October 2, 2011


  An occasional series, featuring an interview with one of our members.

My greatest pleasure is being in the zone, when time stops, my focus is narrow and work gets done without much conscious thought.

Last Clear Chance, commission for
San Diego Regional Airport Authority

What themes or ideas are reoccurring in your work?
     Time, process and change are reoccurring concepts. My work changes with new techniques, with changes in my personal life, with research when a new idea pops up. Time is part of my process as well. I hand dye most of the fabrics I use. It can take several dye processes to get the color and pattern I want. Machine piecing and machine embroidery are time consuming. I machine quilt all my work and hand embroidery often is a final step. Some pieces go together quickly – less than a week. Others can take months to resolve.  
Airport Backsplash,
mosaic tile drinking fountain
San Diego Regional Airport Authority
Terminal 1, near Gate 3, inside security

 How do you approach your work?  Recently I have had commissions that   direct the concepts and content. When I am starting my own work I often begin with fabric…piles of fabric….until something stands out and begins the additive process of image/concept development. After some research, often a simple google search, ideas are refined and manipulated on my wall.   
 What is your creative process?  Sometimes work starts with color and pattern: Sometimes with a concept or word. I often do some research on a concept or word or image. After that my best process is as without thought as possible. Back to that “in the zone.” 
What tool could you not live without?                                                    
Sewing machine, fabric, dictionary or computer since google is now a resource, needle and thread, pencil and eraser.                    
 When did you first become interested in fiber? I’ve been working with fabric since I was a small child. My mother taught me to use the sewing machine when I was very small. We made my school clothes every year through high school. 
 Does California, as a locale, physically or an idea, emotionally, manifest itself in your work?  The clear sunny climate of Southern California appears in my usually preferred color palette-full intensity colors particularly red.  However, I spend a substantial amount of time in interior Alaska at various times of the year. I am drawn to the  subtlety of the color palette there. When I work with an artist friend there I find my palette shifting to grayer and more muted colors.

Chinook, art quilt, 2011. 19"h  x 41"w

        Why did you decide to become a member of California Fibers?           
       I’ve been a CF member since the late 80’s?  (I can’t find a resume with the date of my first  exhibit with CF. It was a show at the Pannikan in Encinitas.). Donna Joslyn who was CF membership chair then encouraged me to jury into the group. CF offered an opportunity to stretch my skills and ideas to art rather than womens clothing which was my focus at the time. I remain a member because that opportunity to stretch and grow continues.

Mistral, art quilt, 2011, 36.5"h x 19"w 

       Which historical figure or artist do you most identify with? I don’t really identify with anyone in particular. Since I have no formal art training, I can pick and choose from among a whole world of artists without having to label a specific organizing genre. However, I am especially fond of the moderns from Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell to Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Lee Krasner and Lee Bontecou. I like simple graphics that have inner meanings that I can figure out or not.

      Which living artist do you most admire? Andy Goldsworthy, his work not his behavior.


What is your motto? 
As Tim Gunn would say, “Make  it work.” 
Levant, art quilt, 2011, 25"h x 18.5"w
I hate to have a piece stall out. I really like my work to resolve. UFOs (unfinished objects) are a thorn in my visual side. I can’t hide them deep enough. Eventually they get cut apart, over dyed, painted on or quietly thrown out so they don’t look at me from the shelf.   

1.    What is the greatest pleasure you get in your work? Being “in the zone” when time stops, my focus is narrow and work gets done without much conscious thought.

 What are your creative challenges? I want to pursue some forms other than quilts: artist books, 3D structures….having enough time to work through new     technical issues is always a challenge.

Happy Hands, commission for a private school for
developmentally disabled children, Tulsa, OK
8.5'h x 12.5'w
What is your biggest fear as an artist? 
 I won’t have another good idea.


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