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Monthly Archives: September 2010
Where I Come From, 8 x 10 inches, ©2010 Linda Sharp
Yesterday I received this marvelous jewel of an artwork in the mail. It’s my purchase from the SAQA Benefit Auction. I’d had my eye on it from the beginning, and now I’m so thrilled to have it. The photograph doesn’t do it justice; I wish you could see it in person. The spheres are brilliant little half-globes of felt, and the quilting is exquisite, bringing to mind ocean currents or shipping routes. The circular globe shape is dimensional, a raised area surrounded by a narrow strip of felt. Even the back is meticulously finished, with the title done in beautiful lettering, and some intriguingly deconstructed printing hinting at the narrative.
Where I Come From, reverse, ©2010 Linda Sharp
I wanted to know more about the story behind the quilt, so I contacted the artist, Linda Sharp, to ask her about it. Here’s what she said:
“Where I Come From” is a theme that has intrigued me for years.
Being an adoptive child made me wonder about my biological origins and what secrets may be encoded in my DNA waiting to surprise me.
I am reasonably certain now that I am not a lost princess, as childhood dreams dictated. But this is just as well, since it is probably too late for me to learn how to eat at a place setting with six forks and I suspect that even a tiara won’t really help a bad hair day.
As the daughter in an air force family, and the wife of an engineer specializing in rural telecommunications, I have lived in many parts of the world.
Landscapes spoke to me, friendships were made and sometimes wisped away, foods were remembered, but no one place held all the good things.
I could never really answer the question “Where do you Come From?”
The heavy metallic stitching on the quilt represents the complexity of where we belong – the currents of time and travel change us and our needs.
The button is a whimsical ‘belly button’ hinting at the secrets of my birth.
The felted spheres speak to me of many things, molecules, our cells, map markers and planets.
The target is focused on the Oldavai Gorge.
I suppose that the answer is “I have come from everywhere I have been.”
I was especially drawn to this quilt because of the felting, which touched a spark of synchronicity for me. I’ve been interested in the idea of working with felt for several months, and I’ve been doing some research into how to do it, plus I bought some wool this past summer (a story in itself!). Linda has generously shared some of her knowledge with me – did you know that you can use Kool-Aid to dye wool? I certainly didn’t. But I’m going to try it, because really, what could be easier?
I highly recommend a visit to Linda’s web site, Rock, Paper, Stitches. Perusing her categories, you will find that not only does she make quilts and felted art, but it turns out she’s also an accomplished jeweler, teacher, and even a cartoonist! And be sure to look at the Workshops tab, where she shares some of her methods.
There are still some beautiful art quilts available in the auction. Up for bid through Sat., Oct. 2, are the pieces in the 2nd group on pages 2a and 2b. Starting Monday, Oct. 4, bidding starts for the last group, which you can see on pages 3a and 3b.
I’ve just finished a new piece in my Façade series. (I’ve posted a couple of others here and here.) This piece was started well over a year ago, but it took me a long time to finish it. Sometimes this happens; I get stuck. I don’t try to force it, I just work on a particular piece until I realize I’m not getting anywhere with it and then I put it away. I bring it out later after I haven’t seen it for awhile, and by then I can see it with fresh eyes and I’m ready to try some new things.
It took me a while to realize that I am not a linear thinker. I used to try to work on one piece from start to finish, but I found it frustrating and self-defeating. Once I discovered the idea of working on multiple things concurrently, my productivity increased exponentially. When I get stuck on one thing, I just move to the next. I have many textile pieces and paintings all in various stages of completion at any given time, and with things always out on the wall or on the table, I can take advantage of any tiny sliver of time to get a bit of work in. It’s especially handy since a lot of my work involves waiting for paint to dry before I can go further on something. It also seems to suit the way my brain works, which admittedly has changed in the last several years. I blame the Internet.
My first Façade piece was made in 2006. Since then, my thinking about the series has been refined somewhat, and I decided that my artist statement about this work needed to be updated. I view all of my statements as works in progress. Here’s my latest:
In this series, I explore ideas of time and transformation, inspired by the structural elements and seductive surfaces of old buildings and walls. An old wall tells a story, like a canvas upon which both nature and human beings play and leave their marks. Over the course of many years, layers of paint and graffiti are applied, only to be eroded by sun, rain, and wind. The result is a surface rich with texture and color.
I use the textile medium of fabric and stitch to impart a unique texture, both visual and literal, to my work. I want the work to carry a physical reminder of the artist’s presence, a visual diary of sorts. Patterning and design from the base fabrics interact with the stitching and my personal system of painting and mark-making to create a richly layered surface that captures the essence of my original inspiration.
The 2010 SAQA Benefit Auction is currently in progress. This reverse auction is a fantastic opportunity to purchase textile works made by SAQA members. Bidding started on Monday, so as I write this, the price for work on the first two pages is currently $350, and it drops each day until the final price is $75. You can get a great price for some fantastic work, but the catch is, if you wait too long, your favorite may be gone!
A couple of my favorites:
Red Coleus, 12 x 12 inches, ©Susan Brubaker Knapp
Survivor: Ginkgo Biloba II, 12 x 12 inches, ©Nancy Cook
My piece is in the second group; bidding for these two pages starts Sept. 27.
Elysium, 12 x 12 inches, ©Deidre Adams
Other items of note:
Yesterday, I received a very nice mention by Pokey Bolton on the Quilting Daily Blog for Quilting Arts TV.
I was featured in the “Vignettes” (short articles) section of the Fall 2010 issue of Studios by Cloth•Paper•Scissors magazine. This magazine is available on newsstands or via the Interweave Store.
I have several pieces published in 1000 Artisan Textiles, by Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown, published by Quarry Books.
(This is slightly old news, but better late than never, right?)