Friday, April 23, 2010

Gerrie Congdon - Portland, OR

1. How do you describe yourself? An energetic, red headed fiber artist and wife, mom and grandma who loves her life and feels blessed to have found this creative outlet post retirement.

2. What is your creative process? I usually get a visual in my mind. Perhaps I see something that sparks my imagination. Sometimes, it is a word that I want to translate. I create my own fabric with dye, paint and discharge. Sometimes, I create the cloth for a specific piece and sometimes the cloth dictates the art. Because I do not want to cut into the fabric until I know a design will work, I often print photos of the fabric and cut it up to work out the design. Sometimes I do a sketch.

3. What's your style? I definitely love to work abstract. However, as I said before, surface design of cloth is an integral part of my work.

4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? Then I retired in 1999, I discovered Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson. The first show that I watched was with Katy Pasquini Masopaust. I was in awe of what she did with fabric. I got hooked. I started with a few traditional quilts, but I quickly moved on to art quilts. I formed an art quilt group in Santa Rosa, CA where I lived at the time and we called ourselves The Pointless Sisters.

5. Do you listen to music when you make art? For some reason, I work better with the tv on in the background. I don't really pay too much attention, but the noise of people talking seems to stimulate my right brain.

6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? I make small art quilts out of scraps. I really love doing this. I also look at art, not art quilts, to see how painters and sculptors and mixed media artists express themselves in their work.

7. Do you teach? No, I have been asked to teach, but at my age, I do not want to give up time that can be spent in my studio.

8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? I would really like to have my work juried into one of the BIG shows, like Quilt National, Visions or Art Quilt Elements. A girl can dream!!

9. How do you balance your family life and art? I am so blessed to have a very supportive partner in my husband, Steve. We are both retired. He knows that I hate house work. I love to cook and make art. He does every thing else. I love making time in my schedule to spend with my grandchildren. We moved to Portland so that we can be a part of their lives.

10. What is the best part about what you do? Being in the zone and having the cloth and the ideas flow. The satisfaction of looking at a piece of art that I have created and knowing that it is successful. The incredible group of friends that I have gathered who share my passion and support and sustain me.

Gerrie Congdon in Portland, OR

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