Top Ten Tuesday – Getting Here

I’ve been giving some thought to how I’ve gotten to this point in my art, especially since my art is taking some different paths. How did I come to getting fiber and digital art work into juried shows?

* I did a lot of cartooning and pen and ink drawings in my early teens. As long as I could “copy” something – have a pic in front of me, I could do pretty well. My high school art class didn’t do a lot for me, although I do have two pieces left from those early days.

* I started sewing my own clothes in college, thanks to a sorority sister with a sewing machine. I learned a huge amount, and thanks to invisible zippers, got over that fear left from home ec as a ninth grader. I did a huge amount of sewing during my years teaching in Hawaii – way cheaper than buying muu-muus.

* I bought a sewing machine (my second) when I returned to Vermont to teach, having donated my first purchase to the drama department at the high school. I signed up to take classes from Stretch and Sew, and that’s where I got into designing with their patterns. At that point I was sewing almost everything, including a 1970’s leisure suit for my husband….

* Embroidery was the next stage, and I finished a number of pieces, mastering some of the stitches. But I didn’t have the amazing skills of my mother-in-law Erma, who would look at a picture of a Hopi kachina and recreate it in embroidery. I needed a pattern!

* I was also doing a lot of crochet, learning how to read patterns, new stitches, and choosing good yarns. I could never get into knitting – always seemed too complex, and I didn’t have the patience. Crochet went much faster.

* From here it went into needlepoint and cross stitch. I finished a lot of framed pieces as well as pillows. But a fire wiped out all of it, and I couldn’t bear to do cross stitch again.

* I took up tole painting and realized it wasn’t for me. But I did learn how to recognize really good tole – it wasn’t mine!

* From here I took a beginning class in hand-quilting. I had made three quilts with the Eleanor Burns Log Cabin in a Day earlier, but I wasn’t happy with my fabric choices. I figured I would start with the basics.

* While in Vermont, I saw a book on marbling and wanted to try it for some quilts. Hubby really got into it, and we’ve been working on that since.

* While learning to marble, I also had dinner with the high school art teacher who had gotten back from Africa and put her photos into some great posters. I wanted to do that with marbled quilt patterns. It only took me 15 years….

Now I’m getting better at Photoshop, our marbling is improving, and I continue to learn from others about color and design. Just lots of fun on the journey!

How did your journey start?

PS – had lunch with my friend Yvonna – wait until you see her pottery and mosaics – OMG, unlike anything I have seen!

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