Beverly is a visiting artist from Wakefield, MA. Her work will be on exhibit at the Melrose Arts Festival from April 26-28, 2013.
Q. What does Art mean to you?
Art means a freedom of expression from the soul. It allows me to respond to my emotions, events I am involved in, or sights I have witnessed in an expressive and non-regular way. I can play with color, fabric, texture and form to my heart’s content. Inspiration is all around me and everything stays fluid!
Q. How long have you been creating textile designs through quilting for? Did someone specifically teach you?
I have been creating textile designs that sometimes utilize found objects since I was a child. I always collected bits of nature at my summer home in Canada such as wood with appealing form, shells, fish bones, leaves and flower; or pieces of fabric or metal that had wonderful color and texture – to create collage. About 10 years ago I got into traditional quilting – but it was never free enough and far too repetitive – so I began to work in free-form design – clothes, art pieces, purses.
Q. What inspires your designs?
I get a lot of inspiration from my friends and family, and my dear quilting group, and recently the other artists of the new Mystic Art Gallery in Medford. I’m learning a lot from them. I am also influenced by the Impressionists and Ethnic forms. I recently moved to Wakefield near the lake and the many shapes and colors of water are inspirational. My garden is always an inspiration. It is beautiful in summer or winter and the constant changing landscapes are fabulous. I remember one morning it was frigid, but it had rained the night before. Just as the sun rose over the garden, the light was refracted into a million tiny rainbows. Inspiration!!
Q. What influences the fabrics and colors chosen in your quilt designs?
I have no formal art training, so my theory of color is simple: if I put any to colors together and they don’t make my stomach quiver – they work! Much of my work is simply playing with color, shape and layering. I do the same thing in my garden – I am constantly moving plants to create landscapes within the landscape so everywhere one looks there is a beautiful “scene”. I go to all the quilt shoes and museums to see what inspires other artists, collect photos and rip pictures and bits of astounding color from magazines or catalogs. Many times I sit and look through my collection to put ideas together in new ways.
Q. What is your creative process? How long does each quilt take to complete?
My creative process varies with my idea. I think: I wonder how those forms would look together, and then I start pulling fabrics out of my myriad piles. I use a lot of hand painted batik fabric which includes beautiful shapes and designs that I incorporate into my layouts. I will put something together and then walk away for a couple of days – often to return and move everything around. I use my grandmother’s lace and crocheted pieces, buttons, bits of interesting metal and beads – really anything with an appealing shape or texture.
Q. How do you relate to your artwork? Is it a reflection of your personality or mood when creating one?
I think textile is my unique art form in that it incorporates texture and minute variations of color or pattern that are natural in fabric. “Painting” with fabric is less stressful for me! But I recently discovered what I innately knew; that my work evolves with my mood. Many times I go back to a piece that didn’t please me and revisit the idea. A whole new piece evolves with my state of mind.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I have been doing art shows for over 10 years – I started in Canada – and over time got the confidence to apply for shows around here. I do a lot of commission quilting – both regular patterns and those I create myself. As I explore and create, I continue to learn how much is truly possible. The whole process feeds my soul!