Fabric, embroidery floss, thread, 68 x 30 x 4 in
On display at the Downtown Eugene Public Library
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, my interest in art started at an early age. Attending weekend workshops and classes at local art associations and at the Museum of Fine Arts furthered my enthusiasm. After high school, I enrolled in art school at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After two years as a sculpture major in their fine arts department, I transferred to the Museum School in Boston, where I completed my education and earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993. After many years in Boston, I spent a few years in Los Angeles and then Seattle before moving to Eugene, where I presently live and work.
The experimental environment of the Museum School encouraged me to follow my interest in creating art from fabrics. My work started with "story quilts" that were interactive and required the viewer's participation to reveal the full narrative. Other types of quilts and fabric compositions followed, often experimenting with new materials and textures. Though I was always fascinated by figure painting (particularly the works of the renaissance masters like Caravaggio), the medium frustrated me and most of my paintings showed this. Eventually, my interest in the textures and techniques of sewing merged with my fondness for the rich colors and imagery of figure painting, and I began creating these sewn, layered fabric portraits. I have been working in this technique for about 23 years.
In my quilt work, I concern myself almost exclusively with the human form. It is what I have always been most interested in looking at, as long as I've been looking at art. I pull my strongest influences from the pages of art history books, from portraits and figure studies painted decades ago, sometimes centuries ago. I choose subjects who interest me on a variety of levels and often find myself picturing them as a particular artist from the past might have seen them. This portrait quilt of my daughter is also an homage to the work of Alphonse Mucha, whose poster art defined the Art Nouveau movement.
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