On the studio table: inspiration and process

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”
-Pablo Picasso

Where does inspiration come from, is a question that is tossed out so often. Is it as mysterious as it seems? For myself, it’s never really an a-ha moment out of the blue. An idea, a thought, always comes from the process of doing and making. One thing leads to another. But at the basis of it all is knowing what I love and what questions or issues matter to me. That is the foundation for me and what leads me in different directions.

I have always loved needlework. Before I painted, I would cross-stitch. I loved drawing with thread. Being in a fabric store is like being in a candy store- and I don’t even really sew! But I am drawn to it, always have been since I was a little girl. The evidence of the hand at work makes my heart happy. Loose threads, frayed edges, I like those too. These are reasons why I will never make a good seamstress. I like the messiness and the loose ends. I like the evidence of imperfection.


Winterberry, photo from Natural Landscape Nursery



The invitation to this exhibit called for the artists to have a dialogue with the landscape at the arboretum. I knew I wanted to do a hanging piece, but what would it be of? I did research on what plants and trees grew at the arboretum and started collecting images that I found interesting or beautiful. And then I started stitching. I didn’t want the panels to be exact replicas of the plants, just suggestions, an abstracted form. I also wanted most of them to have a hole or holes so that one could see the green of the woods through the panels-playing with the idea that the lifecycles within us and around us are all layered, not separate.


cross section of this tree was found on the usda.gov gallery


Tree Rings

“In nature nothing exists alone.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

I was recently alerted to this article that was written about my work back in 2014. It’s always interesting to hear what people see in my work. The human touch, yes. The separation from the natural world, yes. Realignment with that natural world, yes.


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