I have long had a special relationship with trees. For me, they are pieces of art in nature, and looking at the photos below, it is difficult to deny. We are also learning new lessons from trees all the time. Scientists have discovered that trees seem to have a way of communicating with each other via their root systems. And some trees are like the most powerful of giants, living through fires, floods, droughts, and many other natural disasters. They provide food and homes for all types of creatures, big and very small. Without them, the earth would surely be a desert, and we might die of overheating without them. We too have cut down and used trees for all sorts of shelters and furnishings and other things that mankind can use for his benefit such as boats. And we have built houses up in the trees. Some have fruits that provide nourishment as others provide sweet sticky syrup for us as humans while still others provide a source of heat in cold areas. At the same time, some trees have sharp thorns all up and down the spines, and still others can have a poison in their systems.
Inspired by visiting trees regularly each day for years with my dogs, I thought of this secret and magical life that trees live and decided to create some of my own, so you will find them too below the live ones.
So here are my art quilts, all of which have been sold to raise money for a charity. I did a whole series with acrylic paints used on the fabric like watercolors, and then stitched to give more texture and life. The first one below is called, “Are You Our Brother?” I loved doing these and “framing” them with upholstery fabric. One of the things I don’t try to do is to create “perfect.” Things come out as they do, and I like that aspect of imperfection. I made seven in all of these quilts, and all of them are 7 x 11 inches. This size is sometimes called a journal quilt, for you can tell bits of your life with them.
I would love it if each of you who follows this blog posts something about something you absolutely LOVE to do, be it making a good pot of spaghetti, painting something that means something to you, or whatever brings Edison in all his brightness he created for us into your heart. I am going to share some of mine here. I am NOT a professional artist in the sense of having a degree of art, and have had very little professional training of any kind. But what I DO know is what I like, and what speaks to my heart. I love fiber art, or art quilts and others too, but I do the art quilts. I love anything unique, and I love things made from nature or from recycled things. And I love urban art and also what I call interactive art. This is art that causes the viewer to need to interact with the art in some manner to perhaps try to figure it out or its message to viewers. And I love to put it everywhere – not just in the house or an exhibit or publication, but anywhere my mind decides would be fun to have some art. So if you are expecting some really polished stuff, you probably should go to a different place. This is stuff that comes from the center of who I am.
My friend, Barbara Williamson and I worked hard to get this book published. It is the culmination of our 10+ years together running a very small, but very successful nonprofit organization called Fiberarts Connection of Southern California. We assisted physically challenged fiber artists with getting exposure for their work, and also helped those who needed it with professional development. A lot of folks don’t realize that when you have a severe physical challenge, you might not be able to get out and about. Even if you have transportation, many facilities and open public areas are not equipped for wheelchairs, and just getting transportation from public sources can be a huge undertaking. Sometimes when you get where you are going, you don’t get the service you really need either. So we tried very hard to cut through some of that as well as creating good exhibits for the artists and for practically free.
Barbara has been a wonderful and inspirational fiber artist, producing some award-winning quilts, being the featured artist in an international exhibit, and having articles written about her. She has long had her own fiber arts business selling her work, and her blog is http://www.threadscapestudio.blogspot.com. And she served as volunteer Secretary for our tiny nonprofit while her caregiver served as our Treasurer. We never has any money but despite that we still managed to get everything we needed done. Enjoy!
The book is available from AmazonKDP.com. Thank you very kindly. We hope that you will read the story of these 23 amazing fiber artists and see their beautiful work. A lot of them are internationally renown for their unique work.