Wednesday, December 31, 2008

With gratitude to 2008 .....

©Spinal (detail); 2008; unprocessed wool, thread; 42" x 18"

©Untitled; 2008; industrial wool felt, thread; 19" x 15"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Recommendation Monday

Today, I'm recommending the February issue of American Style magazine. As a fiber artist, I was thrilled to see an issue devoted to fiber art. In addition to good articles, there are also full page ads featuring members of the Surface Design Association. It is so nice to see such great coverage. The issue focuses on quilts and quilting.

One of the articles is titled "Ahead of the Curve." In this compilation, Sara Baker asked author Kate Lenkowsky (Contemporary Quilt Art: An Introduction and Guide) to name emerging artists in the world of fiber. Two of those named are from the North Texas area: Mary Ruth Smith and Julie John Upshaw.

Mary Ruth Smith is a Professor of Art at Baylor University in Waco, about 60 miles south of Dallas/Ft Worth. Her artwork is amazing - she layers sheers, then stitches into the layers using hand embroidery. They are stunning, with contrasting color, depth and of course, incredible texture.

Julie John Upshaw calls her artwork "drawing with a sewing machine." She talks about her artwork exploring human behavior. I would also say that she focuses on women and stereotypes presented in a humerous manner. The craftsmanship on Julie's machine stitching is incredible. The "potholder" featured below is HUGE, you could actually step inside of it!

Julie has also done installation work; in particular a installation at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles titled Insecurity.

P.S. Unfortunately, The magazine didn't put the titles, sizes or any other information about the specific artwork above in their issue.

Artwork from 2005

©Ground Cover, 14" x 13", 2005, cloth, paper, window screening, hand embroidery, machine stitching