Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Artist Profile: Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp
Mooresville, North Carolina

1. What kind of challenges did this theme present to you? This theme was more difficult for me than usual. I think it was because it took my brain in so many different directions at once… There was the “personal iconography” component and the “graffiti” component. How to marry them together in a unified piece? What WAS my personal iconography, anyway? I considered making it look like those Russian religious icon paintings, framed in gold, and rich in symbolism. Did the word “graffiti” mean that it needed to have a graffiti look to it? I researched graffiti and found a wide range of styles. I chewed over the theme for a very long time before deciding to work on a portrait of my daughter. I don’t usually do faces, so I sweated a great deal about executing the face and stitching it. 

2. Describe your studio space? My studio is in a former guest room in our home, and it’s about 14’ x 14’. I have a two large windows, a raised work table for cutting and painting, a sewing cabinet with my Bernina machine, a large design wall, and way too much stuff. I yearn for a bigger, more organized space, and especially one where I can get really messy.

3. Where can people see your work in the next six months? I'll have pieces in the “World of Beauty” exhibition and the Dinner @ Eight Artists exhibition at International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall, and a piece in the “Threads of Resistance” exhibition that will be traveling the country through 2018.
4. Do you ever work in a series?  If so, what benefits or challenges does this present to you as an artist? I love working in series (I was on a butterfly kick a while back, and now I’m obsessed with fish!), but I also find it to be constraining. My biggest problem is that I have so many ideas that I will never have time to work on them all unless I become a vampire and can live eternally. 

5. What other activities do you engage in that “feed” your creative energy? Pretty much everything I do feeds my creativity. (Today I went to a medical appointment and came up with 10 new ideas for art quilts.) My favorite hobbies – geneaology, drawing, photography, cooking – all play a big role. My morning walks are a major source of material. 

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