Friday, September 25, 2009

Hosta, and the SAQA Visioning Project

Hosta (2009) 7-1/4" x 9-3/4"
Cotton fabric, acrylic paint, cotton and rayon thread, cotton batting.

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to join Studio Art Quilt Associates’ “Visioning Project.” The idea behind the project, led by SAQA president Lisa Chipetine, is that you can reach your goal if you envision it, plan it and execute it step by step, with the help of other supportive artists in the group. Each participants’ first step is to refine a clearly stated goal to be achieved in 12 months.

After much thought, I settled on this goal: To work in a series and produce at least eight pieces in a unified body of work for a solo show.

With everything else I have going on in my life, this is an ambitious goal for me. But it is an important one. For several years, I’ve wanted to work in a series, to find my “distinctive voice” and to pump up my production and my commitment to my art. I think the Visioning Project will help me do that.

One of the first things I have to do was to decide on the subject matter and a technique I want to use for the entire series. Toward that aim, I made the small piece above (“Hosta”) yesterday. It is just a study, but it helps me resolve some of the issues in my head that I need to move forward on the series.

Here is the photo on which the piece is based:

It is of close-up shot of a hosta I keep in a pot on my back steps. The leaves are starting to show signs of disease and decay, and the normal decline brought on by fall. I thought the pattern created, combined with the lines of the veins of the leaf, was really beautiful.

I started with white Pimatex cotton fabric, a combed cotton poplin fabric by Robert Kaufman. I had used Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton before, but I discovered that I like the Pimatex better for this kind of work. It is very fine and smooth, and much easier to draw on with a pencil.

After sketching the lines on the fabric, I painted using Liquitex Soft Body Artist Color mixed with Liquitex Fabric Medium. Then I did thread work on the surface before quilting it. Here is a detail shot:


  1. Love the colors. It is incredible.

  2. This is fantastic, Susan and another real nudge for me to change over from setacolors...maybe:)

  3. Very inspiring,. Sometimes I feel as if I've become so driven to learn every new technique that I forget to just. create. art. This piece reminds me to stay grounded in the world of producing beautiful textiles not only through surface design, but with stitch, as well.

    Nicely done.

  4. Thanks so much for your post! It really is interesting to me to see how you are making very conscious decisions as you set out to work in a series. I'll be very anxious to follow along as you progress in our work! I always love it all, but this is great to see and read some of the behind the scenes processing!

  5. Very nice, it looks like the start of an interesting new direction for you work.

  6. It is surprising the things that inspire you! Very cool.


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