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I work small and very small in scale and enjoy working within the constraints of the self-imposed "limitations" of size. Working small enables me to explore more ideas and themes and the work I produce doesn't take up a huge amount of space. My husband is an oil painter and sculptor and he works in a much larger scale (6-8 feet on a side often) and let me tell you, they take up some serious room in his studio!
Much of my work revolves around the themes of insects, leaves, birds, fish and other natural subjects. I am enamored of a Japanese printmaking technique called Gyotaku, which translates literally to fish rubbing. Although the technique is traditionally done with real, freshly caught fish, I use rubber replica fish (I have quite a collection!)
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Often, the images in my work are visual metaphors for topics I am thinking about. For example, an ongoing series featuring beetles as subjects is all about exploring my dismay and concern about global warming and the harm we are causing the planet and all of its inhabitants.
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I am also fascinated by text and use letter forms of many languages to add texture and interest to much of my work.
I perceive letters as having colors (a condition known as grapheme-color synesthesia) and this perception adds another layer of discovery for me as an artist as I build a compostion incorporating letters, letter forms and text into my work, as well as the challenge of choosing titles for finished pieces that "go" with the work.
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I have written three books for C&T Publishing, two with Elin Waterston - Art Quilt Workbook and Art Quilts at Play - and one alone, Jane Davila's Surface Design Essentials. Elin and I also made a dvd for C&T called Elin and Jane Teach You Art Quilt Basics. I teach art quilting, surface design and mixed media workshops all over the world and have been fortunate to meet many interesting people in my travels. I am also the editor of two digital magazines, Quilting Arts In Stitches and Quilting Arts Surface Explorations. This emag format is so dynamic and exciting and exploring the possibilities of the ever-changing and growing technology is invigorating!
As a printmaker and former full-time studio artist, I gained a lot of experience with navigating the business side of the fine art world. I have prints in many collections around the world, I've worked with commercial galleries and print publishers for years and I've taken this insider knowledge and write a regular column in the Quilting Arts print magazine called Minding Your Business. I'm a bit of a kook in that the business, marketing and promotional side of being an artist is actually really exciting to me.
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