If you happen to be anywhere near Traverse City, Michigan before April 27, you will want to stop by the Dennos Museum Center to see the exhibit Gwen Marston: Contemporary Quilts. I'm kicking myself for missing the opening yesterday. You can see some spectacular photos of the show and opening here.
Here is Gwen's Artist Statement about the show. (included with permission)
Gwen Marston: Contemporary Quilts
In the mid 70’s I saw an exhibit of fine antique quilts at my local art museum which spirited me on my way to becoming a quiltmaker. I began as most quilters do, by learning how to make quilts from traditional patterns passed down through generations. In 1990 I turned a corner and since then have designed my own work.
When making contemporary, abstract quilts I work almost exclusively with solid fabrics, and by that I mean fabrics that have not been printed with a design. I prefer it for a host of reasons, none more important than the fact the line and form are more clearly defined: solids emphasize the delineation between shapes whereas prints can blur the edges of adjoining shapes.
With much of my work I first decide on the basic form I’m going to use to construct the piece (such as working in rows, or beginning in the center and working outward). Then I think about color and scale and once I have worked out those general ideas, I start building the parts and designing the quilt as I am constructing it in an improvisational way.
I have long used rough pencil sketches as a way to test initial ideas. Then in 2010 I developed another way to make sketches. Instead of pencil sketches I made fabric sketches. I found that making sketches with the actual fabric I intended to use was a great way to work out composition and color.
Because these Small Studies are completely developed, they take on the added significance as small works of art, and indeed made up the featured exhibition at the Taupo Art Museum during the 2013 New Zealand Symposium. The first thirty-seven are shown in my book 37 Sketches.
Gwen Marston is a professional fiber artist, author, and teacher. She has taught nationally and internationally for over three decades. She has written 26 books, two of which won awards: Mary Schafer: American Quilt Maker – 2005 Michigan Notable Book award. 37 Sketches – 2012 New York Book Show Award.
She has had twenty-five exhibits of her large quilts, seven exhibits of her small quilts and her work has been shown in many group exhibits throughout the United States and abroad.
Gwen has offered a series of five retreats in the fall of the year for students of quiltmaking over the past 30 years.
I'll be sure to make it to this show while its up. Gwen's quilts are always a treat to see in person.
Gwen may have retired from her retreats and cut back on teaching and lecturing but guess what! She has a book coming out this spring! Gwen's new book, Minimal Quiltmaking, is available for preorder on amazon. I ordered mine last month and can hardly wait for it to arrive! Go ahead and order yours now!
disclaimer - The amazon link is an affiliate link. If you click through with that link and purchase I will get a small kick back from amazon.