portrait imageMy Journey (from wife and mother to full time fiber artist….)

My background in both textiles and art have provided the foundation for my creative process; spanning the spectrum from: traditional sewing skills I learned in 7th grade home economics to my life long love of fabric, crafts and fine arts. My fiber art reflects a mixed media approach with various combinations of drawing, painting, collaging, textiles, and stitching.

As a full time mother to three (now adult) daughters, I had the privilege of introducing them to the world of art and self-educating myself with along the way.  “Creative clutter” filled our home as they grew up.  Cardboard boxes in the living room were deconstructed into art pieces.  The kitchen table was covered with the project of the day:  from markers, pencils, papers, and charcoal to paints to tie-dye; we tried them all.  Duck tape wallets, clay sculptures, jewelry design, and paintings were but a few of the never-ending projects that marked their childhoods.

What a proud mother I am to have seen them become talented artists; each has followed their different passions, carving out creative careers for themselves.  From a museum/theme park producer and a commission painter; to a photographer, graphic designer and sculptor; to an industrial designer, painter and a chef; all three are creatively expressing themselves art wise.  None of them are “late-bloomers” like their mother!

Animals

The Pond, 30″w x 20″h, 2005–My First Art Quilt!

Discovery!

By the time my youngest went off to art school, I was ready to enjoy the empty nest and spread my own wings into the art world!  Soon I discovered the world of art quilting and found what is my lifetime passion and path.  Never too late to finally figure out what you want to be when you grow up!

Creating art quilts is very appealing to me, as there are no “rules” to follow.  I like to explore what is possible; pushing boundaries of the materials, limited only by my imagination or what I haven’t tried yet.  Sometimes it gets me into places I shouldn’t be going; like the time my sewing machine “innards” got clogged after stitching canvas covered with paint and gesso (it was possible but not practical!)  Other times I am inspired with what my painting teacher and mentor, David Limrite, calls “happy accidents”; creative paths open that wouldn’t have happened if I had been following the “rules”.

“Aha” Moment

My art quilt journey really began in 2005 when I had an “aha” moment discovering that I could combine the two worlds of fine art and fiber after a challenge to create a new body of work by my painting teacher David Limrite.  I found that the combination of painting on fabric, enhanced with stitch and applique really inspired me; in the way that pure sewing, painting or drawing never did.

Here, There, and Everywhere…

Inspiration photo for quilt, December 2010 Photographer:  Annie Parnell

Inspiration photo for quilt Our Family Tree, 2010
Photographer: Annie Parnell

My work has been shown both nationally and internationally in both juried and invitational exhibits:  from art quilt exhibitions to art galleries and museums.  I am honored that my work can be found in private collections across the country.

Thankful and Lucky!

I am an Iowa girl by birth (thankful for my solid midwestern roots!), educated at Washington University in St. Louis, but I have been lucky to be a Southern Californian for decades.   I love to walk the streets and hillsides of Pacific Palisades where I live, constantly inspired by the mountain and ocean beauty around me.  Ideas often come to me during those quiet moments walking my dog Mac for what I will create next.   I am thankful and appreciative for the love and support of my daughters: Courtney, Stephanie, and Brit, along with my husband Steve.  How lucky I am that Steve is my built-in photographer and tech guru so I have more time to make art!

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Please contact me directly if interested in purchasing work for price quote and availability.  Thanks for your interest.