When I saw the topic for the first Art Quilt Portfolio, I knew I had nothing relevant. Although nature features largely in most of my work, it really is the human figure that has fascinated me for years. So when I saw the announcement for the second volume, People and Portraits, I was happy because that is where I fit.
(Maria Elkins’ piece Windblown)
I have been using the human figure in my art since college, well before I started this obsession with fabric that is currently taking over my studio. I started with drawing people, taking life drawing classes as part of my college degree in studio art. I would try to figure out how the bones and muscles under the skin gave the body its form.
Way back when, I still ran off the page…(this is actually fabric crayon on fabric, one of the transition pieces from drawing to fabric work)
I was mostly a screenprinter (on paper) after college, and almost all of my work was of the human figure. As I began to consider having children, I switched to less toxic methods of printing, but I also found myself taking quilt classes and trying to figure out how to make the same images in fabric, because I could carry it around with me. Screens are time consuming to clean; you need big blocks of time to get the prints done. Fabric could be stitched in the tiny bits of time in between raising kids.
(a mockup for an old screenprint…I’ve actually considered making this a quilt)
I started with hand appliqué and moved from there to fusible appliqué. I still use hand embroidery on some of my quilts, but I also use ink to shade pieces. I still draw the image first, much like I did with the screenprints. I just use fabric instead of ink to make the image.
(the original drawing for Feeding Time)
Being one of the featured artists in Martha Sielman’s book is a real joy, especially because the book has such a wide range of styles of working. I also appreciate seeing some new artists and their work. I know Martha could have published three or four books under this subject with all the interesting work that’s out there, but the sections in between the featured artists show a bit of what others are doing with people and portraits in the fiber world.
(Feeding Time completed in fabric)
This is my favorite kind of art book…lots of color pictures and variety, but also some meaty text about how and why artists do what they do. I could read books like that for the rest of my life and never get tired of them.
You can read my post here about Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits from the end of March; I linked to all the featured artists in that post. I did do a giveaway back then…so sorry you missed it, but stay on the blog tour and I think you’ll find others doing the same. I knew I couldn’t handle a trip to the post office in the last 7 days of school…I’ll be lucky to handle keeping my head on my shoulders!
The blog tour continues through the end of the month:
June 3rd – Lark Kick Off!
June 5th – Sarah Ann Smith – http://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog
June 6th – Maria Elkins – http://mariaelkins.com
June 7th – Laura Wasilowski – http://artfabrik.blogspot.com
June 9th – Katherine McNeese – http://blueheronquilts2.blogspot.com/
June 10th – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com
June 11th – Linda McLaughlin – http://notesfromstudiob.blogspot.com/
June 12th – Kathy Nida – http://Kathynida.com
June 13th – Marilyn H. Wall – http://www.marilynhwall.blogspot.com
June 14th – Janice Paine Dawes– http://thedistoriatedquilter.blogspot.com/
June 16th – Pamela Price Klebaum – http://pamprice.blogspot.com
June 17th – Deborah Boschert – http://DeborahsJournal.blogspot.com
June 18th – Lisa Chin – http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/
June 19th – Sue Bleiweiss – http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog
June 20th – Leni Wiener – http://www.leniwiener.com
June 24th – Cheryl Lynch – http://www.CherylLynchQuilts.blogspot.com
June 25th – Lesley Riley – http://ArtistSuccess.com
June 26th – Stephanie Forsyth – http://thefibernation.blogspot.com
June 30th – Pat Kumich – http://patkumicich.blogspot.com