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Reflections of My Artistic Voice – Guest Blogger: Christina Fairley Erickson

December 12, 2018

Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Level 3 Exhibition – Blog 5 – last in  series.


I remember back in early 2011 going to the Quilt Museum in La Conner and seeing the “Four Embroiderers” exhibition.  This was the work of four of Gail’s diploma students: Marjorie Bachert, Maura Donegan, Sandra Little and Lisa Harkins.  I remember thinking at the time, “who would want to be called an embroiderer?”  Then I saw the incredible work on display and knew that there was something very different going on in this program.  Through many years of attending exhibitions at Gail’s Center for Creative Arts, I’ve seen her students progress into developing their own individual artistic style, which has been my goal.

While all of the work of the four embroiderers was incredible, Lisa Harkins’ work particularly inspired me.  Her 3-D Stumpwork birds made quite an impression on me and I took her Stumpwork course at Gail’s Center twice over the last several years.  My great blue heron piece “Focused Intent” is my own rendition of taking Stumpwork to a large scale piece.  

I’ve developed my theme of “The Water’s Edge”  over the last few years.  In our Level 3 Art & Design class, I focused on seaweed.  In Level 3 Experimental Stitch, I’ve challenged myself to move into more complex pieces, as well as moving up to the shoreline.  I’ve also enjoyed learning Goldwork (metal thread embroidery) and working more abstract pieces, in addition to my pictorial / representational work.  With all the stitch techniques I’ve learned over my years of study with Gail, I now proudly call myself an “embroiderer” and I can see my artistic voice reflected in the work I produce.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Penny Peters permalink
    December 12, 2018 6:10 am

    Until I saw these photos I hadn’t realized that even the Egyptian god is a bird! Lovely and inventive work. Congratulations!

  2. Linda Ingham permalink
    December 12, 2018 4:40 pm

    What a wonderful exhibition. I can see how Lisa Harkins influenced you. I love your herons – so much variety in the texture.

  3. December 12, 2018 7:04 pm

    Focused Intent is stunning! I wish I could see it in person. Looks like you reached your goal of developing your own artistic style. Congratulations on being an “embroiderer”! 🙂

  4. Lise Vandandaigue permalink
    December 14, 2018 10:50 pm

    So proud of you.
    Go girl sky is the limit

  5. Isabel Parker permalink
    January 13, 2019 4:10 am

    Beautiful work!

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