Hand dyed and hand painted cottons; machine pieced and quilted; inspired by a John Hartgerink photograph.
Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Stepping back is the only way to put things in perspective.
Yellow Note 6 ½ x 14 2008
Hand painted cotton and silks; machine pieced and quilted, hand beading.
Lively music bursts off the sheet.
Leaves 21 x 26 2010
Hand painted and discharged cottons and silks; machine pieced and quilted.
Leaves tumbled and across and off a crumbling garden wall.
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I came to my place as an artist in a roundabout way. As a child, I played and dabbled with color and paints, usually with more on me that on the paper. Along the way, I learned to maneuver a sewing machine, enjoying the feel of fabrics in my hands. However as I grew older, I felt that I needed to “grow up and get a real job”. With a degree in Horticulture, I took a different path and found that gardening was a lot like painting but with plants and soil, again with more soil on me than around the plants somewhere around the half-century mark of life, my interests and talents converged. I began stitching my painted pieces and they always seem to revolve around botanicals and landscapes.
It seems I’ve come full circle.
Spots and Dots 6 1/2" x 3 2008
Handpainted watercolors transferred to fabric. Hand stitching. Based on photographs by John Hartgerink.
Serendipity 15" x 24" 2010
Hand dyed fabric using bleeding tissue paper. Fabric, tissue paper, hand stitching and beading.
Through the years, I have tried many different types of arts and crafts including all types of needlework, basketry and stained glass, but I always return to fabric. The colors and textures lead to endless possibilities. My work tends to be small, bright and a bit whimsical with big chunky stitches and lots of embellishments.
In the past two years I have purchased a loom and begun to weave which adds another dimension and direction to my work. Currently I am learning to spin.
Who knows where this fiber journey will lead?
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Louisiana Purple IrisEach spring purple irises grow at the edge of the pond in my yard. They look so delicate. I machine appliquéd the flowers and leaves. The sky fabric is overdyed. It is mounted on a canvas frame. 2009
Fire on the Water
Fire on the Water is a silk art cloth that is 70 inches long and 22 inches wide. I hand dyed it, painted it and stamped it. I have always been awed by the beauty of the waters and shores along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. During the past year, we were all saddened by the oil spill. The bright flames and boiling smoke filled the skies. This piece represents the faith we have that the birds and blue skies will return.
Gulf Fritillary Butterfly
This piece was an interpretation of a photo by John Hartgerink. It was created for the Bluebonnet swamp exhibit in 2009. I used some of my hand dyed fabric for the flowers. It is embellished with beads. The vines are fabric covered clothes line. I appliquéd the butterfly on and embellished it with beads, embroidery and paint. I machine quilted the background.
Fabric and fibers have always been a part of my life. My mother and grandmother taught me traditional quilting and needlework skills. I worked as a public educator for 33 years, but I still dabbled in needlework when possible. I retired in 2001 and began this new journey in fabric and fiber art. I love the traditional quilts, but always wanted to create my own contemporary designs. I dye, discharge, paint, stamp, screen, print and embellishment my own fabrics. I enjoy designing my own pieces and using my fabrics to create them. I also incorporate beads, fibers, yarns, metals and other found objects in my work. Since retirement, I have participated in many workshops and classes and attended many lectures involving painting, dyeing and working with fabrics and fibers. I am inspired by the exotic colors and intriguing designs in nature. When I begin a piece, I do not always know how it will end. It is a journey with no directions. I just follow the path. I want the viewer to be drawn closer to my work and to feel that it is reaching out to them.
Background Art: Leaves and Bark
Background Art: Leaves and Bark
My first adventures into design occurred while making quilts from traditional patterns; I love to play with value to construct a work of subtle contrasts.
I have transitioned into a fiber artist with quilting skills as the sphere of my subjects has moved from quilts on beds and walls to the flora and fauna of the natural world. Although I work from original designs, I follow Nature’s choreography of color and composition. It is a dynamic with artistic challenges and spontaneous revelations.
hand embroidered face, over dyed kimono silks, cotton lame
The Blessing Tree 8x14
hand embroidered face, needle felted body, Mississippi River driftwood, beads, copper wire
Mother of the Universe 5x12
hand embroidered face, needle felted body, silk velvet applique, beads, embroidery
Generations of women in my family have nurtured the skill of sewing and passed it on to those following them. This thread of needlework is both my window to the past and my door to the future. My earliest sewing memories are playing with scraps of my mother's fabrics and fashioning clothing for my dolls. Now, years later, I am still fascinated by fabric and dolls. I use the doll figure with its ancient roots as the basic form in my work. Different body shapes and postures are the body language that creates the mood or story. The face and hands tell who she is and what she can accomplish. Textural bits and pieces of fabrics, fibers, and beads layered and shaped on the form complete her story.
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Carved Chinese stone with natural linen knotting
Spring Man 2006 10" x 12"
Polymer clay and vintage glass beads
My background begins with a B.A. degree in Fine Arts from the Univ. of Conn., with major work in sculpture. Over the years I have taken many art courses both in the U.S. and in England. I studied ceramics, silver jewelry making, litho-printing, basketry and weaving, but finally settled on working with fibers along with my interest in beads.
My first book self-published in 2000 is "Macrame for the New Millennium". The latest is called "Bead & Fiber Jewelry", published by Lark Books. I am also intested in working with polymer clay and often combine that with the beads and fibers.
I have always like crafts and sewing. About twelve years ago, I started decorative painting with acrylics as therapy for stress. Then about five years ago I began to think about how I could combine sewing with my painting. In the process of exploring this idea, I came across a book by Alison Holt, The Beginner’s Guide to Machine Embroidered Landscapes. In the book she showed how she painted landscapes on silk with silk dyes, and then added details with free motion embroidery techniques. Her combination of upper thread and bobbin thread colors to create contrast, texture and dimension fascinated me. It inspired me to use acrylic paint and a fabric medium on muslin with free motion sewing to create my pictures. I like using quilting techniques to add more dimension to my pictures as well as to frame them. I am also exploring the use of other types of embellishments and sewing to add interest.
Abandoned 25w X 36dThermofax, paint sticks, applied paper, machine and hand quilted appliqued by machine.
The swamp theme has a double meaning. It is symbolical of the state that I live in, Louisiana. It also has to do with a feeling of being overwhelmed or swamped by the loneliness and sadness that can happen during a life experience. The bits and pieces from the classified section of the newspaper used in the moon represents looking or searching for something to fulfill a sense of loss. The moon is a symbol of light and hope in the darkness I was feeling at this time.
Fend For Yourself 27w X 39hThermofax; paint sticks; gel medium used to make texture, applied paper, machine quilted and appliqued.
Dealing with the emotions of going through a separation.
Love Restored 53w X49hHandmade paper fabric, paint sticks, printing techniques, paint, stencils, stamps, machine applique and quilting.
Marriage restored with faith, hope, love and answered prayer.