The Artistic Process
The process to create Mixed Media Fiber Art can take me several weeks or months depending on its complexity. Through a series of steps from using painting techniques for backgrounds, embroidery, appliqué, or free motion machine drawing for the subject matter, and hand embellishing with specialty threads, silk ribbons, and beads to give it details, I proceed to produce art pieces that are unique.
When I was six years old my family moved from Bogota Colombia, to America. With the struggles of coming to a new country and learning a new language, I found comfort in the one thing that was consistent in my life and that was mom sewing.
My love of working with fabrics was inspired by both my mother and my husband’s grandmother. As a young girl my mother taught me how to use a sewing machine and we would work on simple clothing projects together. My husband’s grandmother was a quilter, and for a wedding gift she gave us a quilt. Upon seeing the quilt, I realized that there were other possibilities of working with fabrics other than making clothing. The desire to make a quilt was sparked.
It was not until I moved to North Carolina, that I had my first opportunity to learn quilting. The local quilt store offered classes. One of the classes was in Crazy quilting, and this class let me realize that creating my own designs were possible as it was extremely creative and free flowing. With the use other mix media techniques learned in workshops and classes that I had taken throughout the years, my creativity came together to express what I loved in nature.
One reason I work in fibers is to give my art a sense of multiple dimensions. There are several processes that I use, depending on what I am creating. I will paint on fabrics using watercolor and acrylic techniques to create background scenes that sometimes determine the inspiration of the piece. I use an Innova sit down longarm, a wonderful sewing machine, which allows me to layer multiple fabrics onto a stabilized fabric. Then I draw with free-motion thread painting to enhance the landscape with dimensions. Finally, I embellish by hand-stitching with specialty threads, silk ribbons, and beads to give the art a natural element representational of our every day surroundings, but with a flair of the imaginative.
In 2007, I began working full time in my home business, Sew Unique Art, where I create mixed media fiber art. I promote it through my website galleries, area galleries, art festivals, teaching and lectures. These are wonderful venues where I can free my soul to express the magnificence of the creative spirit, as well as to be able to re-acquaint adults and introduce young people to the traditional arts of sewing, quilting and needlework in a new, fun, and artistic way.