw
into the refined, the pieces into the composition. In these moments I most
readily yield to and cooperate with the creative impulse. Process becomes
ritual in service to the created object. The ritual of creating a paper art quilt is about the whole being
the sum of its parts and about each part being viable and intriguing.
Since completing my MFA
degree at Indiana
University I have
integrated art in my life in ways that I might not have predicted in 1991. My current professional “day job” is totally
unrelated to art. And I have been freed to be the “practicing artist” I planned
to be. Today the time I spend in my studio is time that I live most fully in
the present moment, relieved of the past and unconcerned about the future. I am
grateful for the opportunity to continually pursue the impulse of creative discovery.
I find that in my present life it is restorative, meditative and deeply
fulfilling. It brings some degree of balance to my life and a great deal of
pleasure and sense of purpose. The saying among textile artists is “Process,
Process, Process!” You have to accept
“process” or it’s not for you. I say “bring it on”. The process is ritual and
inside the ritual is peace.