The art quilts that I create are a culmination of years of artistic expression, professional art direction experience, and instructing art and design. Sewing and photography have been avocations, but they were just waiting for the right time to be included in the forefront of the art I create. I was a professional Graphic Designer and Art Director in Corporate and Ad Agency settings. This gave me unique experience in understanding the use of visual elements as a means of communication. It also honed the use of composition and color. Later in my career, I taught college level art and design classes.
As art major I specialized in printmaking, but even at that time, collage elements and the sewing machine became part of my arsenal. It was the tactile nature and physicality of printmaking that really drew me to the media. The layering of color was also explored and enjoyed.
During my years of employment, neither the camera nor the sewing machine was far from my hands. As an art director I worked with professional photographers and watched that industry go from film to digital as I participated in the graphic design world while it made that same leap of technology. It was not long after seeing some of the first large format digital printing proofs being made, that I challenged my printer to try to print on fabric. The technology was far from proven or accessible, so while intrigued, I returned to more traditional use of fabrics in my sewing and art quilts.
Finally finding myself freed from the tethers of employment, and relocated from Wisconsin to Virginia with a studio in the McGuffey Art Center, I turned to art quilting and photography on a full time basis. Digital photography made taking photos every day to use as both my sketchbook and my diary possible and cost-effective. The art quilt world had also exploded with techniques and venues.
The art quilts that I now create are an amalgam of my photos and my stitching. I put it like this: “My photos are what I see. The fiber how I saw it.” The stitching allows me to celebrate and express textures in a way that the flat surface of photography does not. The photos provide the underlying reality to my art quilt subject matter.