I am a glass-half-full kind of person. I tend to be optimistic, positive, and hopeful about my creative efforts, and most everything else. I think everyone should be this way and then wouldn't we have much more upbeat art in the world?! I tend to create art that is about the beauty of color, line, shape, texture, and balance in life, nature and experience. I respect the desire of other artists to reflect the human condition and the sad, desperate, tragic conditions of our world, but I don't want to encourage people to hang that kind of sentiment in their homes and live with it. I want to influence their day from the moment they wake up to see the lovely color and swoop of my quilting lines to the time they go to bed and see the shadows and depth of my layered cloth. I am “Sally Sunshine”, I want to make everyone smile, and I've been that way from birth. Just ask my mother.
When I begin to work on a piece I am usually influenced by the color and texture of the cloth. I choose fabrics and shapes to create a pleasing collage and then I add stitch to communicate movement and mood and to lead the eye around the piece in an enjoyable way. I add embellishment that furthers that effort---or sometimes not, if it isn't necessary to the finished work. I hope that the viewer will enjoy the piece from the standpoint of theme or subject, as well as because I have a well-balanced, artistically pleasing composition.
Many of my pieces are made up of a variety of textures and materials and I enjoy experimenting with various surface design techniques. My work is mostly non-representational although I frequently incorporate recognizable imagery, often from nature. I like to add the unexpected ingredient that will catch someone's eye and make them wonder how I thought of it. With these elements in my compositions I hope to communicate a mood, a feeling, or a memory of a place once visited in reality or imagination. My art seeks to mean something to the viewer but it is open to their own interpretation based on their background, experience and views of the world around them. Maybe it lets them escape from those negative “human conditions” that might be in their life, or maybe it just lets them remember a time or place where they felt good and happy. Feedback from people who buy my work leads me to believe that the feelings they experienced that led them to purchase the piece stay with them over the years as they live with it and enjoy it in the light from dawn to dusk. I find that very affirming and rewarding.
So, although I understand the need of some artists to create art that reflects the more negative aspects of life and love, in my work I feel the need to reflect beauty, hope and the good things about our world. I hang my work in my own home when it is not in galleries or shows and I enjoy living with it and discovering the details of it again and again. Throughout the day as I walk by it or enter a room where it hangs I see it in a different light---not only the physical light but that which reflects the mood I am in at that moment. We definitely create art based on our moods as well as viewing it that way. Through my art I can make someone smile or trigger a memory that is meaningful to them. I do feel good about it and will likely continue on this Pollyanna journey. Because hey, it's my art and that's who I am. If you don't like that maybe you need a little more positive influence in your life. As Martha says, “It's a good thing!”