Susan Norman, a fibre artist from Paris, Ontario, was our guest speaker for the evening. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, she majored in textile design and fibre art, but it was when she took a course with Marion Spandjert on fibre collage and free motion embroidery, that her career as a "thread painter" took off.
Because she no longer has many of her earlier pieces, she began her talk with a slideshow of those earlier works. She started out small, her early pieces were the size of postcards. She really wanted to experiment on how she could portray energy, and experimented with light and dark and colour. Art history and historical elements can be found as components of her work such as three pieces that were created by using details of paintings by Degas, Cezanne and Monet. Growing up on a farm, she let her environment shape her art, taking to the fields and her neighbourhood with her camera and capturing those amazing moments of light and dark and translating her feelings of the moment into her art.
She joined the Brant Broderers Guild and eventually moved into making larger pieces and exhibiting her works. Her works have hung in the Homer Watson Gallery, Wellington County Museum, and the Greenwood Gallery, to name but a few. Her "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" Wedding dress was a favourite at the Wellington County Museum where it was displayed. Tourists liked to have their photo taken with it, despite it's sad statement of dashed dreams and broken marriages.
Below "The Devotion of Elaine", a shield cover for Sir Lancelot as described in a Tennyson poem.
Her current work involves transferring photos to fabric and enhancing them with thread work. Her latest inspiration comes from photos taken by Anthony VanEngen in Nicaragua, particularly photos of children living in abject poverty among the garbage dumps. Despite their environment, children still have dreams, they want to run and play and it is this hope that she tries to convey in her art. Below: Ultimas Palabras
Susan passed around a sample of a work in progress of thread art based on a photo of her daughter, so we could see how she sandwiches some fabric below some tulle and thread paints the details.
As an artist, she says it's important to keep experimenting, to keep it fresh and new and encourages us quilters to do the same! Never stop learning!
The LFQG thanks Susan Norman for her very informative and inspirational talk!
Rose made the announcement that the CQA has accepted our proposal for the alternative year Quilt Show to be held in London, Ontario in 2011 and hosted by the LFQG!!! Lots of work ahead but it's going to be fun!!! More details to follow in the coming months, stay tuned!
Cynthia thanked MaryLou for creating the lovely, hand-made thank you notes we give out during the year. Good job Mary Lou!
Rose thanked out-going President Cynthia for all the wonderful work she has done the past few years, the lovely gift baskets she has created for our draws, and all her tales of racing, moving, and cottage hunting. We wish her the best of luck with her new digs in New Brunswick and have made her promise to send photos of her adventures during the summer! Rose presented her with a gift from the membership.
See you all in September, but still keep checking the blog for Quilters on Vacation (send in your photos of quilty finds during the summer) and Dear Sunbonnet Sue for your quilt questions.