Photo by Akemi Maegawa

Due to my previous life in painting, I always feel a little at odds with the craft world because I solve problems from a painter’s standpoint, not from the materiality of a craft artisan. However, I still share some of the craftsman’s love of material, and that’s partly why I stay with the quilt medium. I also stay because of my growing conviction about the vernacular arts. As such, quiltmaking is relatively free of theoretical baggage and I don’t feel as intellectually confined by the debates du jour.


My work in quilts, nonetheless, evolves directly from drawing as it is my best resource. I work improvisationally, using both popular and abstract images, to discover new approaches to my work. It is a process to help keep my quilts from looking schematicized and to give them a spontaneity this time-consuming medium often lacks.


I like to work with popular images, everyday life and common materials. My work usually combines drawing, collage, assorted printmaking methods, photography and the computer. I use the details of my own life to create or solve riddles—how things hide or are obscured, how many things compete for my attention, how I gravitate towards particular themes or techniques at particular times in my life. For instance, my work was figurative for several years, though I still consider myself a landscape painter. This being busy with the noise of life strengthens my belief that the universal evolves from the local.