Labeling me as a fiber artist fits the common vernacular, but doesn’t pinpoint what I do. My are really consists of representational pieces made from commercial fabrics, enhanced by free-motion machine stitching.
I love to make realistic images done solely in commercial fabrics and dozens of colors of machine stitched threads. I never add paints or dyes to create the effects I want, but shop for just the right kinds of batiks, hand-dyes and tone-on-tone fabrics to create these painterly images. Although my mantra is “Let the fabric to the work,” free-motion machine stitching is key to the defining and detailing. I’m often asked what kind of a machine I have, and I have a few: Pfaff, Elna, and Janome, but none are elaborate embroidery machines. All of the stitching is controlled by me, either in free-motion mode or in a conventional straight or zig zag stitch. People also want to know how long a piece takes to crate, and I truly don’t keep track of time. My standard answer is thirty hours, more or less, bit it really can vary greatly around that number.
I have more than ten years of experience creating this kind of art. My professional history includes selling in numerous art shows and being featured at several Minnesota galleries; earning juried and non-juried awards; commissions; speaking about my work; teaching children in an artist-in-residency program; teaching adults in fabric shops, guilds and the International Quilt Festival. With our recent move to Florida, my work has begun to be featured in galleries here.
In addition to my technique and experiences, I want to explain that I choose to do art which brings people joy and wonder. I prefer to emphasize the beauty in the world rather than the ugliness, conflict and injustice. If someone says, “I thought that was a painting (or photograph),’ or the gasp when they realize the art is created only from fabric and thread, I have reached my goals. Enjoy!
Visit Bonnie’s website at www.landscapesinfabric.com.