Archive for the ‘influences’ Category

A Bit Of A Sleeper, Really …

Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Although I only had this work photographed a couple of months ago, I actually made it in 2015. A bit experimental in materials and processes, I designed and made it for a particular wall in our home, hung it immediately it was finished and always forgot to take it to be photographed every time after that I took other new work to be done. I tend to have several pieces photographed at once, a couple of times a year, but this one just somehow got overlooked every time. Fast forward to 2022, and in January I was inspired to make a new work for that space, and put that one straight up, too, without naming or even measuring and documenting it, and I still haven’t had it properly photographed, either! However, in a few weeks’ time I’ll be taking some new work in to Eduardo’s studio, and will try to remember it in then.

However, back to this one –

“Slideshow” 110cm x 120cm 2015

Even when I posted my fresh new new photo on Instagram I hadn’t yet bothered to name it, and friend Kathy Loomis of OH suggested I should call it Slideshow. I agreed, and went on to comment ” @kathy_in_ky 😂 you’re right – and I never titled it because I made it for a particular place in our house. So “Slideshow” it is, not that it’s ever going to appear in any catalogue, except for the illustrated record I keep of all my work – with an eye to the major retrospective in about 100 years’ time, of course 😍 ”

When Studio Art Quilt Associates, SAQA, called for entries to a juried collection of SAQA juried artists’ quilts to feature in their exhibition space at the huge annual expo SOFA, (that stands for sculpture objects fine art design) I looked to see what might fit. There was no age limit, so I included Slideshow among the three in my entry, and then quite forgot about it until an acceptance email turned up yesterday. I’m not sure there’ll be a catalogue, but that expo is big, and it’s a wonderful exposure opportunity for my art.

“Slideshow”, detail

Grid layouts are my go-to design structure, definitely an influence from traditional patchwork and quilting. But there’s more to my love of them. I’m a creature of some degree of habit, and calm and order do come from a level of predictability derived through repetition. In today’s turbulent world, I value an orderly home where actual people live, using and enjoying our various belongings, and tidying up and cleaning when absolutely necessary. When I go downstairs in the morning to make the first cup of tea I like that the cat is waiting on the window ledge for its breakfast. I like opening a cupboard knowing I’ll find that thing I want without having to rummage around too much. You probably have regular ‘markers’ in your daily and weekly lives and can relate to those comments. I’ve known a couple of serious hoarders in my life, and in their environments, nothing is filed sensibly, put away properly, repaired or thrown away. Stuff just accumulates in no particular order, and I’ve found such people’s chaotic environments very unsettling.

In addition to the masses of traditional and contemporary quilt makers, many of my favourite artists work in grids and grid-like structures, so they too influence me. Outside of the fibre art world, I particularly love the work of artists like Agnes Martin, Mathias Goeritz, Shane Drinkwater, Giles Bettison and Vera Molnar – you’ll see what I mean if you go to these links to their work.

Two New Collectors

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

It’s always a joy when someone wishes to exchange their hard earned money for some of my art. Since I enjoy creating and making textile and fibre art I don’t think of it as ‘work’, even though it is, and as ‘work’ is occasionally frought with difficulty or stress even, between concept and completion.  Today I am hoping that my two newest collectors will have many years of enjoyment with my works in their collections.

This week I was pleased to see my 12″ square in the online 2010 SAQA Benefit Auction was purchased by a collector in the USA, Francie Gross.  I am embarrassed to say I forgot to photograph it before sending it off, but it is in the style of Timetracks 11

  a portion of which is shown here.

It is still up on the auction pages, 2b, at the SAQA online auction which enters its third week this week with the works shown on pages 3a and 3b – just click the link on the page above the pics andyou will go to each in turn.  Perhaps you’ll make a bid for some of the interesting pieces still to come under the hammer in the next few days.

A few weeks ago I sold two works to an international collector, a personal friend, who chose “Timetracks 16” and also this one:

 

It’s not shown in my website, partly because I haven’t ever decided just which category it belongs in, or exactly what name to settle on it.  For a long time it went as ‘Untitled’ which I always think is an artist’s cop out. 

Yet it is an important work, because it took me into the “Desert Tracks” works that followed and will probably be added to over time. It is a work focused on those aspects of the traditional ancestors of modern art quilts that appeal to me and appear repeatedly in my own work – blocks/units, repetition, and hand quilted surface patterning.  The finished edges are applied with a gold metallic fabric, double layered and cut on the cross, left ufinished – also from a time when I was beginning to consider less conventional bound edgings on my work, and burned edges appeared soon after making this one.  It has always looked good in local exhibitions here, and I know it will be well placed in  its new home.

It just occurred to me that someone with some clout in the art world should declare a day each year to be designated “International Art Collectors’ Day”.  I still have the very first painting I bought, nearly 55 years ago with 8s 6d of the 12s pocket money I was given to spend at the annual school fete.  It is a postcard-size watercolour of a landmark mountain range in northern Tasmania where I grew up, and I remember choosing it from a whole table of perhaps 50 or so little watercolured landscapes, probably done by the art teachers at the school, and certainly framed by one of the parents’ framing business – handy use for the their framing offcuts, probably!  It’s still in the original frame – I think I will do it the honour of having it framed in a more modern frame next time I’m back in Aus – I have always loved it.  In addition my parents had several watercolours painted by a cousin of my father’s, John Nixon Gee.  Dad took me along to JN’s house one morning when I was maybe 6, and I remember watching him paint a little while I was there.

Influences Are Everywhere

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

This is not a new work. I have shown a part of this pic before, in a blog recounting some of the work covered in a Dorothy Caldwell workshop, “The Expressive Stitch”. This is the worksheet, the experimental page, on which I explored ideas she presented. (see October 2005 archive) That very stimulating workshop reminded us all that anyone regardless of skill or experience can sew a simple straight stitch, in and out, again and again, without any fancy turns or knots along the way, and grouping them in lines, crosses or randomly, create expressive and possibly powerful patterns of marks on cloth .

I am an admirer of UK textile artist Clyde Olliver, whose thread marks are not on cloth but on stone. (“slate or other suitable material” ) This week I visited his blog, http://clydeolliver.wordpress.com and was fascinated by a recent post on current influences in his work. After reading his analysis, I was prompted to consider my own work in terms of ‘influences’. Everything we admire for qualities of design and craftmanship has influence, and I think degrees of admiration and influence are in direct proportion to each other. I think of fav. artists from several countries, all of which I realise have added something to my individual sense of colour, design concepts and love of line and texture.

Serious influences in particular come from textile artists and teachers I have encountered. I became interested in ‘creative embroidery’ in 1975 in a class of that name; Laurel Fraser Allen really opened my eyes to the enormous variety of embroidery/stitchery as a craft practised in all cultures. My mother and grandmothers stitched counted thread work, smocking, needlepoint and ‘fancy work’ – remember the cloths, doilies and duchesse sets on pre-printed fabric? Often sold pre-edged, but Mum and Gran x2 bought ones you needed to crochet your own edges. Then between 1977 and 1980 followed Cynthia Sparks (own design, consider any thread, any stitch) Constance Howard I was privileged to have as a teacher for 4 days in Aus ’79 (emphasis: really looking at colour ) and Meg Douglas ( paint plus stitch, free machined embroidery) The next major textile influence was the world of traditional patchwork and quilting as experienced living in the USA ’87-’94. A first flying geese wall hanging preceeded my own designs, all of which owe something to the grids and repeat units of traditional patchwork. Nancy Crow’s multi-faceted influences on approach and attitude have been far greater than the mere technique of template-free rotary cutting and piecing construction techniques she teaches and which I and many other contemporarty quiltmakes now use exclusively. In recent work I am influenced significantly but possibly less obviously by temporarily living out of my own country in another with different cultural background and values; and finding an interest in lace and leather reflected in some ways, too.

My website, http://www.alisonschwabe.com/ is currently being updated – the most recent artist statement/bio addresses this, too.

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