In the fall of 2009, I journeyed to the farm country of Baltimore, Ohio to begin my first weeks of study with Nancy Crow.
Anyone who has studied with Nancy knows that one of the perks of the business is getting to spend hours on end with people who love messing with fiber as much as you do. Many wonderful friendships have come out of my studies at the barn.
One of the first and dearest is my friend Valerie Maser-Flanagan. We essentially began our studies together. Here are some Crow Barn photos of Valerie (and one exhausted looking photo of me) over the years.
Our paths have crossed at the barn, but for the most part, our friendship has been based on emails. Over the years, we have checked in and supported self-doubt, success, and more self-doubt.
Late last year, we had been emailing each other about the fact that we both would be at the Barn this May–it will be the first time we’ve seen each other in person in several years.
Valerie failed to mention her upcoming show–which is very Valerie.
So, when I got my SAQA Art Quilt News on the first Friday in January, I was super pleased and surprised to see Valerie’s solo show at the ArtSpace Gallery in Maynard, Massachusetts this January 7- 30, 2015.
I thought it would be fun to share her beautiful work with all of you. As I’ve done previous artists I have featured on my blog, I’ve including photos of the Valerie’s work only with her artist statement.
Here is what Valerie has to say about her work.
There is so much intrigue, beauty and energy in the lines and shapes observed in natural settings and city architecture.
From bold vertical lines in forests and city buildings to the refined, intricate lines flowing in stone and wood grains.
Often the shapes are unusual, as seen in complex ice crystals, stone walls, asymmetric holes in tree trunks, or the worn brick walls in old N.E. mills.
These visual images offer an appreciation of open vs. congested space, which unconsciously influence my abstract designs.
My approach is improvisational – the medium is fabric.
Compositions begin with a general idea and the selection of a palette of colors.
Color is a further inspiration and influence in my work.
The fabric is hand dyed and begins with the selection of three primary hues which are mixed to create a range of colors ranging from subtle neutrals to vibrant colors.
The fabric pieces are freely cut using a razor sharp tool and blended into an initial composition on a design wall.
This often presents somewhat unexpected results and responses.
The final design is sewn together, layered, and the final stitching is placed on top of the composition.
This last process provides an opportunity to add line, texture and dimension to the final presentation.
It has been a joy to watch Valerie’s work evolve over the years.
A few extra notes–
1. If you want to see more of Valerie’s work please visit her website.
2. If you want to know where to see art quilts–sign up to receive the SAQA Art Quilt News E-letter here. On the left sidebar there is a place to sign up for the mailing list. Every Friday, you will get art quilt information and beautiful images delivered right to your email box.
3. If you don’t blog, but would like to share your solo or small group show information with the folks around here–just go to my contact page, and send me an email. I’d love to be a hub for sharing that information.
4. Today is my birthday!
Happy, Happy Birthday, Maria-The Great and Beautiful! Like fine wine, you just get better and better with age. I enjoyed this post. I especially liked the piece called Embers. Very evocative. I hope your day is as wonderful as you are!
Thank you Lila! I’m glad you enjoyed Valerie’s work. It really is a wonderful celebration of place.
Thank you Kathy!
Wonderful post today, Maria – you celebrating our friend Valarie was a treat for all of us. HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY… and many more.
Bethany in Kingston ON
Thank you Bethany!
You celebrating your friend on your birthday- a great tribute to friendship. Beautiful work that Valerie has done and congrats to Valerie on the show !
Happy Birthday Maria! And hugs!
Thank you Colleen! Hugs back.
Happy Birthday, Maria! You, Valerie, and I have shared many joys and frustrations at the Barn. It’s wonderful that you featured Valerie’s work and images of her solo exhibition on your blog.
Thank you Sandra–you know I’d love to feature your work here too!
Happy birthday to you. Celebrate to the fullest possible. Love the quilt pieces.
Thank you Mary!
Great post, and happy birthday! I hope you’ve had a great day!
Thank you Pam!
Happy Happy Maria!
Thank you Petra!
Happy Birthday, thanks for introducing me to Valerie! Love her ‘Summer in the City’!
Thank you Justine!
Love and hugs to you for your birthday,Maria.I loved seeing this artist’s work.What inspires her is really evident in the final work.I can’t tell from the pictures, but what is the stitching pattern like? does it follow the outline of the cut shapes she uses? (I don’t know if my question makes sense, but I don’t know how else to frame it)I hope you have a wonderful day..S
Sue-Thank you! Valerie does beautiful line quilting on most of her pieces. You can see it best in Portal #2.
I love your blog Maria! It’s a pleasure to read and always inspiring. Having been in one of Nancy Crow’s classes, I laughed heartily at the picture of an exhausted you! Happy Birthday and thank you for writing such a wonderful blog.
Thank you Ann. It’s the comic relief that keeps me going.
Thank you for sharing all these photos. I have been an admirer of Valerie’s work for years. Her color sense is exquisite. It’s always nice to see the person behind the art. Hope you had a great birthday!
I’ve seen you post Valerie’s work on your Pinterest page. It has been wonderful having a front row seat to watch Valerie’s work evolve over the years. Thank you Sharon!
Happy Birthday! We can celebrate in Austin!
It’s a date!
Many happy returns on your special day, Maria
Thank you Lesley!