Moving through daily life in my home on Cape Breton Island, I absorb the rich colours and rhythms and translate my impressions into “fine art quilts” a hybrid form connecting painting, printmaking, collage, and textile art.
Dyeing my own fabric is incredibly fun and allows me to create a large palette of colours including indefinable shades like reddish green. Low-water immersion techniques where fabric is scrunched or twisted, pole-wrapping (a variation of Japanese shibori dyeing), and monotypes with thickened dye result in painterly effects and unusual textures. In addition to dyes, I sometimes explore other media such as pastels or acrylic paint.
Then I combine these fabrics to create original abstract designs which express my own vision and are meant to be hung on the wall. With a theme in mind but without a definite plan, I cut fabric, sew it together, and then cut it again, allowing shapes and lines to emerge, interact, and form a composition.
My fine art quilts have three layers, a top, a thin cotton batting, and a back, all held together by machine quilting lines that give the finished piece depth and dimension. With this format I honor the (mostly) women’s quiltmaking tradition which spans the bold geometry of early Amish quilts and the playful improvisation of African-American quilts.
While it’s important to me that my quilts be well crafted, I’m most interested in the overall visual statement. In my work as a whole, I try to suggest the complexity of life and let the joy shine through.