Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Susie Monday - Pipe Creek, TX

1.  What do you call yourself - art wise?   Artist. Fiber Artist. Textile artist. Artist who makes quilts for the wall. Depending on who asks.
2.  How do you jump start your creativity when you are in a slump?   Usually I wait it out for a while, believing in compassion for myself at this age, and with the experience of knowing that slumps really don't last forever. In those instances I try to feed my imagination with a trip to a thrift store to look for textiles, or a trip to the library for new books. Now that I have a computer-linked TV I might watch a documentary or film about an artist. But when a slump looks like it is taking serious hold I make myself pull out fabric and pile it on the design table, auditioning colors for something working out of one of my ongoing series.
 3.  If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your art?   With just a bit more security in the financial realm I would enter more juried exhibitions -- especially non-art-quilt ones. And if money way REALLY no issue, I'd take on some giant-scaled art collaborative projects, pay a slew of assistants to do all the drudgery parts of the process, make some enormous art quilts/installations for non-profits or schools (with the participation of those within them) and see where that led us!
 4.  Do you keep a sketchbook, journal, etc.?   I do on-and-off. Right now is "sort of on," but not daily. I do use sketchbooks and journals to inspire new projects when I think I don't have any ideas. My piece for this exhibit was taken directly from a collage that I had tucked away in a sketchbook -- I rarely work from sketches or paper designs, but when I do, the work comes from an old sketchbook or journal, rarely a current one.
 5.  Where can people see your other work this year?  shows, books, magazines, etc.  In my studio, at the Twig Bookstore in San Antonio (a small ongoing exhibit/sale).
 6.  Do you teach?  where?   I teach weekend retreats at my home/studio, El Cielo, which is on the top of a ridge northwest of San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country. I also teach at the Southwest School of Art and around the country at conferences, guilds and shows, but I confess that this year I have been less active as a fiber arts teacher, since I have been working quite a bit for an international program based at Alamo Colleges. Through that program I teach creative workshops to Central American teachers who are the U.S. to add to their abilities to teach in their rural schools back home, as well as teaching art workshops to Central American Youth Ambassadors and their Texas hosts.
 7.  Is there a particular artist who had influenced you in your art life? and why?   I am still looking at Matisse. His paper cutouts, use of color, amazing spirit as a lifelong artist all inspire me, and have since I was in high school.
 8. Where or what show do you hope your work will be in someday?  Quilt National. But I've never had the courage to enter!
 9.  Describe your studio workspace.  I have the studio of my dreams. For years I worked in a dusty, un-air conditioned crumbling shed/garage. When we moved to the country about 5 years ago we landed in a big house with a separate studio/apartment and 2-car garage. It's large enough for me to use for teaching, but not so large that I don't have to keep it cleaned up. And there is a 20-mile view outside the doorway, and a 10 second commute to the kitchen.
10.  What 3 tools could you not live without?  The Bernina; cheap scissors that I don't have to worry about and toss when they get dull; fusible web.
11.  What drives you to make the work that you do?  A respect for creativity and our human right and responsibility to live in its realm. A profound love of color and texture and shape that is part of my birthright. The desire to tell stories about life and living my life through potent, powerful images.
12.  How do you balance your life?  On tip-toe. Teetering this way and that. With the support of my partner. By living away from a lot of distractions. 


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