MIX is a Portland, Oregon based group of artists dedicated to the creation of fiber art. Members of this group create bodies of work for exhibit venues and display. The group meets once a month to critique, challenge and encourage one another, while exploring the design principles of their craft and other art media.
Members have used a wide range of techniques in their art including surface design (such as dyeing, printing, painting, screen printing, embroidery, etc.), piecing and appliqué (including fusing), quilting (machine and by hand), and several others.
All designs are original and the group often works on an agreed-upon theme such as “Extreme” (extreme color, extreme shape, etc.) or our current project, “A Sense of Place”, for which we are creating works based on a specific place we have all visited.
Members bring various backgrounds and life experiences to the group and discussions at the monthly meetings are lively. These subjects can range from fiber works to art exhibits of other media to themes in art and can include even world news, all of which provide the basis for provocative and interesting designs by our members.
Growing up in an artful household with a print maker father and his wide-ranging art collections has made my own art more aesthetic-driven than message based. Working with fiber, I can incorporate printing, dyeing, drawing, stitchery and the use of many materials. My traditional art and fibers training provide a wonderful springboard for experimentation in the use of these tools. Living abroad and curiosity about the world in general has been a tremendous source of inspiration for my subject matter, and I definitely favor the “Renaissance” approach over the hyper-specialization so prevalent today.
Cloth is my vehicle of expression. With cloth I can express what I see around me. Nature inspires with endless color palettes and variety of texture and line. Nature has no limits opening countless paths for creativity. Beyond nature, my travels have taken to many modern cities as well as places of antiquity. Man-made structures both ancient and modern fascinate me. My camera has been my constant companion giving me smaller frames of what I see; enabling me to edit my visual world. Fiber allows me express both the beauty and the raw edges of the past and the present. I am now exploring beyond fiber to add more depth to my work; experimenting other mediums of art. Workshops, classes and conversations with my peers and mentors give me as sense of confirmation that cloth is my vehicle of expression. Cloth comforts my soul.
My love for fabric is genetic. My paternal grandmother worked in a coat factory as a young woman in England, and I started sewing a wool coat in high school home economics class. My first quilt was created from squares my maternal grandmother made from fabric she used to make my mother’s toddler dresses. The Sun Bonnet Sue and Overall Jim squares were perfect for my girl/boy twins. I ventured from traditional to fabric art quilts because of the freedom it allows an artist; no rules, just be creative using a multitude of techniques. The beautiful Northwest I call home offers daily lessons in natures colors and textures. My challenge is to use those lessons to inspire my creativity, finding nature’s essence in fabrics and materials using my genetic code for inspiration.
I am a fiber artist with a propensity for strong line and color. This is evidenced in my work. Inspiration stems from the world around me, whether it is natural or man-made. Either architecture or a rain forest can equally enthuse me. In order to make sense of an idea, I often first develop it digitally within the confines of Photoshop or Illustrator, working through focus and balance issues and then trying on various colorings. This provides me with a strong beginning from which to choose the materials I will ultimately use.
I work in fiber because I am totally tactile and love the various textures that fiber produces. I use a combination of materials, preferring hand dyed cloth and almost always include elements of screen printing.
I look for drama in the creation of art quilts. Drama in the form of color and texture. I find inspiration in both, natural and architectural scenes, having a particular fascination with weathered landscapes and structures. My technique includes the creation of a first layer of improvised pieced fabric with the addition of a second layer of texture through extensive thread work and surface design.
In addition to creating, I enjoy teaching free form techniques in the construction of art quilts.
For more information please visit my WEBSITE