All artists are inspired by something (or multiple somethings) and I’m no exception. So I thought I’d share where I get my inspiration.
(Keep going to read the article and find out more. If you’re rather watch and listen, jump to the video at the end.)
Inspiration from external influences…
Much of my earlier work was inspired by things outside myself. Things I’d seen on walls and wanted to replicate in fiber. Suggestions made as calls for entry for a particular fiber show I wanted to apply to. Favorite hobbies or interests related to the person I was creating a piece for. Things like that.
The photo above shows “Light for Yvonne”, which I made in response to a call for postcard sized fiber pieces. The pieces were collected and then shared with Yvonne Porcella, who started Studio Art Quilt Associates (or SAQA, to which I belong), as she journeyed through her experience with ovarian cancer. My piece used her signature fabric – black and white check – and depicts a candle with a cross to symbolize her devotion to God. Yvonne was also my cousin; making this piece and donating it as another way to express my commitment and love for her was inspiration enough.
I’ve made a kite, inspired by a painting I saw on a wall. I’ve made the Hulk for my nephew, inspired by his fondness for the green guy. I’ve made the Eiffel Tower for my niece, inspired by her attraction to all things French.
Inspiration from memories…
My memories of my grandparents are strong, even though they’ve all been gone a very long time. I created a series to honor them, using their favorite color as the base.
My paternal grandfather had a number of fun sayings, one of which was “Any color’s all right as long as it’s red”. When I first started creating fiber work in the late ’90s, I remembered that saying and thought it would be a fun name for an art piece, however, it wasn’t until much more recently that I allowed my memories to inspire me to create my “Any Color” series.
I made “Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Red” for Basil, using lettered beads as embellishment to spell out the word he’d made up – transmugliforcandambumshamity. None of us ever knew what the word meant and he wouldn’t tell us. Most of us decided it was an elaborate cuss word.
I used green for Lucille, my maternal grandmother, and attached clip on earrings via thread to embellish her memory piece because she wore earrings absolutely everywhere, including while kneeling at the side of her Airstream trailer, hooking it up to the various campground hook-ups.
Purple was Neska’s favorite color, my paternal grandmother. She delivered soft kisses to the cheek at every visit and embodied love, so her piece includes lip prints and heart pendants and a couple of bees because she was my grandpa’s “Honey girl”.
And finally, blue for Gene, my maternal grandfather, who died when I was 10. He was a volunteer fireman and ran a cold storage and gave me a Jolly Green Giant doll and loved to fish for abalone, so I added his fireman’s badge and stitched on little round bits that represent an abalone shell and created a tiny green giant as part of his piece.
Inspiration from intuition…
My most recent work, the work I’ve been creating for the last 3 years, has all been inspired by my intuition.
I’m an empath, so I feel a lot. That’s why I create feelings out of fiber.
Everyone has feelings; it’s one of the ways we’re all alike. When I’m ready to create a new feeling, I close my eyes, center myself, and ask my Higher Self (my intuition) which feeling is up next. I always get an answer. And I always get an image that includes color choices, shape arrangement, and the overall outline shape for the piece.
And then, as I work on making the invisible visible, I feel the feeling. Often, I’ll discover the feeling is also being felt by a large segment of the population at the same time. I know this from information in my social media feed or through headlines from various news sources or messages from friends, which all just goes to confirm I’m making the right feeling at the right time.
I allow my intuition to guide the work. If I feel a little stuck, I’ll step back and take a little break. This gives my intuition space to channel more detail about what the feeling looks like. And then I go back to work to create it.
For example, I recently made “Isolated”, which was a feeling felt around the world as we settled into lockdown for the pandemic.
My work is inspired by many things. Sometimes, there’s an underlying social message, but most of the time, for most of my work, my inspiration comes from the voice that lives deep inside my heart.
My purpose is to make the invisible visible and the intangible tangible. I do this primarily by creating feelings out of fiber.
Inspiration is everywhere, as long as I remain open to receive it. The same holds true for you. Open yourself, and you’ll find inspiration.
If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.
To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.
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