Friday, May 4, 2012

Artist Profile: Susan Brubaker Knapp

Susan Brubaker Knapp
Mooresville, NC

1. What other ideas for this theme "rituals" did you have? I really wanted to do something based on rituals that I shared with my parents, and then passed on to my children. I considered our holiday rituals, but eventually settled on portraying one of the most basic, daily, rituals: the goodnight song.
2.  Are you involved in any community or group projects where you donate your work? I have donated art to the SAQA auction, and last year I donated to the International Quilt Association auction. I am planning to donate work to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative this year. 

3.  Do you belong to a small group of like-minded artists? Yes. I am a member of Fiber Art Options, a group of fiber artists from the Charlotte, NC, area, and the Pandoras, a group of fiber and mixed media artists in my town, Mooresville, NC.
  What is the best part of being part of an art group? Friendship, support, the opportunity to exhibit with a group. Plus, these folks are cheerleaders and honest critics… and I need both! 

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, I am a professional artist member of SAQA. I have not held a volunteer position in the organization, but I did help organize a regional SAQA conference in Charlotte several years ago.

5.  What is your favorite palette of colors that you use in your work?  Lapis, turquoise, emerald, chartreuse, fuschia, amethyst, tangerine. And your least favorite colors?  Okay, that's not fair. That's like asking, "Which of your children do you like best?" I guess if I have to answer, it would be brown, beige, and gray.

6.  Describe your creative work space. Are you messy or tidy? My studio is a 14' square room in my house, outfitted with tables for sewing, cutting/design work, and ironing/fusing. I'm very messy while a piece is in progress, or if I'm in a busy teaching/traveling phase, then fairly neat in between. I try to clean up before I start a big new project.

7.  What is your creative process?  When working from photos, as I usually do, I start by tracing the lines in the photo, and adapting elements as needed. Then I enlarge the line drawing and use it as a pattern. My primary techniques are wholecloth painting and fusible applique. One of my goals is to work more from my own intuition and imagination, and less from reality; I'm trying to develop discipline of working in a sketchbook, so that I can eventually draw what I want to create in fiber.
8.   Is there a particular object or shape that shows up repeatedly in your work? For some reason, I seem to be drawn to butterflies; I have done a lot of pieces based on them. Why? I'm not really sure. Maybe it is the amazing colors. Or perhaps it is something deeper and more symbolic, the suggestion of freedom; joy; and impermanent, fleeting beauty.

9.   If you had to choose a favorite artist from another media, who would it be, and why? Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite visual artist because I have such a visceral reaction to his work – I think it is the clear, saturated color, the movement, and the obvious passion with which he painted. 

10.  Have you written a book related to Art Quilts and Quilting or have an instructional DVD? Yes, my most recent book is "Point, Click, Quilt: Turn Your Photos into Fabulous Fabric Art" (C&T Publishing, 2011). I have done three DVDs with Interweave/Quilting Arts: "Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch" (2011), "Master Machine Stitching: Thread Sketching Beyond the Basics" (2010), and "Master Machine Quilting: Free-motion Stitching and Thread Sketching" (2009). 

11.  Do you make art full time? Although I have worked in journalism, graphic design, communications, and public relations, art is my career now. But I can't say that I make art full time. I am a mother to busy 12- and 15-year olds, and I travel a lot to speak and teach. I work on fiber art in between all the stuff in my daily life; I am a big believer in what you can accomplish in 15-minute increments!

12.  What is your most thrilling news to date in relation to your art quilt life? Most recently, I just returned from a fabulous two weeks of teaching in the Netherlands. In July, I'm headed to Johannesburg, South Africa, to teach at the first-ever International Quilt Convention – Africa!

1 comment:

  1. Susan, your "I See the Moon" is just breathtaking! My entry also features the moon, but with an entirely different feeling. Congratulations on your international teaching!


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