Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Art of Appreciation

Although I’ve occasionally tried to convince myself that I am an artist, in truth, I am not. I love making things, I love color and light and texture and pattern and they way work together to create a whole. Combining yarn for a blanket or fabric for a quilt is a natural process for me. But I can’t draw or sculpt or paint with acrylics or watercolors—I’ve tried, and it just isn’t a way that I can express myself with any pleasure at the end result. I know there are entire schools of thought that say that I can improve with practice and should just enjoy the process, but I’m old enough to know that I’ve given it my all and that life is too short to feel that incompetent.

So instead, I am an artist-appreciator. Don’t get me wrong, I love art and the work of artists, but it’s talking to artists that trips my trigger, particularly artists who design fabric or use textiles in their work. I have the good fortune in my writing to be able to do just that, and several times a year my editors send me names and I write profiles. Depending on the length of the piece, I talk with my profile subjects anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more. When we really hit it off, my subject and I can talk for much longer (that’s a story for another blog entry).



A recent profile in the winter issue of Quilts and More is of Amy Schimler. Her work is a delight and talking to her about her textile design and her art was such a pleasure. She’s a warm person who thinks deeply about the work she does and is able to articulate it. The fabric at left is from the new collection she's designed for Robert Kaufman, Creatures and Critters.

2 comments:

Red Fish Circle said...

Thanks for featuring my birds and your kind words! (Your post came up on Google Alerts) I just had to tell you that my family dog growing up was a wire hair terrier, Corky! I love your photo of Pearl - I have a special place in my heart for this breed.

Happy New Year!

AnneR said...

I've seen her fabric (though only online--boo, no quilt shops in Fort Wayne) and agree that it's wonderful. This closeup showcases the rich texture she's added to what really are simple shapes. I join you in your school of artist appreciation!