2. What is your creative process? I spend a lot of time looking at things that interest me. I’m obsessed with the effects of pressure upon objects & materials, such as a pile of river rocks, cracks in pavement, earth, and buildings. I photograph things that interest me and often sketch or paint them repeatedly. Sometimes I am inspired by an event, a photo, or by a piece of cloth I’m working on…frankly the inspiration can come from many places. It seems that my other interests inform my artwork.
3. What's your style? Much of my work leans toward the abstract, but I let the idea dictate how I will interpret it. I utilize photography, dye, paint, and a variety of techniques to achieve the end-result.
4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? I’ve been making quilts since the, gulp, late 70s, when I was still a baby. I began as a traditional quilt-maker. Through the years of working full-time as an RN and raising children I wasn’t very prolific. I transitioned to creating my own original work in the early 90s. Without question, the move to San Antonio from Kansas had a huge impact on my art.
5. Do you listen to music when you make art? I listen to music, and it ranges from classical (I love YoYo Ma’s Bach concertos!), to quite a range of rock, alternative, and even an occasional C&W tune! Recent favorites include Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Johnny Flynn, and Leona Lewis. Sometimes I put headphones on and listen to an audiobook on my ipod while I work. There are days when I need silence. I love to hear the birds singing outside my studio window. When I’m doing “wet work” I almost always listen to music with my headphones on.
6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? I love to use mixed-media collage or spending time in my garden as a way of flexing my art-muscle when I need a jump-start. I never seem to be out of ideas, but occasionally get stuck as to how to interpret a particular project. Switching gears is a good solution. Sometimes writing and/or sketching will break things open.
7. Do you teach? I have begun teaching a few workshops. In my past life I was a nurse-educator and I really loved teaching. I’m gradually teaching a bit more quilting & mixed-media locally and for Cloth Paper Scissors Make-It-University. I’m thrilled when a student has an “aha” moment in the classroom.
8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? Oh yes! I’m learning a bit about encaustic, and I’m mesmerized by fire, a sort of “wanna-be -pyro”, so I would love to work with glass and metal.
9. How do you balance your family life and art? Balancing art and family is often challenging. My family always takes priority, without question. We moved to Texas in 1997 but I frequently commuted back to care for my mother in Kansas until her death in 03. I have 3 daughters and the youngest left for college less than 2 years ago. It was after these changes that I was able to focus more on making art. My husband is equally passionate about his work and is quite supportive of what I do.
10. What is the best part about what you do? Being in “the zone”, whether it be dyeing or screen-printing, piecing, painting, or quilting. Being so engaged in what I am doing that I have no idea how much time has passed. Ahhh: Nothing better. I love each step in my art-making process. I get so much joy from doing what I do. I consider myself a very fortunate woman, indeed.