A quilter recently contacted me asking if I teach landscapes. My answer to her included these comments: My freehand patchwork technique is wonderful for landscapes, and your question makes me think again about much of what I have done … I have much experience with landscapes using many techniques, and would be happy to teach a whole workshop, about how fiber artists can make “landscapes” … I never teach everyone in the class to do the same … always encouraging students to follow their own intentions with the techniques that I can teach them to achieve this.
Landscape has always been at the core of the inspiration for my art. When I began to seriously express my creativity through colour and textures of landscape in the 80’s, I did this through stitch+paint+found objects. The world is made up of is made up of and infinite variety of landscapes, all of them to some degree dotted or dominated by streams, rivers, lakes ponds, parks – including but not limited to deserts, beach fringed coastlines, rugged high mountains, extensive icy tundra, tropical rainforest clad ridges and valleys, man made farmlands, highways and backroads and, of course villages, towns and cities. Below are some details from my ‘creative embroidery’ phase, but really, my art has always been mixed media even if dominated for years by patchwork and quilting, p&q.
Over the time I have been making quilted fabric works, my interest in landscape has shifted from shape+colour+texture to the current shape as a result of processes by wind, water, temperature change and the activity of Man as agents of shaping landscape we see around us today.
My p&q phase began in the late 80s and has never ended, while the many sewing and construction techniques I’ve learned down the years are always ready to be considered for inclusion in a new work. While much of what I do comes under the much of my art today fits under the umbrella term art quilting, it is definitely ‘mixed media’ too.
For pieced designs, a.k.a. patchwork, I sew the pieces of fabric together by machine to make a surface design. I also use my machine to sew free machine embroidery, fme, and free machine quilting, fmq. In addition to those, I also do surface designing using any of the following – hand stitch, hand quilting, needleweaving, beading, stencilling, hand painting, hand drawing/mark making, monoprinting, spray painting, stamping, burning, machine applique, couching and more. Materials I use vary, but a favourite is cotton, plain, hand dyed and printed with small textural and striped designs. I have made quilts using appliqued leather. I made one from vinyl with appliqued mylar shapes. I have used nylon and silk organzas, and sometimes use lame or other glittery fabrics.