Desert Varnish, Utah

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Desert Varnish, Utah
47 in
62 in
0 in
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My art lives in the transition zone between tranquility and turbulence. My ideas are nucleated in the twilight between sleep and waking, in the uneasy balance between negative and positive space. In broad daylight this dark energy is still with me as my cutting wheel arcs across the linear and rectangular grid that is fabric. There I seek new coordinates of line and color that are short of chaos but free of traditional boundaries. Think of water in a mountain stream. (Indeed much of my inspiration stems from hiking the mountains and canyons of the Southwest.) Between rapids and the return to stream-line flow, there are eddies that form, break up, and reform elsewhere. They are my trope, the wellspring of my expression. That transition zone is a marker of my project. My approach is organic; often it grows from a collection of scraps randomly heaped on a cutting table, their colors in heated conversation. The energy of this beginning as well as the initial indeterminacy drive and delight me. Can I subdue the crazy cacophony, tame the tangle, and find a meaning in the discord, the atonality?

To me happiness is hiking, particularly in the open terrain of the Southwest, where inspiration meets you around every corner. Here great walls of colorful rocks rise from the canyons and over time are painted with dramatic streaks of desert varnish. Perched on a rock eating my lunch gazing at this spectacle, I recognized my challenge was to transform that drama into art.
Cotton batiks, cotton quilting thread, embroidery floss, cotton batting.
Strips of free-hand cut cotton fabrics, mostly batiks, are machine pieced. Machine quilting with cotton thread provides texture. Added drama is provided by hand stitches with embroidery floss.

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