Margaret Abramshe – Mesquite, Nevada, USA
When I am in my studio creating, I allow myself to process difficult issues through art and my progress working toward emotional balance. I reflect on my path toward being at peace with my past and with myself. My work is a portrait of my own inner journey. Portraits of family members and people in meditation are my primary subject matter. Family photographs provide me with an immediate subtext and are rich with inspiration.
(Click images to enlarge)
SAQA: When did you begin making art with fabric? Do you work in other media as well?ABRAMSHE: In 2005 I wandered into a quilt shop for the first time. I bought a real sewing machine, took classes and occasionally went to a traditional guild meeting. One day I was at my doctor’s office and found a stack of “Quilting Arts” magazines in the waiting area along with an art quilt hanging under Plexiglass above the reception desk. It turned out my Doctor was an art quilter. She encouraged me to attend “Front Range Contemporary Quilters”. I never looked back.
SAQA: Do you work in other media as well?
ABRAMSHE: As a former art teacher I have taught ceramics, printmaking, painting and digital arts. Currently I focus almost exclusively on art quilting.
SAQA: What inspires you?
ABRAMSHE: Right now I am really caught up in photographs of family members I unearthed after selling a family home. There is so much subtext when you pull out a photo of a favorite Aunt or that odd Uncle that no one ever understood. I also am working on photos of my own family and my new grandson.
SAQA: Have any artists or art movements influenced your work?ABRAMSHE: Andy Warhol and the “Pop Art” movement have been a big influence along with photorealist Chuck Close’s more current work.
SAQA: What techniques and materials do you use?
ABRAMSHE: I use digital manipulation to enhance and alter photographs. After on cotton with services like Spoonflower or Fabric on Demand I paint, draw, ink, print, etc… the entire surface. I love to cut out motifs from commercial fabric and fuse them on the surface. The final process is to use thread painting and quilting.
SAQA: Where do you create?
ABRAMSHE: I have a sewing studio in my home and a room I use to photograph.
SAQA: How do you reconcile the art-making and business sides of your creative life?
ABRAMSHE: I try to limit my time entering shows, writing blogs, managing other social media to a single day a week or an hour in the morning.
SAQA: Have you appeared in art-related videos or been published in art-related media?ABRAMSHE: Here are links to video interviews.
I will also be in the upcoming newsletter for “Superior Threads” and in the “Quilting Arts” February /March 2017, Turmoil (page 21-27) and June/July 2016 Stories of Migration (page 11-18).
SAQA: What are you working on now? What’s next?
ABRAMSHE: On my design wall is another portrait with a really wild background. I just printed out the call for entry for “Loaded Conversations” and am beginning to hunt for imagery.
Final note: The best decision I ever made was to join and become involved in SAQA. I would have never grown as an artist without this organization!