Friday, July 5, 2013

Artist Profile: Sherry Kleinman

Sherry Kleinman
Pacific Palisades, California

1.  What year did you make your first quilt?    Traditional or art?   My first traditional quilt was when I was expecting my first child was in 1978.  I sewed home dec items, dolls, and the occasional bed quilts in the years following but I was out of the loop in regards to art quilts.  I didn't even discover the whole genre until 2005.  My first art quilt was a result of taking a class with Terry Waldron (now a friend) through a local quilt guild in 2005.  I never liked to follow traditional patterns and instructions,  I was always improvising.  The discovery of the  world of art quilts has changed my world.  I found my passion and my voice that occupies each day with the possibility of new designs and creations.  I work double time to make up for the years I missed.

2.  What is the first show, and year, that you ever entered your art quilts?  Venue?  My piece "Postcard from Guatemala" was the first piece entered and accepted into the annual Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario, CA, 2007.  What a thrill is was to see it on display!

3.  What is your artistic style?  My work falls into two main technique categories:  pieced or fused fabrics OR drawn and painted images that are stitched.  My love is to tell a story through portraiture, be it a person, an animal or a landscape.  My work is most often realistic and sometimes more abstract.

4.  Have you ever changed your style from when you started making quilts? I like to try new methods and experiment, so yes my work has evolved along the way, as I add more techniques to my "Tool Box".  In the past year I have experimented with using the technology of my iPhone and my iPad's art camera and art apps. I print my digitally created images onto fabric for a whole cloth quilt that I then stitch.  My piece "Waiting Expectantly" was created this way.  I also have a series of pieces based on portraits of people actually texting and using cell phones: "Alone/Together" and "Taking Time to Text" are two examples you can see on my website.

5.  What other style in quilt making piques your interest?  Recently I have been doing more hand stitching in addition to machine stitching.  "Waiting Expectantly" is embellished extensively with pearl cotton stitching.  I love the added texture.
6.  What other medium in art influences your work as a fiber artist?  I have a background in the fine arts.  I draw and paint.  Weekly I attend mixed media life drawing classes.  Drawing the human figure helps to train your eye to see lines and shapes, no matter what your subject may be.  I enjoy the feedback from my classmates and my long time mentor and teacher, David Limrite.  I am the only one working in textiles.  Our work is all different, but we continually inspire each other.

7.  What do you have coming up?  Shows, Articles in magazines, Books, etc.  I am one of 21 featured artists in Martha Sielman's latest book:  Art Quilt Portfolio:  People and Portraits (Lark Publishing).  Two of my pieces ("Girl in Blue Stockings" and "Far Rockaway Beach") will travel with the upcoming SAQA Exhibit People and Portraits, featuring work from the book.  The show will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October 2013.  My piece "Taking Time to Text" will travel with the SAQA Exhibit Text Messages that will also debut at the IQF show in Houston.   

8.  Where will your art take you from here?  I used to tell my three daughters (who are all now adults and artists themselves) that you are only limited by your imagination.   I look forward to exploring things I haven't even thought of yet.  I will continue to take classes from other artists, explore art books, and wait for serendipity to happen.  The solitude of walking my dog Mac and sitting on his favorite bench is often the place where an idea sparks in my head for my next project.

9.  Describe your studio space:   I have two main rooms I use for my studio, both former bedrooms of my daughters.  My main studio holds my sewing machine, my art books, my computer, my fabrics, my paints, and supplies.  My design wall works double duty as a painting surface and as a design wall.  It is a bright cheery space; I work next to a window where I am entertained by busy hummingbirds and bees.  I have a mid-arm machine in another room and use the dining table for my cutting area.

10. What was the biggest challenge you have encountered in the making of your art quilt for "An Exquisite Moment?"  Learning new computer skills to achieve my vision of what I saw in my head.  I started with a photo of an artist model named Rosie who was 8 months pregnant.  Using my iPhone photo, I drew and painted an image on my iPad with art apps.   My  graphic designer daughter Stephanie became my teacher working with Adobe Illustrator to create the background images based on repeats of my painted skirt designs.  The finished design was then printed in a 2 yard piece at Spoonflower.  I love the challenges of trying new techniques. 

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