How I Create My Artwork
The question I am most often asked is “How do you do that?”
First, I choose a photo to work with, such as this photo of old planks over a drainage ditch in Burma. I look for interesting lines, colour or texture that not only can be translated into a textile medium but that will actually be enhanced by it.
Once I have an image, I decide on a colour palette. I usually work with cotton that I dye myself so once I have chosen from the colours that already exist in my fabric cabinets, I go to my dye studio to dye whatever colours are missing.
My first step is to create the basic shapes and colours of the photo. I cut out the shapes in the various colours and collage them to a base fabric to create the background colours in the image.
The colours may not be an exact reproduction of the ones in the photo; they are chosen to accentuate the aspects of the photo that attracted me to the image.
I then continue to collage more layers of fabric to build up the shapes and depth of the image.
In this quilt I used silk organza coloured with acrylic ink to create the shading and aging effects in the wood.
When the areas of colour are too small to collage, I use paints, pencils, inks and markers to add the final depth and detail. For me this stage really brings the image to life.
The final stage is the stitching or quilting stage. I use stitching to add more details but also to add a sense of three dimensions to the image.
Based on the complexity of the image, each quilt requires between 150 and 250 hours to complete.
The materials are most often my hand dyed cotton fabrics, Inktense pencils, acrylic paints, silk organza, batting and thread.
The techniques are raw edge applique or fabric collage, painting, quilting, thread sketching and whatever other techniques I feel will most effectively recreate the image.