Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Gee- this was supposed to have been posted in mid-October!  I got it all ready, then forgot to take it out of draft.  So here you go, better late than never I guess.

I've been invited by Gina of Clay and Fiber to participate in a world wide blog hop.  Gina is a very talented artist living in Florida, who has a unique style combining her love of fiber and clay.  Take a look at this post to get an idea of just how talented she is.  I've gotten to know Gina through the cyber group Tangled Textiles that I have been part of for several years now- if my computer records are accurate, we did our first challenge in June 2011.  Gina always has a fresh take on our challenges- and I know how lovely her clay work is, since I own some!

And now, on to the hop---

What quilting/sewing thing am I working on?

I have two projects going on now.  One, that is close to being done, was inspired by a piece of black fabric that I folded, then discharged twice- once in bleach, and once in Thiox.  I finished the machine quilting this weekend, and now have to finish the hand stitching.

My other 'in  progress' piece is the next challenge for Tangled Textiles.  There was no set theme, just the requirement to document the process.  I immediately knew I wanted to create a piece using the indigo fabrics I'd dyed a couple of months ago.  Many of my quilts start with my hand dyed and printed fabric.  Right now, I'm just playing with the fabric, laying out some ideas to see how they look.  I will probably resort to the sketchbook at some point, but I'm not there yet.  Don't these blues and white just sing together?

And, just for good measure- I'm knitting some small Christmas presents.  Handwork really does soothe the soul.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm, I'm not sure I can say it does differ in any significant way.  I'd say my work is characterized by my love of hand dyed fabric, fairly minimalist design, strong use of color, and a growing love of including handwork in the pieces.  Those attributes certainly are not unique to me, but I hope in my growth as an artist that I am finding my own voice that makes it stand out as mine.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I can't imagine not creating, for a number of reasons.  I grew up sewing, knitting- it was just part of our lives.  It's played a bigger role at some stages than others, but it has never not been there for me.  After I got my master's degree, I started working in a field that is emotionally draining.  My fiber art has been a place of refuge from that.  It is also the polar opposite of my professional work in other ways:  it is something I create totally on my own, I am solely responsible for the outcome, good or bad, and I have a tangible object that I have created at the end of the process.  Those who say that quilting (or knitting, or painting, or writing) is cheaper than therapy know what they are talking about.  It has certainly been my therapy through some difficult times, and provides me joy in the not-so-difficult times.

Ten years ago I was eager to try any technique I could learn, and had a growing stash of embellishments and fabrics.  Over the years I have decided that the only way for me to grow is to set limits- limits on what I can use, limits on the techniques I learn, even limit the classes I take.  I've always loved clean, simple design, and loved to piece- so my more recent work reflects that.  I'd also say that I am influenced by nature, but try to abstract what I see and feel rather than try to recreate a realistic picture of it.

I started writing my blog in 2005, after we moved.  It was initially a way to journal my creative journey, and turned into a way to connect with other artists around the world.  I must admit that sometimes my motivation to write waxes and wanes, depending on what is going on- but I've not left it fallow for more than a month or so.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

My fiber work generally starts with the fabric.  A piece of hand dye may inspire some ideas in my head, and I'll just start playing with the fabric.  I'm a firm believer in therapy sewing, and having strip sets ready to go when the muse wants to play.  I rarely draw my ideas out ahead of time.  I seem to work better when the fabric and I are having a conversation, and it tells me what it wants to be.

As for the writing- I do set limits there, because there are parts of my life that I either am not able or do not want to post on the world wide web.  It really has become a way to keep an ongoing journal of my fiber art (and other avocations), a way for me to better understand my own process.

All that being said, here's a sampling of some of my work . . . 

 I don't have three bloggers to point you to, but I would like to point you in the direction of one artist whose work I love. Lisa Flowers Ross is an artist living in Boise- I love her clean, simple design esthetic. In addition to be very involved in the art community in Boise, she has created art for some very unusual places- like, traffic boxes!  And, she is a featured artist in a gallery in Ketchum this month, with a couple of new pieces that I found stunning.  So give her blog a visit!

1 comment:

Gina said...

It's great to see more of your wonderful work Beverly! And I enjoyed reading about your work and process. I too have come to realize that I simply can't do it all, so am trying to limit my work although I'm not always successful with that goal. And thank you for the very kind words about my work.