I am eclectic visual artist with a fascination for the past. My historic interest lies between reality and illusion. My artistic vision creates a historic stream that is not confined to my studio. I experience it in my daily life. I am my art; in the very simple sense that it reflects me and I echo it.
Throughout my work there is a strong reminiscent quality that defines my style. I currently express my creativity through the use of combined media. Fiber is my primary tool. Wire, beads, threads, copper and digital photography/printmaking are also used to create the final work of art.
I place no boundaries on my exploration. This project of Decades came to me after I began having grandchildren, causing me to reflect upon my own finite time.
Each Decade leaves behind cultural artifacts. The colors and styles of these artifacts evoke a sensual memory. This form of reflecting on each decade alters my emotional response to the difficulties and pleasure of life in the present. These memories when locked into a tangible representation are preserved so that others have an opportunity to trigger their own visceral experience.
To create my decades quilts I needed to evoke the era of each decade. I began by searching through the photos I’ve collected for 35 years. Some are vintage, some have been clipped from magazines and newspapers, and other I have taken myself. This was relatively easy for me to do because I save my photos in folders filed by type, theme, color, texture, pattern size and so on.
I began with the decade of the Thirties. The decade right before I was before I was born. I have always felt an affinity towards the Thirties because those years were a time of crises as well as romance and great style. I gathered together images and photos of that era, photos that called to mind the notions I had of that decade. Many of these notions were inspired by the films of that time. Not all of these pictures fit together as unified color scheme, but I didn't obsess about it because I have a technique for fixing this in Photoshop®. I then scanned in that group of photos. If I was missing an image to complete my decade, I searched online. I used this same thought process to gather together a set of photos for each, decade.
Using Photoshop, I created a collage out of the photos, adjusting the color and blending the layers so that the images came together as one piece.
Next, I printed the collage onto fabric fused onto freezer paper. When I am making a quilt larger than my printer can print, I divide my photo collage and print each section on different sheets of fabric. After printing, I piece them together with a sewing machine, covering the seams with embellishments such as beads and ribbons. It is best to do this, before quilting.
Using a hoop and interesting threads, I free motion embroidered with my sewing machine. When drawing or coloring in the image with thread,
I have found it is best to use a back-and-forth motion, which will create two lines. This is the method I used to do the bathing suits “The Pose” quilt. To enhance the feeling of each decade, I used adornments that were reminiscent of that time period. I matched the colors, textures, and threads of my embellishment to the existing printed fabric to create my final image.
I have found that tulle lends a soft‑focus look that adds to the nostalgic feel of these quills. I stitch it by hand or attach it before folding over the borders of my quilts, then trim the edges with ribbons or yarns that evoke the period of the decade.
I find these Decades quilts bring together my love of embellishment and my sense of history perfectly.