Artist Statement: The initial inspiration for this work was paintings by Henri Matisse, which I saw as part of a traveling exhibition. The vibrant colors and wild layers of pattern grabbed me and wouldn't let go. In the space of an afternoon, my quiet palette flew out the window and color vibrated in my head.
While pondering how to use what had inspired me, I made another discovery: the simple purchase of a needlepoint picture of birds bathing in a fountain, purchased at Goodwill, launched many hours on eBay. Suddenly all kinds of vintage embroideries and needlepoint pieces were objects I absolutely had to own.
Who can say how threads of experience and serendipity morph into a plan for an entire body of work? I can say that one afternoon, playing in the studio with soy wax dye crayons and silk noil, I suddenly remembered one of my favorite paintings by Henri Rousseau. The jungle-like scenes I drew with crayons were added to the pin-up wall. Several recently acquired embroideries were auditioned as a portion of an old quilt; Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. The completion of that piece led to a second Flower Garden piece. By the time it was completed, an exciting new approach to combining visual elements had engaged me. The series comes full circle with the inclusion of Grandmother's Matisse's Flower Garden.
My goal is to honor the master artists (male and female) who inspire me; as well as the makers of the hand-stitched embroideries I incorporate into my work. I am the bridge between fine art and craft- linking them inextricably together in a dance of old and new- paint, thread, and intention.
Materials: Raw silk noil and Ecco felt, fused layered with vintage embroideries (needlepoint, hand embroidery, crochet, and assorted other fine needlework). Painted with textile paints, dyed and steamed, soy wax dye crayons, Inktense block, machine quilting and hand stitching, hand embroidery.
Techniques are all my own- based on 25 years of fidgeting, fudging, and making do.