Featured Artist - July 2014 Barbara Barrick McKie
I feel that I am consolidating my whole life in my art. I’ve had many careers including research microbiologist, professional art quilter, bridal gown designer/manufacturer, homebuilder, computer consultant specializing in personal computers, and finally back to my favorite, art quilting. In all my work life I have applied what I know from one interest and combined it uniquely with something else I know or see to create a solution that is my own. I started my interest in art with photography, and it still is a strong starting point both for inspiration and for inclusion in my work. I’ve also studied stained glass, pottery and beaded jewelry. Surface design and the surprises that result continue to sustain my interest in experimenting with fiber and what can be achieved by combining various methods in a unique way. Each new piece represents for me a new experiment in combining various techniques of surface design, and I have evolved to the point where most work consists of my own fabrics exclusively.
For each work I like to take a starting point such as a photograph, a piece of fabric, an idea, a theme or an object such as a stone and let it suggest to me what to do with it. As the creation takes shape, I react to what I see and add as the piece suggests itself to me. As a former scientist, I take an experimental approach, changing one element at a time, and then reacting to the surprises. As a result of this process, all of my work is original and one of a kind and starts with white fabric. Characteristics of the work include strong texture, contrast, and graphic appeal and either nature’s colors or vibrant color contrasts with a rhythmic movement that comes from an inner musical sense. This is because of my unconscious and conscious choices. Themes involve nature, still life, and people because this is what interests me. In each work, I like to contrast one thing with another. Realism with abstraction, simple with complex, light with dark, or textured with smooth.
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