Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits

30 04 2013

I received a fascinating new book in the mail! Martha Sielman has hit it out of the ball park again with this next book in the Portfolio series. Many of the artists I am familiar with and many I became acquainted with in this volume. Twenty-one specific artists are given feature status, endowing the viewer with a perspective of their work in six-page spreads. Other artists’ works are sprinkled throughout, amply adding to this comprehensive look at current work featuring people and portraits in the textile art world . Each of the featured artists’ work is accompanied by a rich narrative of what makes them who they are and how they arrive at their finished works.

Enjoy Bodil Gardener’s work with her playful, exaggerated characters. So much fun!

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Collette Berends uses a very painterly effect in her work.

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I adore the quirkiness and simplified forms of Yoshiko Kurihara. I especially like Morning Breeze.

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Morning Breeze

Mary Pal’s amazing works using simple cheesecloth on black backgrounds portrays details not thought possible by this writer!

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Viola Burley Leak uses highly expressive images. Her works are colorful with lots of movement. The use of black gives weight to her use of brilliant colors.

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The cartoons of Pam RuBert entertain, as always. She is probably the most humorous textile artist I know.

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St. Louis…Wish You Were Hair

Kathy Nida is provocative, daring the viewer to be offended by her raw depictions of women in various social situations.

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United

Jenny Bowkers, depicting her middle east travels has work included in this volume. Olga Norris with her faceless figures, and Lora Rocke, Joan Sowada, and Maria Elkins, all with the most breathtaking realism, are in the Portfolio. The painted work of Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs is here.

Sielman has gifted us with another stunning compilation of art in textiles. Purchase here.





Review: The Natural World – By Martha Sielman

3 04 2012

Graced by the cover art of Barbara Barrick McKie,  Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World titles this latest work by Martha Sielman and delights us with 192 pages of eye candy.  Included are 19 featured artists with “photos of their quilts as well as essays about their creative process and signature techniques”. These artists each receive 4-6 pages dedicated to their work and processes. Featured artists are:  Katherine K. Allen, Melanie Kane Brewer, Betty Busby, Paula Chung, Nancy G. Cook, Sally Dillon, Ginny Eckley, Patricia Gould, Annie Helmericks-Louder, Ruth B. McDowell, Barbara Barrick McKie, Annemieke Mein, Karen Illman Miller, Dottie Moore, Dominie Nash, Elaine Quehl, Ginny Smith, Judith Trager, and Cassandra Williams.  Special gallery sections spotlight images of work from other talented members of the art quilt community.  A collection of work around the theme of “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, a poem by Wallace Stevens of the same name, is featured.  I found the work inspired by this poem to be  interesting commentary on the theme as some of the pieces did not feature black birds or any birds at all!

One of the featured artists is Katherine K. Allen from Florida.  I  was able to see her “Eventide”  in person in January as that particular work was accepted into Form Not Function 2012.  Her process is very unique and aims to capture the essence of the natural world as she uses collected live grasses, and leaves, etc. as stencils.  Dominie Nash is another artist I admire  and I have particularly enjoyed her abstract still life work.  This book includes her recent series based on leaves.

I do love the depth of exploration that Martha does of each  artists’ working process and thoughts.  I  wish some of the other works could have been featured in a larger format, but evidently this book was not aimed at full size presentation.

I don’t know how others go about it, but whenever I get a new book or magazine, I go through all the pictures first.  Later, I will start to read the articles and biographies.  This one is no different as I am now starting to carefully read and take notes from each artist.

Purchase Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World here  at the SAQA website.





Masters: Art Quilts Vol. 2

24 08 2011

Martha Sielman’s second volume of the Masters: Art Quilts published by Lark Crafts is definitely 400 pages of eye candy,  a colorful, visually stimulating treat to the art of 40 contemporary  artists working in textiles.  Sielman features work, not only from the United States, but from across the globe, including Switzerland, Australia, Hungary, France, So. Africa, the Netherlands, Canada, Israel, Russia, Japan, Norway, and England.  I love this global selection, as well as her exploration of the career and personal backgrounds of each artist and how this contributes to the way they work.  This background provides a rich supplement to the amazing art featured in the book.  There are ample selections of each artist’s work, with 5 to 10 pages of full page photographs  devoted to each.  I feel that I have seen a good representation of the artists.

There are many familiar (to me) artists featured: Paula NadelsternLaura Wasilowski, Nelda Warkentin, Jane Dunnewold, and Linda MacDonald. Others are totally unknown to me, but their addition to this catalog greatly enrich my visual experience with every page.

Sielman’s choice of artists who work in a broad range of styles and techniques contributes to the appeal of the book.   Some are personal histories providing a view into worlds unknown to most, such as  Carolyn Crump’s portraitures which feel very much like linocuts because of the black outlines she uses.  Dutch quilter Miriam Pet-Jacobs uses commentary with messages both obvious and elusive.  I love Netherland’s resident Leslie Gabrielse’s combination of collage and realistic figures.  He states that he is “very drawn to commercial fabrics…fascinated by the variety of motifs and textures they have to offer.”  Pamela Fitzsimons’ work is based on the Australian landscape, creating lines, colors, and patterns reminiscent of the country.   Dirkje van der Horst-Beetsma creates landscapes based on her native province in the Netherlands which are made up of several sections laced together with unusual materials such as zippers or inner tubes. Izabella Baykova’s depictions of Russian cityscapes and fairy tales are renditions of views from her St. Petersburg apartment and folk stories using layers of sheer silk and paint. I find her work to be amazingly intricate. Daniela Dancelli’s abstract work, using a combination of different textiles along with plastic, laminated newsprint, and found objects, incorporates strong colors, bold marks and handwritten letters into her symbolic pieces.

This volume is a must-have addition to any serious textile artist’s library.  It will be kept in my home alongside Volume 1 and studied over and over again.  Martha Sielman’s curating has provided an invaluable service to the textile art community.

For those interested in supporting the arts, Masters: Art Quilts Vol. 2 can be purchased through SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association).  Lark is donating the full $24.95 amount to SAQA.








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