How do you describe yourself as an artist? I am an art quilter. I am currently focused on developing and creating good designs.
Please describe your work. I make art quilts as well as some traditional quilts (like a lap quilt). I have mostly made landscape quilts and for a while I really focused on recreating photographs. Now I am creating quilts that are more painterly and less a copy of a photo. Sometimes I think of those landscape quilts as my transition from traditional quilts to art quilts. My aim is to be freer in my designs as well as developing color schemes that I have not done before. I teach science and this often creeps into my art work.
Describe the path you have taken to develop your art. Actually I have been creating art in one form or another as long as I can remember. I took free Saturday classes at Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh from 7-9th grades. This experience shaped me for the rest of my life. We did cool things; going into the museum to view current art on exhibit or staying outside to sketch. I am not sure I really appreciated this experience at the time, but I certainly do now and I am amazed that the classes were free. I still love going to art museums in every new city we travel to.
My mom forced me to learn to sew when I was in high school and I sewed clothing for more than 30 years. I taught myself to quilt back in the mid 1980’s. At that point I decided to focus on quilting instead of flitting from one craft to another. I have found my obsession in quilting. Just ask my husband if I am obsessed with quilting!
What inspires you? Nature, science, and old buildings inspire me. I love trees especially bare ones. I love the worn and crooked appearance of old buildings, old doors, and old windows. I love roof top city scenes in cities. I even love old industrial sites.
What do you want to communicate with your art? That’s a good question and one I never really thought about. As I look over my quilts I see science ideas in many of them. I have the moon (astronomy) as well as light and reflections (physics and meteorology), windmills (physics), and rusting (chemistry) in my work. I think I am trying to depict some science ideas in an artistic form which I may make more of a focus.
Do you teach art? Unfortunately I do not teach art though I do teach Meteorology and Astronomy at a community college in NJ. I love teaching and I think I might try my hand at teaching something related to art quilts when I retire.
Please talk about your associations with art groups, galleries and your experience exhibiting your work. I belong to several online quilting groups and years ago I did belong to a guild. I have had some quilts on display at various shows with the guild. I did win viewer’s choice for a hand quilted double wedding ring quilt. I display my work through my blog posts, but my exhibiting experience has been limited.
Please talk about your artistic journey and a specific topic that is near and dear to your heart. Our student motto during the Carnegie Museum Saturday art classes was “Look to see to, remember to enjoy.” This is something that has stuck with me through all the years. I really like to take in the world and I always need to be making something. I want to be doing something creative! This has been the case over all the years, whether I am sketching, painting, weaving, metal punching, or printing.
Quilting has become my creative outlet, but even that has changed over the years. When I started quilting I only made traditional quilts and only hand quilted them. At that time I hated art quilts. Slowly over the years my attitude has changed and now I love art quilts. I mainly make art quilts.
Enjoy seeing more of Chris’ work at: http://chrissquiltinguniverse.blogspot.com/