Friday, September 25, 2015

Artist Profile: Sandra Lauterbach

Sandra E. Lauterbach
Los Angeles, CA           

1. Did the change in dimensions present any specific challenges for you?  Or if this is your first time with us, how did you like the size? The size worked fine.  My larger pieces are usually rectangular in shape.  As this was a square, I had to think differently about the composition.

2. Describe your design area, specifically your work table:  what is the best thing about it? Its size and lighting!  We enlarged my son’s old bedroom for my studio and I spent a lot of time working on the floor plan and lighting. My design space is well lit with color correct bulbs.  My worktable is large and at a good height for cutting and ironing.

3. What set this quilt apart from other recent projects you have been working on? “3 ‘Cans” was a switch from my current abstract work of collaging and thread painting on a solid background.  Working with lots of bright printed fabrics was fun.  I smile when I look at the three toucans.

4. When you get “stuck” how do you deal with a “design block”?  How do you overcome it? I find it helpful to take photos of the piece.  It allows me to step back and look at it more objectively.  If that does not give me inspiration, I pin the piece on my design wall and work on something else that day.  Just leaving the piece overnight often results in new creative inspiration when I enter my studio the next day.

5. Do you work on single or multiple projects at the same time? Usually I prefer to work on one piece at a time.  I am not a good multi-tasker.  But sometimes I enjoy working on two totally different types of pieces at the same time. 

6. What do you hope people take away from your work? As in a good story, I hope the viewer is drawn in and intrigued to investigate the piece further and to develop his or her own individual story.  Viewers are necessary to complete my work.  Speaking specifically about “3 ‘Cans”, I hope it brings a smile to its viewers’ faces.

7. What are the best parts of working on an art quilt:  What are your least favorite parts? I love the limitless creative exploration possibilities. I am enthralled by the ability to explore various means of communication and expression combining fiber, paints, metal and photography.  The best part is when everything—my idea, colors, composition, etc.-- comes together seamlessly, almost intuitively.  The frustrating part is when I know it doesn’t work, but can’t figure out what to do. I prefer creating the top to the actual quilting unless it is a major component of the piece.       

8. What art/quilt-related organizations do you belong to?  Studio Art Quilt Associates, International Quilt Association, Westside Quilters Guild, The Textile and Fiber Artist List (“TAFA”), Fiber Fanatics, and the Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825.

9. Do you have a preferred color palette?  Why?  I am drawn to vibrant bright colors.  Perhaps this is a result of being a California native and used to sunshine!   Or perhaps because I was exposed to lots of colorful prints via the family business—Alexander Henry Fabrics.

10. What do you regard as your most interesting milestones along your art journey?  I started quilting using patterns, but quickly realized that I had an untraditional sense of color, loved to combine unusual prints together and got bored following repetitive patterns.  So one milestone was recognizing this and creating my own designs. Viewing myself as an artist creating art and realizing that quilting had changed from being a hobby to being my vocation was another major step that lead to joining professional organizations and new exhibition opportunities.  Other major milestones have been: joining SAQA, having work at the IQF in Houston, and exhibiting in fine art galleries. Fun milestones were making my first sales!

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