Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beneath the Surface Artist Interviews

From the roots that anchor a majestic tree to a song by Kings of Leon, "Beneath the Surface" has many connotations.  We look into dark water and wonder what lies beneath. We long to understand the meaning of a cryptic statement.  

What comes to mind when you ponder what is "Beneath the Surface?"

My work -Shaking the Tree of Imagination on right at IQF Long Beach CA and Houston. 

Recently I, as well as several other artists as Yvonne Porcella, Susie Monday, Jane LaFazio, Gerrie Congdon, and many more are being interviewed on Dinner at Eight Artists blog for the special exhibit "Beneath the Surface" that will be shown at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA - July 22-25th. The exhibit will be sponsored by Moore's Sewing Centers and Brother International.
My interview follows

The artists behind the exhibit are Jamie Fingal, an award winning full-time artist who lives in Orange, California. She is the author of “Embellished Mini Quilts."see Jamie's website and blog.
AND Leslie Tucker Jenison is an award-winning textile and mixed-media artist who works primarily on the quilted surface. see Leslie's blog.

1. How do you describe yourself? My logo is ‘Contemporary Art in Fiber- An unusual use of fibercombines painting and digital media into a one of a kind art piece’. I consider myself a mixed media artist. Jason Pollen recently said “We are artists, you don’t need to say fiber artist- artist will do nicely’. My general artist statement is “Making art is like a meditation. I put that energy into my creations. Later, viewing a piece, revisit that feeling; like reading a poem or familiar story. It brings you back.”

2. What is your creative process? planning, drawing, notes, etc. I am a process person. My process is fed by my love of being outdoors. I’m passionate about coming up with ideas and working out the kinks. It speaks to me. Part of that process is photography. I can see the most exquisite scenes or combinations of patterns and want to share that beauty. My art represents these moments. They are what lie beneath. I bring them back to share, to remember, to remind. These moments become my source, my well. This is when inspiration strikes, allowing thoughts percolate up from the unconscious and become my art, or poetry or prayers.
3. What's your style? Abstract, pictorial, surface design, whole cloth, etc. I do all of these. My main works are digital, collage, and surface design; sometimes works will feature one of these styles but often they blend together.
4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? I took to fiber in High School- making my own clothes and prom dresses, graduating with a BS in Home Economics from collage. I started the artistic part of my fiber-oriented career with batik soft sculpture in the late 1970’s. When I moved to NH and joined a quilt guild I mastered hand piecing, and quilting, slowing processing back into doing whatever I chose to do. I embrace the pioneering fiber art movement of today.
5. Do you listen to music when you make art? what kind? Music comes and goes. Sometimes, I need it to provide distraction from outside sounds, other times I need the meditative, joyous, blues, even rock music to bring in certain flow. It all depends on my state of mind and where I am in the creative process. Often I work in complete silence because my inner muse is whispering.
6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? I haven’t been blocked in years, especially now- I almost feel like I’m bent over backwards on top of a rocket, watching the inspirations wash over me as I fly skyward. However, that is not to say I haven’t been blocked. I find that is time to step back and feed the soul by walking on a beach, in the woods or sitting by a lake; or taking myself to museums or galleries. I journal; I make hand bound books where drawings are kept, inspirational quotes and clippings. I can be inspired by a well put phrase or poem in addition to the visual.
7. Do you teach? What's your favorite part about teaching? I have taught for at least 20 years at a very easy pace. I kept this slow allowing plenty of studio time. I have ‘put myself out there’ this year and will do so for a while until I need to retreat. I love interacting with fellow fiber fellows. The energy is greater than the whole and I always learn from my students.
Current Workshops
Holographic Memories Fabric * Transformations Workshop Series; Fab Fabric Painting Techniques, Stupendous Fabric Stamping, Irresistible! Resists and Masks, Make your Mark! Mono Printing, Gelatin Printing, Easy Image Transfer, Journal Creations, The Thermal Facts, Digging into Digital Fabric Printing, Mixed Media Collage Workshop, Piecing in the Flow, an intuitive curved piecing technique, Petite Collage "Inspiration=Art Pieces

8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? Yes, I am by no means without plans. This is such a vibrant green growing thing.
9. How do you balance your family life and art? That is a challenge that many female artists face. I chose to have a family and for many years worked in bits and pieces snatching time here and there. After the children left home, I had a difficult time adjusting to longer working hours. Now I can work and not know the passage of time. This is a gift I honor.
10. What is the best part about what you do? I love what I do! I love the processes, the places I go when I see color or get inspirations, and the connections with artists. Artists tend to be a little left of center. They see more, feel deeply; they are kindred spirits on so many levels. I must do my art.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton

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