EDGE periodically introduces its artists. We feature current work, past work, and how things are changing.
My work has evolved from pieced, quilted works to those including my favorite fiber arts techniques such as embroidery, needle felting, and crochet. The flexibility of crochet allows me to express concepts and emotions, on a quilted ground or stand-alone sculpture. For the near future, I plan to explore and stretch this medium by creating larger works. I am perpetually delighted and surprised by this creative process.
Bleached Tidal Pool, 30” x 36” x 2”
December Featured Artist:
Habitat, 14” x 12” x 14”
2019, Community Threads Projects, Kutztown Public Library. “History of Women’s Roles in Needlework from the 18th Century Through Today.”
Maelstrom, 21” x 16”
2020, February - April. Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts St. Bonaventure, New York.
2019, September - November. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
2019, June - September. Exhibit “Compendium,” Arts Quest Banana Factory, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Wave Equation, 36” x 42” All photos by Ken Sanville.
November Featured Artist:
My work is often based on photography from my extensive travel. My machine-embroidered, thread paintings start with a camera and a computer print on treated cotton fabric, backed with canvas or duck cloth and stitched with freeform machine sewing. As the stitching progresses, the photograph disappears, and the picture takes on a life of its own.
I use photographs as the basis of fabric appliqué that includes novelty fabrics as well as cotton or silk.
The felted wool fiber art is a construction made by piling dyed wool batting or roving to make a picture that is then felted by wetting, rolling and beating. These felted pictures may also be hand or machine stitched. The final work may be bound as a quilt or stitched to a painted, stretched canvas and framed.
My work, in large part, has been concerned with exploring the possibilities of using digital and photographic designs as a surface technique in mixed media art quilts. There are four general types of ideas I have explored:
1) Large reprints of actual photos (up to 16” x 36”) without much digital manipulation, usually abstract images that are closeup views.
2) Digital Compositions created with Photoshop. With this technique I use various filters, color alterations, and editing tools in Photoshop and Procreate to change the realistic look to more painting-like abstractions.
3) Surface Design Fabric. With this technique, printed photos or altered photos are cut up, layered and rearranged into a new collage composition— one that is layered and collaged but still carries some of the emotional feel and meaning of the original photograph.
Above: Detail, Winter Sky, 33” x 22”
October Featured Artist:
Log cabin has always been a favorite pieced block. The many traditional variations provide possibilities to play with the angles and sizes to create wonky versions for 20 years. It is a series I keep coming back to.
Current work focuses on whites and soft neutrals for the palette. This new work began when trying to create an invisible house for Anne Frank.
New Flag, New Nation, 64” x 43”
Reverberations: Yellowstone Waters, 42” x 62”
Between the Cracks, 36” x 37”
All Things Beautiful, 36” x 45”
4) Mixed Media Quilts. This avenue of exploration includes incorporating mixed media (paint, paper, exposed and painted batting) and other collage techniques combined with digital prints. It is a more improvisational approach with less pre-planning and more space for intuitive moment-by-moment inspirations.
The Window Washer, detail left, and original above, 18” x 13” x 2”
Bottom right: Detail, One Red Window, 14” x 15” x 2”
Bottom center: Detail, Window Box Geraniums, 14” x 18” x 2”
Exhibits & Publications
I enter shows in the Maryland Federation of Arts Gallery in Annapolis, the York Art Association Gallery in York, PA, and the Hanover Area Arts Gallery, Hanover, PA. My work also may be seen at the Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA.
Currently, I have work in three current books:
Fly Me to the Moon: Quilts commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. (Mine depicts the lyrics of the Jimmy Buffet song “The Rocket that Grandpa Rode.”)
HerStory: Quilts commemorating women of note since 1920. (Mine are Agatha Christie and Nichol Nichols.)
Endangered Species: (Mine are Komodo dragon and Wild Water Buffalo.)
Above: The Labyrinth of Loss, 38” x 45”
Left: Storm Windows, 39” x 65”
Far left: Love Anyway, 25” x 40”
All photos by artist.
September Featured Artist:
Inspiration comes from mundane life experiences: a crack in a sidewalk, a decomposing tree, a crumbling wall, or even a shadow on the ground.
I have created pieces inspired by rough weathered plywood, aging buildings, barnacles, sidewalks, scars and other ignored or unappreciated beauty.
I prefer to paint or dye my fabrics. Layering organza allows me to obscure the obvious and reveal insignificant details that transform the dull into something magical.
I describe this as squinting to see something out of focus so that you see the shape, color or texture instead of mentally defining the object.
My favorite part of the process is hand-stitching: the repetitive act that can draw the viewer in for a closer look. Stitches require more intimate reflection. It takes time to stop and look closer at more delicate details—mirroring my experience of stopping to see the specialness of everyday beauty.
Top Left: Reference for Timeline. Top Right: Detail, Timeline. Above: Timeline, 14” x 35”
Left: Reference for Plywood. Right: Plywood, 21” x 25”
38.5” x 33”
Artist’s Selected Exhibitions
2019-2021 - “Shifting Tides,” SAQA MultiRegion touring show
2019 - “On the Edge,” SAQA Oregon show at The Oregon Historical Society
2018-2021 - “Metamorphosis,” SAQA Global touring show
I use diverse techniques: free motion machine stitching, screen printing, hand stitching, crochet, yoomchi (felting mulberry paper) and basketry construction techniques. When approaching a specific work, one of the first challenges is to determine the techniques best suited to the topic.
Remains 2 dealt with loss and memory and was done with free motion machine stitching on soluble base material to emphasize the fragility of remembrance. On the other hand, I like experimenting and manipulating the materials, and then studying the outcome. This was the approach taken in Vessel of Secrets and African Princess, both outcomes of a conversation with the material.
Edge has exhibited my work since 2013.
Artist’s Selected Exhibitions
Above: Vessel of Secrets, 10” x 5” x 5”
July Featured Artist:
Judith Quinn Garnett
Fine art/Fine craft, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
Explorations in Fiber, Tim Murphy Gallery,
Micro/Macro, Foundry Art Centre,
St. Charles, MO
Art at the Center, Overland Park, KS
International Fiber Arts VIII, Sebastopol CA
My work explores a diverse range of media yet I always return to painting for my core inspiration. A few years ago, I felt that my paintings were calling for something more. So, I cut some unsatisfactory paintings from their frames and began to stitch them with my sewing machine. There were plenty of blunders, broken needles, broken machines, as well as tears and fears. But I trusted I would find my way to what I was looking for... to use stitch as a drawing tool, — a way to move to a new level of texture, color incorporating the geometry I love.
I still launch every work with a painting of some sort, but it’s just a beginning of an adventure of which I can’t fully see the end. Through a cycle of gesture, paint, stitch, pattern and repetition, and the addition of post-consumer waste, this adventure arrives at finished pieces that are far richer a more expansive than I ever expected.
Above: 2050, 50” x 41”
Artist’s Selected Exhibitions
2019-2021 - Shifting Tides, SAQA Seven Regional States
2019 - On the Edge, Oregon History Museum, Portland OR
2019 - Quilt Visions, San Diego, CA
2018 - Quilt Visions, San Diego, CA
2017-2019 - Quilt National, Dairy Barn Art Center, touring
2017-2018 - Bridge, SAQA Oregon Region, Traveling Exhibit
2016 - Pacific International Quilt Festival PIQF, Invitational
54” x 44”
Left: Detail from Fault Line, 60” x 36”
Above: Remains 2, 35” x 25”
Left: African Princess, 13” x 14” x 7”
June Featured Artist:
Metropolis 2, 46” h x 48” w
Metropolis 5, 43” h x 43” w
For me, the creative process is physical act. I have an idea what I want to say, but I am a hands-on person. I work spontaneously on the wall, moving materials around until my gut feeling says “that’s it.” The collage medium is the ideal way of working for me. I start every morning making
Notation, 14” h x 12” w
a small paper collage. This daily routine helps me develop confidence in my intuition for composition. I am inspired by writing. Writing becomes a tool reflecting how language shapes our memories and identities. I am inspired by the emotional quality of handwritten letters and the
Snippet 16, 8” h x 8” w
crude expressions of graffiti, overlapping posters and advertisements in the streets. The step for me to use text and lettering in my artwork was natural because of my background as a journalist, living in different countries and speaking different languages in everyday life.
The text on my pieces is not necessarily meant to be contemplated for its meaning. It is there to be seen as the human need to communicate - whether it being in the form of writing a poem, scratching initials into a rock, spray painting a statement on an urban wall, or making a quilt.
Material Evidence, Menier Gallery, London, UK
Traces, Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK
A Voice in Stitches, High Five Art Gallery, Baarle-Nassau, the Netherlands
Linguistic Marks, Timeless Textile Gallery, Newcastle, Australia
Photography by Pol Leemans
I do free motion machine embroidery. Inherent in all my work is thread. The thread is a metaphor for me. I make thread do things that nobody believes it can do.... just like I wasn’t quite so sure I could successfully go back to school after my husband died when I was “north of 60!” My work also typically includes recycled materials, aka, “trash.”
The trash is a metaphor for widowhood. After one loses their best friend and partner of forty years, words like empty, useless, and spent come to mind — all descriptors for the throwaways of our society. I take trash, give it new life as something beautiful, just as art itself has done for me in my life.
As nature is such a huge influence in my work, the scenery of the Delaware river and its surrounds is a constant inspiration to me. A walk to the end of the pier to see the ships and smell the air is a tincture of rejuvenation on any given day. And one can never underestimate the developing support network of other artists as we develop in and with this unique new venue together.
Artist’s Selected Exhibitions
My work has been exhibited in five countries as well as in multiple galleries and museums throughout the United States. A more complete exhibition listing can be found on my website.
In January 2019, I signed with an agent out of New York City, and was a participant in NYC Art Expo in April 2019, and will be exhibiting in the June NYC art exhibition and in two venues at Art Basel — Miami 2019.
Top: Burnout, 24” h x 36” w x 3” d. Beeswax with damar resin, California avocado and pistachio nut shells, Keurig coffee filters, charcoal, pigment and thread. A tribute to those who endured the wildfires of California.
Left: FunGi That You Art, 16” h x 18” w x 2” d. Thread, fabric, Tyvek and paper.
Bottom: For Eric’s Gem 22” h x 22 “ w. Thread, dryer lint. A commissioned piece for a couple who shared their first date at the Harvard University Mineralogical and Geological Museum.
I enjoy Picture Piecing where I can take a photo or one of my drawings and translate it into a pieced and quilted image.
In the beginning, this was an intuitive process, but I have developed it into an art form that from a distance is often mistaken for a painting.
I like to find commercial fabrics that help to create the image. I especially like to use batiks as they lend themselves to the portrayal of light and shadows as found in nature. Hand-dyed fabrics are wonderful for skies. My work is heavily free-motion-machine quilted.
April Featured Artist:
Top: Layers of the Flint Hills, 30” x 60”
Left: Spring Encounter, 40” x 46”
Far Left: Beneficial Burn, 36” x 36”
“SouthWind Gallery,Topeka, KS; Sabatini Gallery,Topeka,KS; TAG Gallery,Topeka,KS; Mary R Koch Arts Center, Wichita,KS; Leedy Voulkos Gallery, KCMO; ButtonWood Art Space, KCMO; Sunderland Gallery, Omaha,NE;
PageWalker Art & History Center, NC; Brigham City Museum, Brigham City, UT; LaConner Quilt & Textile Museum, LaConner, WA Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts, Marshfield, WIHouston International Quilt Fest, Houston,TX
March Featured Artist:
My specialty is what I call “thread sculpture.” For many years I had been creating landscape art quilts, and particularly enjoyed the technique known as “thread painting,” densely machine-stitching parts of the scene like a painter would brush on paint. Eventually I came to realize that I love thread so much, I dropped out the fabric. The artwork continues to evolve, but not my philosophy: fiber art should take advantage of its own nature, and not try to be a painting, a photograph, or an object made with traditional sculptural media.
I don't need to look far for inspiration. A good piece of advice I heard early on was to make art about what you personally know. Many of my artworks are inspired by where I live. The daily connection I have with the trees in my yard (such as the elms I planted as seeds), the neighborhood's stream, or the songbirds who visit my feeder, make it more interesting to translate experience into a tangible form. Also, some of my pieces are influenced by living in the suburbs of Washington, DC. National news is our local news. I have expressed my worldview in a series that comments on the American social and political landscape.
“The Art of the Quilt: Trends,” - Piedmont Arts, Martinsville, Virginia
Fiber National, the Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA
Teapots! 11th invitational, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Creative Crafts Council’s 31st Biennial Exhibition, Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD
“Dream Rooms,” part of “Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse,” National Building Museum, Washington, DC
“Waysides,” John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
“Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2016”, National Tainan Living Arts Center, Tainan City, Taiwan
Above: Kelp Forest Teapot, 6 x 7 x 5 inches. Machine and hand stitched, cotton and metallic threads.
Right: Elm Tree Teapot, 9 x 9 x 6 inches. Machine and hand stitched, cotton threads.
Top: Furl, 14 x 19 x 7 inches . My intent with this shrine-like piece was to show a beautiful place that, when you look closer, isn’t what it seems. The scene is the view from a footbridge. Run-off from the neighborhood causes the water level to rise rapidly. The flow had seriously eroded the stream banks over several years, undercutting the trees, particularly a huge old oak whose roots dangle below the thinning soil. Two weeks after I made this piece, the tree fell.
I originally focused on improvisational piecing and occasionally return to that technique. Much of my work benefits from my husband’s and other family members’ photography skills. I draw ideas from their photos then research the subject before transforming those images into fiber art creations.
In addition, I collaborate with my husband, who uses his computer expertise to manipulate photographs, print images on fabric, and create unique colors and textures that I then use in my fiber art.
Currently, I am exploring and experimenting with dyeing techniques such as ice dyeing and eco printing. I learn new techniques to expand my repertoire so that I can use the best technique for a given piece and often adding emphasis with thread painting.
Birds seem to be an on-going focus: I love their freedom of flight and quirky and quick movements.
China, 27” x 25”
February Featured Artist:
Above: Compromise, 26.75” x 16.5”
Top Right: The Raven, 26.25” x 26.25”
Bottom Right: The Eye of the Storm, 34.5” x 31.25”
Artist’s Past Exhibitions
2018 - Salina Public Library gallery, Salina, KS
2018 - Salina Community Theater gallery, Salina, KS
2018 - Rolling Hills Zoo gallery exhibit, Salina, KS
2018 - Chisholm Trail 150th Anniversary, Dickinson County Heritage Center, Abilene, KS
2017 - EDGE exhibit at Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka, KS
2017 - One Door North, McPherson KS
2017 - Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM
2017 - Unitarian Universalist Church gallery exhibit
2016 - Lincoln Art Center, Lincoln, KS
2016-2018 - Smoky Hill River Festival, Salina, KS
2014 - EDGE exhibit at Sunderland Art Gallery, Omaha, NE
My current abstract works intuitively mark a mental journey of time and place. Beginning with manageably-sized works on paper has allowed me to work serendipitously, exploring figure/ground relationships while expressing the thoughts and memories of a singular day or place in time. I now alternate between these and large-scale paintings on stretched canvas. I use layers of mixed media, which frequently includes hand stitched thread. I create each artwork without figurative form, allowing the viewers to become the human element interacting with the abstract landscape and their own personal narratives and memories.
January Featured Artist:
Where the Flowers Grow, 40” x 40”
Above: Canopy of Hope, 58” x 42”
Top Right: Where Do We Go From Here?, 58” x 42”
Bottom Right: Letting Go, 58” x 34”
Artist’s Past Exhibitions
2017- Biennale Internationale du Lin de Portneuf - Deschambault, Quebec
2017 - Alice B. Sabatini Gallery - Topeka, Kansas
2016 - Stone School Gallery - Portage du Fort, Quebec
2016 - LaLande + Doyle Exhibition Space, Shenkman Arts Centre - Ottawa, Ontario
2016 - Sunderland Gallery - Omaha, Nebraska
2015 - LaFab Galerie d’art - Chelsea, Quebec
2015 - International Textile Exhibition - Bejing, China
2014 - World of Threads Festival - Toronto, Ontario
2014 - Trinity Art Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre - Ottawa, Ontario
December 2018 Featured Artist
Here is the work of Sharon Bass, who has served as the EDGE curator for 10 years. She has chosen to show detail images from three pieces of work. You can see more of her work at her website.
I often work in series. The image above is a detail from the Line Series, this one titled Fenceline.
(far left): A detail from Treeline.
(left): A detail of silk aspen leaves, machine stitched, embroidered and assembled for a temporary installation at Rocky Mountain National Park, 2009.