Friday, April 8, 2011

Gayle Simpson - Thousand Oaks, CA

1. What do you call yourself - art wise? I am an artist. I was a high school art teacher for many years, and was lucky to show and sell my paintings in juried indoor and outdoor shows around the West. I have a BA in Art from UCSB, two teaching credentials, and have curated and juried shows....for pay!!!
2. How do you jump start your creativity when you are in a slump? If I need to boost my creativity, I listen to classical, or Native American flute music, horn concertos or the Doobie Brothers; or I will attack some ideas after a good Extreme Quilters meeting. If we are going on a trip, I will do some photography that I can work into a new series of art quilts as soon as we get back.
3. If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your art? It would be fun to build a major arts museum in our area. It would be designed by Jeffrey Nemeroff, and featured in Entra magazine. I would show all of the TSB, EQ and my other artist friends’ work.
4. Do you keep a sketchbook, journal, etc.? Sketchbooks are great for traveling, but I find them confining for everyday work. I prefer diving into a composition hands-on, after I have thought it through. My design board and our pool table top are my areas to “sketch” on. I have a four by five foot magnetic metal board in our bedroom (built by my husband) for my journal. I cover it with current ideas or inspiration.
5. Where can people see your other work this year? shows, books, magazines, etc. My exhibits this year include: “Art From Cloth: Extreme Quilters 2011” (a show I chaired last year;) the end of the tour of “The Sky’s The Limit” (it was in Veldhoven, Netherlands, last I knew), and the SAQA Auction 2011. I hope to be juried into the “Sense of Adventure” and International Patchwork Competition 2011.”
6. Do you teach? Where? I
have taught classes at Houston 2008, and 2009. I do two workshops in Coeur d Alene, Idaho, every summer at Bear Paw. I sometimes teach at Quilter’s Studio, Newbury Park, CA and teach and lecture for California Guilds that book me at the SCQGC “Meet the Teacher” event.

7. Is there a particular artist who had influenced you in your art life? and why?
Mary Jardine, Cottonwood, AZ , fabric artist, and Wayne Thiebaud, UC Davis, CA, painter, are my strongest art influences. Both are incredible with color, design and composition. I owe them both a lot
for their inspiration, and have geared many trips around meeting and talking with them at their exhibitions.
8. Where or what show do you hope your work will be in someday?
The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles would be a fun venue to exhibit at; also, the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, California and the MOMA in New York City. I also have five years of photos and lessons for an art quilting book, and would like to eventually publish it.

9. Describe your studio workspace.
My studio workspace is in our kitchen dining room, with storage in three other rooms, and three cupboards in the garage; I used to have a big studio upstairs in a previous house, but I felt isolated. In the summer, my studio is one half of the living room in a cabin; I work standing at a high table most of the time.

10. What 3 tools could you not live without?
My three most necessary tools include an expansive Plexiglas table top both at home and the cabin (made by my talented husband;) an adjustable drafting chair; and Japanese fabric to add here and there to the domestic cloth, batiks, and hand-dyes.

11. What drives you to make the work that you do? I am not sure why I am so driven to create; I have been motivated to do so since about 15. I can’t go anywhere without visual overload, and I also love to push others to create, to exhibit, to explore, and to make a series of every idea.
12. How do you balance your life?
Balance comes from rest, having a fun family, hiking, and travel to mellow places like Sedona, Napa, and Idaho. I have made 103 pieces, and am obsessed with this lucky lifestyle of art quilting.
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