About the Artist
All my life, I have been enlivened by the power of story, enriched by the strength of family ties across generations, and imbued with a curiosity to keep open to new ways of thinking and sharing with others. I am an amateur naturalist, a lover of birds and gardens, a person most truly alive in wild places at home and abroad. Professionally, I was an early childhood educator and a bookseller. Before learning to quilt, however, I had never considered myself an artist. Discovering that I am is one of the greatest joys in my life.
As a lifelong sewer, I am drawn to the colors and textures of fabric and thread. Long before I ever saw a studio art quilt, I dreamed of making quilts to tell a story, hold a moment in time, or convey a beautiful image. But because I had no art background, I did not dare to think that I could create what I saw so clearly in my head.
I was 56 in the summer of 1998 when Paul Niemiec, a prominent Monhegan Island artist, introduced me to Robert Henri’s concept of the art spirit in everyone. Paul gave me the courage to explore my untapped creativity and “to paint” using the colors, textures, and patterns of fabrics I love.
Since then, the entire process of quilting has become my passion. Each quilt invites me to take risks, push my skill level, and try new techniques to communicate my ideas. Quilting has awakened my latent artistic sensibility. I observe more closely. I look carefully at how light and shadow influence color and form. I challenge myself to create illusions of reflection, transparency, and luminosity using opaque cloth. I think about perspective and design. I read widely and take workshops with talented quilt teachers whenever I can.
I make all of my quilts on a Pfaff home sewing machine and use free-motion machine quilting to “needle-paint” further textures and designs into my work.
While I enjoy working with traditional quilt designs, I am drawn to creating landscapes and realistic images which invite the viewer to participate in the mood or story. I also experiment with including both abstract and traditional elements in my quilts.
I welcome each quilt as a new opportunity for imagination and discovery about myself and our boundless world.
My month-long artist’s residency at the Vermont Studio Center in February 2016 was a unique opportunity for me to explore and expand my creativity and to share my art with other colleagues working in different art disciplines. It was a transformative experience in my personal and artistic development.