Thursday, October 18, 2018

Artist Profile: Lauretta Crites

Lauretta Crites
Glendora, California

1. What is sitting on the edges of your work table? I have a large work table so usually quite a lot...multiple works in progress along with bits and pieces of art supplies and found objects waiting to find a home, but no matter how messy there is always a spiral notebook to jot down information about my current project. My mind is usually working ahead of my hands and I have to write down ideas and solutions I'm not ready to act on but don't want to forget.

2. If someone looked beneath the surface, what could be revealed that we might not know about you? My love of music. I sang in choir in school, love contemporary and classical music and If you follow me in the grocery store you'll probably hear me singing to myself or singing along with the store's "muzak". I'm hoping to come back as a singer or musician in my next life.

3. What occupies the space between your sewing machine and your cutting table? Up until last week only my sewing chair, but I recently became mom to a Terrier mix rescue puppy dubbed "Stitch" and now a dog bed occupies that space so I can scratch his ears as I sew.

4. What is the most exquisite moment in your artistic life? That's like asking me to name my favorite child. There have been so many exquisite moments. Mostly its the places my artistic life has taken me. Some standouts... being wished a "Happy Birthday" by the Russian passport control agent as I entered that country for the !st time to do a show, another Birthday spent on a train from Milan to Venice, having the paparazzi's flash bulbs going off as they photographed me leaving the Czars box at the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg, the 1st time I held an audience enthralled during my lecture/presentation CREATE!, seeing the SOLD sticker on my 1st Dinner@8 piece. 

5. Do you have daily rituals in your studio? I do not have a daily ritual, the closest I come to a studio ritual is to clean it. About 3 times a year - most often after I finish a large project but sometimes just when the season feels right (or I need to think and sooth) I file and pitch, dust and declutter. Preparing my studio and my spirit for the next creative expression. 

6. Reflecting on the quilts that you have made, which one stands out to you? My quilt for this years exhibit "Cue Orchestra, Curtain Up!" is a standout to me, this is one of the few times a quilt has come to me as a kind of vision and that that vision made it to fabric pretty much exactly as I "saw" it. Most of the time my work starts with an idea, more of a challenge, something I want to accomplish... a sense of light, a technique or material I want to engage with and they evolve as each problem is solved. This one came to me "Whole Cloth" I knew exactly how I wanted it to look down to the quilting, which for me is usually an afterthought. 

7. What do you have an affinity for in your work? I have an affinity for the beginning, for the creative birth. I love developing the idea, researching if necessary, finding the fabrics, choosing the techniques, finding the solutions to creative questions, to me quilting is a creative jigsaw puzzle with many many pieces and I love getting to mix up the combination with each new work. 

8. What kinds of patterns do you use in your work to create interest and texture? I am partial to leafy vines and spirals especially for quilting, but I also use paints and netting to create interest and depth.

9. What personal iconography is identifiable to you exclusively in your work? Not so sure about this one, probably why I had trouble thinking of a quilt for that theme.

10. What was your inspiration for the Best of Dinner at Eight? My piece was inspired by my passion for theater and especially my experiences of seeing the musical "Hamilton". As I waited in my seat at the Pantages to see it live for the 2nd time emotion filled my heart and I thought of all the exquisite moments I have enjoyed in the theater. I was the Assistant Costume Director for the Los Angeles Opera for 10 years and I have been blessed to see many of the very best theatrical productions in theaters all over the world. Remembering that "An Exquisite Moment" was one of the possible themes for this years piece I knew it was my opportunity to celebrate my love of music and theater.

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