Friday, June 7, 2013

Artist Profile: Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp
Mooresville, North Carolina

1.  What year did you make your first quilt?    Traditional or art?  I made my first quilt with my mom when I was ten years old, in 1973. It was a traditional one-patch, tied with acrylic yarn, and we embroidered our initials in the corners. I still have it, and take naps under it, and remember my mom.  

2.  What is the first show, and year, that you ever entered your art quilts?  Venue? I entered my first quilt show about 2000. It was my hometown quilt guild's show. 

3.  What is your artistic style? Realistic, with lots of detail. 

4.  Have you ever changed your style from when you started making quilts?  I started making traditional quilts, including needle turn appliqué  – and still do! But now I also make art quilts. 

5.  What other style in quilt making piques your interest? I love it all, actually. That's part of the problem! I call myself a “multiple personality disorder quilter”! Right now I'm fighting a strong desire to make a hexagon quilt. (I'd have started already if I didn't have so much on my plate.)

6.  What other medium in art influences your work as a fiber artist? Sketching and drawing with pencil and ink; painting; and photography, of course (almost all my work is based on photographs). 

7.  What do you have coming up?  Shows, Articles in magazines, Books, etc.  My teaching schedule is very full through 2014. I'll be teaching around the U.S. and in New Zealand this year (I got to teach in Australia this spring, and the Netherlands and South Africa last year!) I'll be the featured artist at my local quilt show this summer. Throughout the year, my work will be featured in several national quilting magazines (sorry, I can't reveal details yet!). I'm also excited to host my second Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat in North Carolina this November; this year I’m collaborating with Lyric Kinard. 

8.  Where will your art take you from here? I hope to improve the quality of my work; to stretch myself artistically; to create pieces less based on reality (and based more on my imagination); and to continue to travel to exciting places teach. I would also like to incorporate more of my views and opinions into my work, to use it to send a message or do some good. Right now, I'm working on what may be my largest piece to date: a whole cloth painted piece featuring many species of fish, many of which are endangered due to overfishing, environmental problems or climate change issues. It will be called “We All Swim Together.” 

9.  Describe your studio space: It is a 14' x 14' former guest room in my 1916 house. It is painted bright red with white trim, and is crammed with supplies, a design wall, cutting table, and sewing machine. It is very crowded right now. And when I'm in there, my dog and two cats are usually there, too!

10. What was the biggest challenge you have encountered in the making of your art quilt for "An Exquisite Moment?" I rarely portray the human form, and challenged myself to take it on in this piece, which features my daughters caught up in the magic of a first snow. Luckily, I had photographs of them in the snow, with their little tongues out to catch the snowflakes, and I was able to work from the photos.

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