San Diego, California
1. Describe the work that you make. I am a lifelong fiber artist and textile lover concentrating on quilt-like, two-dimensional work for the last ten years. (My first quilt was an art quilt for Hoffman Fabrics at Quilt Market in 2003.) As a college instructor I’ve become a “universalist” — I piece, I appliqué; I dye and print and paint. I stitch by hand and machine. Color, line and design are the facets of the work I emphasize.
2. Do you have a signature style? While I make figurative work, I also love the geometry of our quilt block heritage. I like to be a bridge between that tradition and contemporary practice. As I design all the projects for my classes (some 80 so far) — writing patterns, making samples, and often re-interpreting that basic plan into my own expression — I try to keep it always fresh, something new. My own work is probably best recognized by my use of color and pattern — I love commercial fabric, and I love putting together surprising combinations incorporating both old and new goods.
|Las Mananitas 59x55|
3. Favorite color palette? How do you pick a favorite color palette? I guess it’s something different than what I just did — though it seems many of my samples are a range of values in acidy green and/or red! I generally use hues that are rich and clear. They reflect the light of Southern California.
4. How do you work? I always work on a design wall. Even though I imagine I know what combinations of fabric will look like, there’s nothing like seeing the parts together — do the values work? — is there enough/too much contrast? — how does it look from some distance? I never know the end from the beginning; I start with a concept and see when the project leads me… Most of the time there’s a story in the work — and it comes out in the process. There are always lots of little surprises I embed in the work, details that can be discovered with time invested looking at it.
One of my favorite methods is “free-range’ piecing — I use leftover parts/scraps from a formal project — and see what the colors, patterns will do. I’ve learned not to give up too soon — there may need to be more of the work on the wall before I can see what’s really happening.
Given the choice, I don’t want ‘one’ red — I want twenty.
5. Where do you find your inspiration? I’m a flower girl — I’m inspired by the garden. And the meaning of The Garden in all its historical contexts. I’m excited by the work of fellow artists — Ruth McDowell, Joe Cunningham, Nancy Crow, Karen Stone, Gwen Marston… I love all things Japanese. And Scandinavian!
|So Many Birds in the Air, So Many Fish in the Sea 56x58|
6. Do you enter your work in shows? List your top 3 exhibits that you work has been shown in, and what year. As I support myself I’ve had many avenues of income — college teaching, guild lectures and workshops, quilt shows and retreats, fine juried craft shows, work in gallery/museum venues, in books and magazines, public art projects, an Etsy shop… I learned that showing my work is usually an investment of funds rather than income — so I don’t enter many exhibits. However, my work has been seen in the Visions Biennial 2006, Sacred Threads 2013 and Sheila Frampton-Cooper’s Perspectives exhibit at Road 2 California 2013.
7. Describe your studio space? My studio space is in my home — the place most people would call a family room. Of course I have a vast collection of fabric there (I AM a professional!), and all the basic notions and tools. The work space is an active environment, but well-organized. I think you have to see what you’ve got or you’ll never use it. I crazy about my Juki sewing machine. In fact, I have two — one at home and one at school.
|Sugarbirds Migration 53x53|
8. How do you balance your life between art, family, friends, etc? I do not balance my life. My children are grown and live far away (art professor in MN and career Coast Guardsman) — and I miss them like mad. So I work continuously. I love my solitude and I love my students and give them everything I’ve got. As I will work forever (that’s what artists do), I take time for lunch with friends and make/host visits as often as I can.
9. What other profession organizations are you affiliated with? In addition to SAQA membership, I support AQS and the Visions Art Museum, where I recently finished a 3-year term on the Board of Directors.
10. When did you make your first art quilt? 2003