Art is a process, not a medium, not a product, not even an occupation. Art is a process.
I grew up in a very creative family and I was in my early 20’s before I realized not everyone could translate abstract ideas into visual or verbal art. I spent 20 years as a graphic designer: creating logos and designs for bowling shirts and sporting apparel for Gordon’s Apparel; stained glass patterns, point of purchase displays and retail catalogs for Delphi Stained Glass. As a commercial artist for the Michigan Department of Commerce I created logos, ad campaigns, designs for the Michigan Balloon and three consecutive Michigan Gift Guides – a catalog highlighting Michigan businesses and art. When Illness required a redirection of my creative energies I left the advertising world and turned to quilting and writing. I published a collection of poetry and pen & ink illustrations ( Whistling in the Dark,) began writing fiction, and explored all mediums available to me. These included pen and ink, watercolor, guache, fabric, found object, clay, paper, beads, and mixed media.
Confetti quilt: Lately I have been exploring a technique that layers fabric and color in a confetti like background. I add stitching and beading and natural elements to create small vignettes of the forest floor or representations of nests or small landscapes. Always up close and personal, I find the process of creating these scenes is very calming, like finding a small still place in the midst of chaos.
“Up North Divas” are lapel pins that represent the Goddess spirit of our north woods home. They combine quilting and beading and more than a little humor. One day while shopping for quilt fabric I found a button that had a very stylized “face-like” look. On the same shopping trip I found some fabric that I had to have but didn’t know what I was going to do with. The two came together with some beads and charms from my jewelry making drawer, and the North Woods Diva was born. Now each “diva” begins as a “blank” and her spirit is revealed to me as I work. The process is very creative and surprising.
I began exploring clay and glazes at Kirtland Community College in 2006. The process of manipulating clay and glazes is curiously fulfilling. Unlike drawing or painting, the positive and negative space in hand building ceramics involves the artist in a sort of dance with the medium. It can be a slow two step or a frenetic tango, and it is as much about the clay body as the artist. Once the artist places the piece in the kiln, another process, which is only minimally in the control of the artist takes place. I find this quite exhilarating.
I still enjoy creating quilt patterns and quilted wearables, and of course I continue to write. Poetry, prose, letters to the editor.
It’s all about the process, the creative process. The medium may change but the process continues. Having a broad spectum of media keeps me creating. What I cannot express in a drawing may find it’s way to my ceramics, or to my writing, or to my quilting.
Click on any images to see full version.