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.