Thursday, June 29, 2017

“Purple Girl”

“Purple Girl”
Copyright 2017 by Susan Brubaker Knapp

I’m thrilled to announce that my latest work, “Purple Girl,” has been juried into the next Dinner @ Eight Artists’ exhibition, “Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Cloth.” The show will debut at International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.

The call for entries included these prompts:

  • An artistic expression based on personal style
  • An underlying social message
  • A story that is told through lines, shapes and imagery
  • A graphic landscape that conveys a story
  • A mark, an object, an idea
It is 40" square, and is made from white fabric, acrylic textile paint, wool batting, cotton thread, and cotton backing fabric. Wholecloth painted and free-motion machine quilted.  

Artist’s Statement: The purple girl I love is creative and complex: she composes music, creates her own alphabet and language, and writes novels. She sees sounds in color, and is an expert in monotremes. She dreams of swimming as a mermaid. 

This piece is about my eldest daughter. The things in this piece represent her primary passions: language (English words and Arithian, the language/alphabet she created), music,  water and the creatures in it, monotremes (the platypus) – and her dream of swimming like a mermaid (the mermaids’ purses in the lower left). And the purple? It’s her favorite color.

Note: “Mermaid’s purses” are skate egg sacks, sometimes found washed up on the beach. You can read more about them here:

The thirty pieces in the exhibition are listed on the Dinner @ Eight Artists’ blog.

Friday, June 23, 2017

“We All Swim Together” Update

Here’s the latest on “We All Swim Together,” the big piece I've been working on – off and on, but mostly off – since 2013! My goal with this wholecloth quilt is to educate viewers about the dangers to fish species around the world. Marine biologists believe we we could feed the world and end starvation if we only managed our oceans, lakes and streams properly. Many fish are endangered due to overfishing, pollution, environment degradation, and climate change. I also want to show the beauty and amazing diversity of fish species. 

Right now, the fish fill a space about 80" wide and 60" high. This art quilt will probably be about 90" square when I finish. In the past week or so, I’ve drawn about 10 more fish, and painted these:

Orange Roughy
Honeycomb Stingray (with Indian Scad below)
Piper Gurnard

Flat Needlefish

Arctic Char

The photos below show more of the whole quilt, and give you an idea of the size. (Cat shown for scale). 

If you have questions about my wholecloth painting process, please visit my blog post here:

If you want to see previous posts about this piece, and see my progress, click here:

I also have a DVD on my process. It's called “Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch.” You can purchase it here: