Skip to content

Birds, Bugs and Beasts, an Inspirational Art Theme …Guest Blogger: Susan Sasnett

August 26, 2017

Level 4 Studies in Stitch and Multi – Media ( Turquoise) blog 6, the last in this series. This group of 5 students will be showing the entire exhibit plus additional art pieces, (more than on the blog) at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum in La Conner from October 11th to Dec. 30th.   You won’t want to miss it. Gail Harker

Susan Sasnett’s Blog – When I first discovered Gail’s classes I didn’t think there was any way that I could attend a 2 year long class much less be a diploma student but here I am at the brink of completing my Diploma Level.   I have learned so many techniques and principals of art and design over the years.  More importantly I have learned to be an artist: working with an inspirational theme, developing my artist eye and developing the discipline of going to my art space every day.  Since knitting through high school I always have something creative going on in my hands but after Gail’s classes I have the tools and understanding to follow my creative passion to deeper and even more satisfactory levels.  For the past four years my inspiration theme has been Birds, Bugs and Beasts.  For this class I focused primarily on bird caricatures.  I am particularly interested in animal shapes and how the division of space is created within that shape.  I see endless possibilities for how to fill those spaces and continued exploration of my theme.  Thank you Gail and Penny for being my guide by my side, I will be forever grateful.

Stitch Art That Satisfies My Soul – Guest Blogger: Marie Plakos

August 18, 2017

I am a fiber artist and a photographer.   My fiber work includes using experimental materials, unique techniques, as well as traditional stitch in contemporary ways. I travel the world for photography and use my own photographs as inspiration for my fiber and stitch designs.

Photographing women around the world has drawn me to my current fiber work.  I see the beauty and strength of many women who live in adverse conditions.  Their handwork, use of color and design, speaks to the artist in me in every way.

My years of study with Gail Harker have given me the skills I needed to produce works of stitch art that satisfy my soul.


Create Outside the Box…Guest Blogger – Terri Shinn

August 13, 2017

Level 4 Studies in Stitch and Multi – Media (Turquoise)  Blog 4 in this series.

My inspiration for the last four years has been a study mostly of roots, rocks and the underground.  Trying to challenge myself to see how broad the underground theme could be, I ended up with research which may well lead to many different series.  Experimentation, learning to see, think, and create outside the box has given my work significantly more breadth and depth. Meeting, then bonding with many supportive wonderful people throughout these past eleven years has been a gift of a lifetime.

To see more of Terri’s Underground Art in a past blog click here.  






Learning Has Been a Life Long Habit…Guest Blogger – Isabel Parker

August 5, 2017

Level 4 Studies in Stitch and Multi-media (Turquoise) Blog 3 in this  series.

My formal schooling did not include any art courses so I started at the Gail Harker Centre for Creative Arts with almost no background of knowledge in the subject.  I think I even failed glue that first year!    But Gail is a fabulous teacher and was able to educate, encourage and challenge me to the point that, in spite of myself, I was producing art.   What a revelation!

With the help of Gail’s wonderful assistant, Penny Peters, and the support of my classmates, I have persevered through the last nine years to get here.  It feels amazing to have finally gained my Diploma in Experimental Stitch and Multi-Media.

As the end of my course work approached I realized that I would never actually be finished.  Learning has been a life-long habit for me and I don’t see it being over just because my course work is done.  Gail and Penny have given me the basis upon which to develop my artwork and I look forward to experimenting with further themed studies in stitch. 

Taking these courses over so many years with Gail Harker has been a life changing experience.  If I knew how wonderfully fulfilling it was, I would have signed up years earlier!  If you are considering taking any courses, stop debating and do it.  You will never regret it!   Isabel Parker

Isabel took historical fashion Inspirations for her art theme and particularly enjoyed flowers and patterns. To see more of Isabel’s Research for Art and Design, have a look at one of her earlier blogs  by clicking on this link or place her name in the Search box on the right. Gail




Wild, Wonderful and Full of Connections..Guest Blogger – Dianne Corso

August 1, 2017

Exhibition – Level 4 Studies in Experimental Stitch and Multimedia (Turquoise)

Some months ago, I asked Gail about the themes she saw in my work over the years. One response was a focus on connections. I’ve thought about this comment a good deal while finishing the pieces for this exhibition and concluded, of course, that Gail is correct. Much of my work, in all stages from conception through sampling to completion, is about connections–visual, physical and intellectual. This can be seen in the major pieces shown here. “Sentinel,” the wrapped and coiled copper wire sculpture, depends upon connections for structure as well as for visual impact. It reflects my nearly lifelong interest in Japanese culture and aesthetics, from a minor in Far Eastern Studies through my first really successful piece in this course of study, a fabric and stitch book based on a study of samurai armor. The waxed linen wrapped wire structures  are another example of physical connections necessary to the construction of the pieces also functioning as major decorative elements of the design. The form of the pieces was based on my earliest art making memory, a game I played with my cousins in which we “took a line for a walk,” drawing a squiggly line all over a piece of paper before connecting the line to the beginning point and coloring the resulting spaces in wild and wonderful ways.

Which aptly summarizes my years studying with Gail and my classmates: wild and wonderful and full of connections. To see more of Dianne’s work and blogs  either click on blogs to see and read about Memory Keepers or here to see and read about her love of texture.

Journey of an Artist July 23 – 9:15 a.m. Students Talk about their Artwork

July 22, 2017

Exhibition – Level 4 Studies in Experimental Stitch and Multimedia (Turquoise)

We have been cleaning, hanging and celebrating with a group of 5 students who have been preparing this past week for a major exhibition this weekend. July 22 and 23.  Sunday morning, come join us at 9:15 a.m. as each student will be talking about her artwork.  Do not miss this wonderful experience to hear about the Journey of an Artist. If you miss the talk come and see the show from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. I will be placing blogs up about each student.  Gail Harker


Before an exhibition a lot of work goes on behind the scenes.  Jane Clark faithfully cares for planters around the drive. Thank you Jane


Linda Ingham worked with me for 21/2 days before the exhibit.  We placed 30 tables in a closet so the rooms could be used for showing artwork.  Here she is touching up wall boards with paint to prepare for artwork. Thanks Linda.


Don brings out the 8 ft. boards for additional artwork and hangs them all in 2 rooms. Thanks for 35 years of carrying and hanging boards.


Don has an additional task of cooking for all of us while helpers and teachers stay off and on over a week period. So many meals over so many years.


Students begin to arrive with all their artwork 4 days before the event.


Penny Peters on right,  has worked with me a number of years. She arrives to give more support for hanging artwork.


George Taylor who was once part of this group comes from Alaska to help put up the exhibition. He and Dianne Corso are measuring her framed Goldwork.


Susan Sasnett has some artwork up and is putting last touches on her art books


Marie Plakos is beginning to hang the Goldwork


Isabel Parker is planning her wall layout.


Terri Shinn is positioning her textile sculpture and arranging Methusaleh’s  roots on a plinth.


Susan Lenarz is creating one of many pieces of floral artwork for the studios.


Just waiting for you….The show is terrific.      Gail Harker

Obsessed with Making an Art Quilt – Guest Blogger: Debra Jusak

July 20, 2017

Studies in Design and Experimental Hand Stitch Level 2 – Name: Lisianthus   Blog 3 

I love fabric, textiles, and color and began making quilts a few years ago, traditional designs but with more contemporary color combinations. Stumbling upon art quilts I became obsessed with wanting to make one. I realized I didn’t have much background for making sense of the techniques that I read in magazines and books. An exhibit of Gail’s student’s level 4 work at the La Conner Quilt Museum led me to a talk she gave about her students and classes, and here I am today. I began with the Level I Color Studies class and learned and loved the class so much, I continued on with Experimental Machine Stitch and Experimental Hand Stitch. Now, finishing up Level II I have learned a number of skills, techniques, and perspectives to use in continuing to make quilts, hopefully some of which will be art quilts.  Debra Jusak

%d bloggers like this: