IN THE STUDIO  

A color, an object, a scene, a memory: like certain passages of music, these can be so moving, so deeply attracting, that they evoke a yearning in me, a yearning that may become an image. I started my pursuit of images by making art textiles, which then led me to drawing and painting.

As I search for an image, most often I work simultaneously from both nature and the imagination. Working from life is an experience of deep attention to the world. This experience reveals that the so-called “everyday” world is filled with nuance and mystery, movement and change, and unexpected beauty. As the play of nature and the play of mind intersect, I may break up an image from nature into shifting shapes or forms – strips, for example – to emphasize the beauty of colors and the dancing of shapes. The colors in a skein of yarn, beautiful just as they are, may point the way to an image. I am equally attracted to, and inspired by, a subject and the art materials I’m using. My aim is to maintain the qualities of each while forming the image as a whole.

Taking in the world and exploring my materials in this way, I hope to create a vital image that resonates with feeling. Whatever its form – sometimes like nature, sometimes non-representational – the image is my way of holding onto beauty in this bittersweet world.

BIO

I grew up in Mundelein Illinois, a town north of Chicago. One snowy winter, during a semester break while I was attending Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, I discovered my interest in weaving: reinventing the wheel, I attempted to weave on a frame with nails at either end to hold the threads. I used a needle to weave. I had never seen a loom.

After graduation from college, I began to seriously pursue weaving when I happened upon a toy loom in a department store, and following that, a book by Nell Znamierowski, Weaving Step by Step. The loom and the book were revelations to me and helped me to weave my first wall hanging. Soon afterward, I started taking courses part-time in textiles, drawing, and design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. That in turn led me to study art history at the University of Chicago (M.A., 1973), while also working at the Art Institute of Chicago as a curatorial assistant in the Oriental and Textile Departments.

After this daily exposure to works from all over the world, I resumed working in textiles. I made pieces in tapestry and other techniques for myself and on commission, and studied drawing and painting on my own as much as I could. Later, while living in New York City, I worked as a free-lance textile designer and continued studying drawing and painting independently and at Cooper Union Extended Studies Program and National Academy School of Art. During this time I also occasionally taught tapestry-weaving workshops at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and Maine College of Art Continuing Education Program in Portland, Maine.

In 2004 my husband and I moved to Vermont, whose natural beauty illuminates my path as I draw, paint, and weave.



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