The heart of my work is the possible. My ideas are sparked by book titles, song names, the odd turn of phrase, and the question “What if?” I start sketching and coloring, then dig thru my supplies, and gradually assemble a beginning. Much of my technique is created through experimentation, as I strive to achieve a texture, a shape, or an image.
My parents’ love of modern art is my earliest influence. We had art books and unusual coloring books. I still use my set of Prismacolor pencils and graph paper as my primary tools for determining color palette and dimensions. My first quilt in 1979 was not entirely traditional, nor were the next few, and then I took two very important classes. Ruth McDowell drew an entire design on paper and used it as templates. Jeffrey Gutcheon’s class on color introduced the concept of deliberately not matching everything, to create tension and interest.
A secondary influence was the watercolor quilt trend. However, I choose to work with stronger colors and odd shapes that created a backdrop for featured elements, such as attic window blocks inserted. I use undulating strips across a wall hanging, blending across a colorway, to end in a gibbous moon hanging in the sky, or a sandy beach running across an ocean of blues and teals. I create 3D elements that are only partially attached: knitted leaves and flowers; beaded embellishments; felted items; leather leaves, even a chair.
I consider all of my pieces art quilts, whether or not they are framed. I want viewers to appreciate the flexibility of textiles to present a thought, an image, even a simple landscape. The depth created by color, texture, quilting, and embellishments should draw people in, and open their minds to the joy of fiber art.
Paula is a member of the Studio Art Quilts Association, the Asheville Quilt Guild, the Modern Quilt Guild of Asheville, and the American Quilters Society.