TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Tanya Brown

Tanya Brown

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Tanya Brown Textile Artist, Art Quilts - Sunnyvale, California, USA

Tanya Brown – Sunnyvale, California, USA


Artist’s Statement:


I’ve come to think of myself as a moon reflecting the light of the stories around me. Stories of people, of creatures, of adventures both real and imagined, and stories of social issues which concern me.


My work often begins with a sketch which is developed on a a computer, painted on white cotton fabric, then stitched. Lately I’ve also returned to my roots, rendering 3D images which are then printed on fabric and stitched. My backgrounds in art, design, and physics have all meshed and come in quite handy.


A few years ago, I’d just had a baby and was feeling quite unmoored. I came to parenthood after several demanding careers, having supported myself since high school and put myself through college. I’d been an Engineering Physicist at a particle accelerator, then studied and transitioned to a career in graphic design, and finally put my technical, artistic, and poor interpersonal skills to work as a manager at a frantic Silicon Valley startup. Post-career, despite the exhaustion involved in having a newborn, I felt as though something was missing.


A month or so after my son was born, I attended a quilt show, one of those shows which displays a mixture of utility and art quilts with a large merchant mall off to the side. I’d only ever seen bed quilts made from sewing remnants or bits salvaged from ancient clothing. Those were the sort of creations which “inspire” every newspaper feature writer ever born to recite the hackneyed phrase “not your grandmother’s quilts” each time a fiber art show comes to town. Seeing art quilts for the first time was enlightening; I gradually began to experiment with that medium.


By 2009, I’d become fascinated with portraiture, working with black ink on cotton, then adding texture with stitch. In 2010 I attempted my first color portrait; it was juried in to Quilt National. The second color portrait received awards at IQF Houston and elsewhere. It was a nice start. I’ve been telling stories in fiber ever since.

I welcome exhibit opportunities, both in the fiber and traditional art worlds. I write for print and the web, and speak on a variety of topics. They include the use of digital tools in art quilt surface design and my own adventures in portraiture and telling stories in fabric. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.

-Tanya Brown

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