Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Artist Profile: Sarah Ann Smith

Sarah Ann Smith
Hope, Maine

1. What other ideas for this theme "rituals" did you have? 1.  Honestly, I struggled with this one!  My first idea was tea:  tea at the laptop in the morning reading the new messages, tea in the evening (decaf!) while reading a book, and maybe dog walkies at midday.  But I was bored with the idea before I began.   Shortly after the theme was announced, I began to exercise again after a nearly-two-year hiatus due to "too much life happening."  I decided to use some of the poses we do (or attempt with only middling success) in that class.
2.  Are you involved in any community or group projects where you donate your work?  if yes, what project or projects?  I've made small quilts that I donate to various causes, and donated about half the price for a large quilt I did for the local Middle School, "Be Inspired, No. 1" featuring people from U.S. history that inspire the students. 

3.  Do you belong to a small group of like-minded artists?  yes/no  Name/where?  What is the best part of being part of an art group? 
Yes, The Frayed Edges.  One of the four of us, Deborah Boschert (also in this exhibit) has since moved away from Maine, but we keep in touch via a private yahoo group and get together on the years Deborah can return to Maine, as well as smaller meetings with the rest of us.  The friendship and the feedback are the best part of this group, whether in person or via the web.

4.  Are you a member of a professional art organization, such as SAQA?  Have you ever held a volunteer position in the organization, and if so, what?  Yes!  In SAQA and just joined the fundraising committee.

5.  What is your favorite palette of colors that you use in your work?  Name 5.  Name 5 of your least favorite colors?  My favorite colors are "Caribbean-inspired:"  aquas, warm greens, fuchsia, warm yellow to papaya, ultramarine.  But if I am working in a nature palette, then I use many greens, browns, blues, with sparkles of warm tones.  Least favorite:  by themselves, anything drab, dingy and muddy....though these are essential in setting off the bright, clear tones that I favor.  Without the tertiaries--the subdued colors--you risk having too much of a candy-colored rainbow.  The clear tones sparkle so much more when set against a toned or shaded background.

6.  Describe your creative work space in 20 words or less.  Are you messy or tidy?   Large.  Light.  Alternately tidy and messy (depending on where in the process I am).  Comfortable.  A refuge. All mine!

7.  What is your creative process?  Think, draw, design, make or right to the design?  Usually a design idea percolates in my head for a long time--my family life is so busy I frequently can't let a quilt out into the cloth as quickly as I would like.  Some quilts require more careful sketching and drafting than others, but usually I have a fairly clear picture in my head before I begin.

8.   Is there a particular object or shape that shows up repeatedly in your work?  Why?  Sinuous curves, circles, spirals, leaves...and I have no idea why!  I do find that I am much more drawn to organic, curvy shapes than to geometric and straight linear marks and shapes.

9.   If you had to choose a favorite artist from another media, who would it be, and why?    Winslow Homer--like him I visited the Caribbean and became infected with the colors!  David Hockney--for his use of color and for always pushing the limits and learning new things, for challenging himself.  August Rodin for the passion in his sculptures.  Claire Prebble of NZ for her metalwork in her art garments and costumes. The artists of the Sutton Hoo burial ship.  Clearly I don't follow rules well, either--just one is impossible!

10.  Have you written a book related to Art Quilts and Quilting or have an instructional DVD?  If so, can you tell us the title or titles?  I've written ThreadWork Unraveled, all about using thread on your machine for applique, threadwork and quilting, as well as articles for Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting Unlimited magazines.

11.  Do you make art full time?  Yes!  At least as much as I can.  If you have another career, would you describe what you do?  And I'm also mom and wife; used to be a Foreign Service Office in my previous life, and teach and write about quilting.  Happier now.   and how you incorporate art into your life?   I'm not sure how I could NOT have art in my life--inspiration is everywhere, all the time.  Driving our son to school, grocery shopping, even looking at the colors in the laundry basket can inspire.  On days when I am busy (most!), if I don't get to the studio, I at least try to read and think about art and designs--the mind is always going!

12.  What is your most thrilling news to date in relation to your art quilt life?  It's a three-way tie....winning a ribbon at IQA Houston and when Karey Bresenhan and  Nancy O'Brien Puentes purchased "The Tide is Hire" for the International Quilt Festival collection.   Thanks to everyone at Quilts, Inc., and the IQA for such inspiring shows.  The third and, in the greater picture, the best way:  our two sons' reactions to quilts made for or about them!

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