Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Question of the Month, Jan's reply

Here is Jan's answer to the question, "How did you get started making your art?  What steps led you to where you are, what you are creating now?"  All art shown in this post created by Jan.
My earliest memory of needle work was sitting at my grandmother's knee, being taught to knit.  Also, my mother drew around animal shaped cookie cutters on muslin and taught me the basics of embroidery.  I did a lot of embroidery on clothing in high school, I made my own clothes too.
  I believe my first real steps towards becoming an artist were fueled by an article by Bird Ross in Threads magazine.  She told how she created raw edged garments with wild fabrics.  I had to make one, I still have that first bolero style jacket but I have made many many more since then.  I began to sell them and eventually I was ending up with so many fabric scraps that I decided I should make quilts and so I did.

That first quilt I  also still have, and I moved into making fiber art wall quilts, and now am into more mixed media and needle felting.  My main passion involves color and thread in some form or other, but I make good use of beads and various paints and pens to supply color too.
 I think being involved in this Stitch n' Bitch group for the past 9 years has really helped keep me on track and fueled my passion as an artist.  These women are always so positive and cheerful, as well as talented, I don't know if I would be as focused without their continued support.  Thank you, my friends!

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  1. Jan, I love that you have special memories of your Grandma teaching you to knit....and that you made clothes for yourself as a teen. That is so neat! Enviable! Maybe getting all that early encouragement is why you are the best encourager now. "Encourager!" That is a perfect adjective for you, dear friend. You are quick to admire our work, always ready to give 'asked for advice' and eager for a new challenge. You step outside your own comfort level with projects, so your example makes it easier for us to do the same.
    It has been a pleasure to watch your artistic endeavors over these last 9 years. You never cease to amaze me with your ability to go 'outside the box.' I like very much your style of artwork, but have to admit that your more recent bead work is really getting my attention. I LOVE your beaded hearts!
    Keep at it, my friend! I can't wait to see what you will try next! (Then maybe I'll get to try it.) Yep, you are a great Encourager, Jan!

  2. I so enjoyed reading your answer, Jan. You are an inspiration to us all and so encouraging. I actually wrote that before reading what April said above, so that is two votes for "Encourager." I love all the pics you put on for others to see. We always talk about you, but now they can actually see what you are doing. When I think artist...you definitely come to mind! Thank you for sharing so much with us as a group. We love you.

  3. I added a lengthy comment and it wouldn't take it! Hmmm....So, I will say again...when I think of artist, I think of you. You have encouraged us time and again to try new things and it has always been sooo fun and gets us out of our own little world for a bit. Thank you for your encouragement and ability to help us stretch out of our norm. We love you.

  4. Thanks, April and Mary, for your kind comments. I truly believe that your support, the support of this group, is a big part of what keeps me going, keeps me creating things. You always encourage me and find something positive to say about what I do. I think we all do that for each other and that is why we keep getting together, week after week even though we have to travel so far to do so. Thanks! I love you all too!

  5. Your creativity Jan seems like your second breath, your second heart beat. I love the foto from you it is from your birthday party, isn't it? ;-)) Anja

  6. Jan-I loved seeing all your work and that is a great picture of you. You and your studio with all the beautiful pieces you've done, is inspiration to us all. I feel very lucky to have you as a friend.