Monday, June 17, 2013

Blog Hop! Art Quilt Portfolio

Have you been following the blog hop celebrating the release of the second volume of Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits?! Isn't it fun to see what everyone has to share about this amazing collection? I'm thrilled to join in.

As I was thinking about the artists in the book and the process of creating figures in art quilting, I was also perusing art quilts donated to the 2013 SAQA Auction. When I came across this piece, I immediately recognized it as Leni Wiener's work! I had just read her chapter in the book the night before.

Peaceful, 12x12"
SAQA Auction 2013

I was so drawn to this piece that I wanted to include a short interview with Leni in my post for the blog hop AND give you an opportunity to see this lovely small art quilt! Here's Leni!

Leni, I loved reading your chapter in Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits and looking through all the images of your work in the book. When I saw your quilt in the 2013 SAQA Auction, Peaceful, I immediately recognized it as your work. Can you share a bit of the story behind this quilt?

Coming home from Houston I was in the airport waiting for my flight and there were only a few people at the gate.  Across from me was a Tibetan monk who had fallen asleep in his seat.  I carry my camera with me all the time and very carefully slipped it out of my pocket and snapped a picture.  I love to capture un-extraordinary moments in the lives of strangers—those moments that are so identifiable to us all.

I'd also love to hear a bit about the process of creating "Peaceful."

I always start with a photo because all the information I need is right there for me; I don’t have to figure out the perspective, the proportions or where the light and shadow would be.  Taking the photo into Adobe Photoshop and applying a cutout filter reduces the image into manageable masses of color.  I print the resulting “pattern” in the full size of the finished piece.  Fabrics are assigned, paying close attention to value.  Then I use freezer paper to cut out each piece and lay it in place like a puzzle.

In the book, you mention that you consider your work "to be a form of storytelling." Are there artists that you particularly enjoy and consider to be great storytellers? Either in art quilting or other art forms?

There are a lot, in fact I have dozens of folders on my computer containing images by inspirational artists in every medium.  In the quilting world I am intrigued and inspired by several artists, just to name a few off the top of my head I would say Joan Sowada, Deidre Scherer, and Jenny Bowker.  Each is able to capture something that invites the viewer to look closer and think about the image.  When the image suggests a story but doesn’t fill in all the blanks it allows the viewer to bring their own experience to the piece—engaging and involving them in a way that brings them into the work.

Care to share with us what is currently on your design wall? Is it fair to assume it involves "people and portraits?"

Actually, here is a big surprise, on my design wall right now are turtles and tortoises for the upcoming SAQA show, Earth Stories.  My original plan was to make a large piece as part of a series I have been working on which features people in Grand Central Station in NYC during different times of the day.  Rush (in the “people and portraits” book) is one from that series.  But watching TV one night, I saw a story about the Turtle Conservancy.  There was a plowshare tortoise in the story and I instantly knew which fabric I had that would do him justice.  So I changed my approach and am working on a piece that is 72” square all about turtles and tortoises.  Kind of a nice vacation from the norm.  When it is finished, I am back to people!


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog on the blog hop. Be sure to check out the all the other artists sharing thoughts, interviews and giveaways throughout June!

June 3rd – Lark Kick Off!
June 5th – Sarah Ann Smith –
June 6th – Maria Elkins –
June 7th – Laura Wasilowski –
June 9th – Katherine McNeese –
June 10th – Cheryl Sleboda – 
June 11th – Linda McLaughlin –
June 12th – Kathy Nida –
June 13th – Marilyn H. Wall –
June 14th – Janice Paine Dawes –
June 16th – Pamela Price Klebaum –
June 17th – Deborah Boschert –
June 18th – Lisa Chin –
June 19th – Sue Bleiweiss –
June 20th – Leni Wiener –
June 24th – Cheryl Lynch –
June 25th – Lesley Riley –
June 26th – Stephanie Forsyth -  

June 30th – Pat Kumich –


Emily C said...

Lovely. I am really enjoying all the interviews as the hop moves along. So nice to hear how people create and where they find inspiration.

Charlotte Scott said...

I added this book to my wish list on Fishpond just the other day. Martha Sielman collates the best inspirational books ever.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Wonderful interview. I have done a couple of portraits and can see that this is a wonderful book.

Unknown said...

Like your interview with Leni, I would love to find this book in my mailbox.
Nancy B.

Jodi - usairdoll said...

Thank you for a great interview. I come from a more traditional quilting background but l love the art quilts. It's nice to be learning about all these wonderful and inspiring artists.


Jodi - usairdoll said...

Ahhhh not sure where my comment went? hehe. Again..
Thank you for a great interview. I come from a traditional quilting background and it's been nice learning about the talented and inspiring artists. This book looks awesome!


Barbara said...

Great interview. I too would love this book. Thank you for this blog! I have so much to learn.

Sylvia said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks for a chance for the book!