Friday, May 18, 2012

Artist Profile: Jane Davila

Jane Davila

Ridgefield CT

1. What other ideas for this theme "rituals" did you have? I was thinking a lot about rituals and how our own personal rituals (in our family lives, our work lives, our artistic lives, for example) provide structure and a base from which to act or work or create. I always knew that my rituals for this piece would be depicted as bees, but I was doing some heavy-duty, behind-the-scenes thinking of what rituals meant and how they manifest in my life.

2.  Are you involved in any community or group projects where you donate your work?  if yes, what project or projects? I am delighted to contribute to Virginia Spiegel's drive for FiberArt for a Cause for the American Cancer Society in whatever capacity I can, whenever she holds an event or fundraiser. Too many people in my family have been affected by the scourge of cancer and the ACS is a cause I'm passionate about. 

3.  Do you belong to a small group of like-minded artists?  yes/no  Name/where?  What is the best part of being part of an art group?  I am lucky enough to belong to several. I started FiberArt Northeast in 2006 and we currently have about 35 members. We all live in about an hour or less from NYC in both NY and CT. I also belong to a small group called 8 That Create and the very best part of the group so far has been the internet discussions we have about everything from the creative process to teaching to creative blocks to techniques. 
4.  Are you a member of a professional art organization, such as SAQA?  Have you ever held a volunteer position in the organization, and if so, what?    I was the SAQA NY co-representative for almost 2 years. I also belong to the Nature Printing Society.

5.  What is your favorite palette of colors that you use in your work?  Name 5.  Name 5 of your least favorite colors?  My favorites tend to be muted tertiary colors, so robin's egg blue, coral, chartreuse, ochre, and lavender, while my least favorites are clear colors closer to primaries (and some secondaries) like kelly green, royal, scarlet, pure yellow, and navy. But really, if a piece needs a color to make it successful, it doesn't matter if I "like" it or not. We all have colors we gravitate toward but all colors are fair game and I can't rule out using any of them.

6.  Describe your creative work space in 20 words or less.  Are you messy or tidy?  I can't create in a mess or with visual clutter, so things have to get cleaned up before I can get to work. I'm crazy organized in ideal conditions. 

7.  What is your creative process?  Think, draw, design, make or right to the design? Lots and lots of thinking, some research and word association games, and then thumbnail sketches. I start full-size layouts after the thumbnails are done, but feel free to deviate from them. I view those preliminary sketches as the starting points and then vary things once I start cutting fabric and laying out the composition.

8.   Is there a particular object or shape that shows up repeatedly in your work?  Why? There are recurring motifs that I return to again and again - fish, birds, insects and leaves in particular. Natural forms are much more interesting to me, even the geometric shapes in my compositions are nearly always abstractions of landscape and other natural elements. I often express concerns about the state of the environment through these subjects.

9.   If you had to choose a favorite artist from another media, who would it be, and why? I'm very drawn to the work of the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. His work is so expressive and emotional, and his use of color is masterful. He balances the line between abstract and figurative perfectly. I'm also a huge fan of my husband Carlos' work. He's an abstract painter and sculptor and it's amazing to live with another artist working in other media. So invigorating!

10.  Have you written a book related to Art Quilts and Quilting or have an instructional DVD?  If so, can you tell us the title or titles?  I wrote two books with my art-partner-in-crime, Elin Waterston (Art Quilt Workbook and Art Quilts at Play) and we taped a dvd together called Jane & Elin Teach You Art Quilt Basics. Plus I wrote a third book on my own called Jane Davila's Surface Design Essentials, all for C&T Publishing. 

11.  Do you make art full time?   If you have another career, would you describe what you do? and how you incorporate art into your life?  I consider myself a full-time artist. Although I wear a lot of hats, they are all related to my art - I make art, I teach art quilting and surface design internationally, I have an art quilting, surface design and mixed-media supply website called Flourish and I vend at many national shows, I write books and for magazines (I have a column in Quilting Arts magazine called Minding Your Business), and I am the editor of two digital emagazines for Quilting Arts - In Stitches and Surface Explorations. 

12.  What is your most thrilling news to date in relation to your art quilt life?  Most thrilling is hard to narrow down! Probably the day that Elin and I received the phone calls that our first book proposal was accepted by C&T, the first publisher we submitted to. More recent thrills include teaching in South Korea and in Australia last year. And any time that someone tells me that one of my classes or one of my books has "changed their life". I LOVE that!!

1 comment:

  1. Jane, you have such an interesting (and busy!) life. Your work is always among my favorites ... and thanks for mentioning Rufino Tamayo. He's now one of my favorites too.


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