Friday, July 25, 2014

Artist Profile: Sarah Ann Smith

Sarah Ann Smith
Hope, Maine

1.  Describe your signature style in 5 words:  Collaged, thread-colored and quilted.    

2.  Do you ever work in another medium and, if so, what is it and what appeals to you about it?  I’m learning to draw and sketch better, including watercolor and mixed media. It’s faster than textile art, and I like the fact that I know I usually won’t be showing this work, so I can mess around and play. 

3.  What’s coming up for you in your artistic world?  I hope to actually make more artwork, not just samples for teaching or articles!  I’ve written a number of articles for Machine Quilting Unlimited this past year, have two projects that will be in Quilting Arts Gifts 2014, and have three episodes in Quilting Arts TV Series 1400! I’ve also got work in three just or soon-to-be-published books: Lesley Riley’s Inspirational Quotes Illustrated (watercolor lettering), Dare to Dance by Mary W. Kerr, and Inspired by the Beatles by Donna DeSoto (art quilts).  I’m teaching again at International Quilt Festival in Houston and the following year at Vermont Quilt Festival and Maine Quilts among other venues.  Finally, I’ll be curating my first exhibit, Food! for SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) with entries due in September 2014.   I might even get a quilt made to enter in that one!

4.  Do you have any studio rituals?  No.  Maybe I should have some!  Unless of course a tidy attack at the end of a project counts, but that has more to do with finding the surface of the table and not being able to work in utter chaos.

5.  Who has inspired you on your artistic journey?  Ooof…. and keep the answer short?   Vincent Van Gogh. Henri Matisse. Hollis Chatelain. My friend Kathy Daniels.  J.R.R. Tolkien.  Auguste Rodin. David Hockney.  Mary Doria Russell.  Stephen King and Twyla Tharp.  Albrecht Durer.  The ancient cave painters and the goldsmiths of Sutton Hoo.  Legions of sketchers and artists. My sons. 

6.  What are the 5 essential things in your studio that you cannot live without?  My Janome sewing machine, thread, MistyFuse, titanium nonstick iron, wide paper to make a full-size sketch (have rolls that are 48 and 60 inches!), design wall, and (sigh) seam ripper.  And yes, I use creative counting.  Off to Platform 9 3/4. 

7.  What is on your design table right now?  A practice project, as I have a complicated new sewing machine and need to develop a good working relationship with it!  

8.  How do you juggle your artistic life, family, friends, etc?   I don’t know that I juggle it well at all.  Something always gets shorted.  As my kids are older now—our younger son is 16—I have more time in some ways, but am still happy to be the mom-taxi.  I figure all too soon he will be in college, I will miss him immensely, and I’ll have to develop a routine where I don’t fritter away time on the laptop!

9.  Do you have any studio companions (human or otherwise)?  We have four cats and a pug.  Our calico, Thumper, and the pug, Pigwidgeon, are my wake-up crew and follow-critters.  They have species-identity issues.  The cat comes when called and is alongside the dog to greet me at the front door.  The dog sits on windowsills like a cat.   Sweetly confused!

10.  What was the biggest challenge in creating your piece for Reflections?  This piece, like a number of my works, is a hybrid of several images, so getting the middle-ground to mesh well with the main figure, ground and distant woods took a couple attempts.

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