I quite frequently see discussions about artists “finding their voice” in their work. I heard it referred to recently in the context of one quilter’s work that was all very similar in that “she found her artist’s voice.” I think the idea is that once you find a type of work you really like to work in, you perfect it and use it to establish an area in which you are recognized and rewarded. It’s a great idea.
Perhaps I am much more of a fabric art adventurer, however, than one who will ever find such a voice. I am particularly inspired by historic works of art, great natural wonders, magnificent architecture, works of artistic fantasy, and historic folk art. Sew I have opted to work in sets of series focusing around these items…which I admit is a very broad brush. I have my architectural series, my deep space series, my ancient illuminated manuscript series, my women throughout history keeping their home fires burning while waiting for their men to return home from the sea (and you don’t know it yet but also from dangerous missions of all sorts). I love to take my machines through their paces and make them perform to the nth showing what they can do to closely replicate hand work, embroider most anything, disappear their stitches that are there to hold things together, or work like a pen and ink. I like to take threads of all sorts, fabrics, and a little bit of paint and some beads and pull them together into something resembling a work of art.
It is indeed my goal to one day cross into the realm of “fine works of art” in this fabric art adventure of mine.
I somehow need to make money with this work to pay for things like expensive dental work and house maintenance and repairs. I have some ideas for that, but I am certainly going to stick to making my wall art quilts. Whether they end up being “show quilts” or not, I am making them all to the show quilt level. I do occasionally make a utility quilt for home or giving away, but they are often when I need to just try something new or somebody needs such.
Sew there you have it. I don’t think I have an “artist voice” exactly, and I may never have one, but I have artistic goals of all sorts. It is a passion of mine. It is full of fun, frustration, tedious times, exploding ideas, irritating quilter’s blocks, disappointments, real surprises, and absolutely delightful times.
Sew happy everyone! Go out and make a creation you love just because you want to and don’t worry about fitting in or not fitting in boxes.