Saturday, September 19, 2015

Affinity For Improv and Love of the Line

I am exploring some new territory in my recent work.  This is one of those intervals that may appear to be coming out of nowhere, but in reality, this has been on my "list" for some time.

It started last spring when I went to study at the Crow Timberframe Barn with Carol Soderlund.  I got to do two things at once that I had been dreaming of and it was a great experience.  It started me on a path I have been thinking about since the late 80s:  studying with Nancy Crow.

The reaction I get is usually something like this:  "I don't understand. Why are you doing this?  This doesn't seem like a place your work is going...." and on.  Yes, I get that people don't see it as a natural progression of the work I was doing two years ago.  I'm quite fine with that.  This exercise has multiple goals:
To study with an artist whose work I admire a great deal.  
I want her to challenge my point of view.
I expect it to be difficult.
I expect to struggle, and probably to fail multiple times.
My goal is not to make work that resembles Nancy's, rather, it is to see what is possible by adding the information she gives me to my own aesthetic.

I can't wait to see what shakes out of all this!

One revelation:  free-cutting fabric selvedge to selvedge with a rotary cutter to expose the gestural line in cloth.  This really excites me!  I feel so close to drawing when I do this:  I'm pulling the rotary tool toward me versus the traditional method ofpushing it away.  No ruler!  It allows more control and  is deeply satisfying.

I created this quilt which is my curator's piece for the soon-to-be "Affinity" exhibition (for Dinner At Eight Artists in Houston at the International Quilt Festival) using this free-form method of construction and I'm pretty happy with the results.  All the quilts in the exhibition will be 40 inches square.
With the exception of some of the black and gray, the rest of this fabric was hand-dyed by me.

I enjoyed the process of free-motion quilting this piece on my Bernina 750QE.



I hope many of you will be at the International Quilt Market & Festival this fall in Houston, TX.  Please look me up!  I'll be there!  



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