questioning the medium

I have four active pieces in process right now in addition to an idea for a long-term collaboration with children, a full year's collection of weather maps for a piece on climate change and ideas brewing for others. All of them will probably end up on fabric using thread.

I was recently chosen as one of 30 artists being profiled in a new book by Martha Sielman entitled Art Quilt Inspirations: Abstracts. Part of that process required me to answer some probing questions about how and why I do my work. I'll save that discussion for Martha's expertise but the exercise brought me to this: Am I using the right medium?

The Robert & Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letter said this today: "When asked about painting's future purpose, abstract and photorealistic painter of landscapes Gerhard Richter replied that contemporary painters have both a connection to the tradition of painting and the need to depart from it. 'Questioning the medium,' says Richter, 'is part of the job.'" (to follow this insightful and inspiring missive: sign up here

Whew! I thought I was having a crisis of medium detachment....Good to know I am in great company.

So why do I use fabric and thread? texture, line quality, and the meditative space it requires. But also because it references time, tradition and craftsmanship. All mediums are valid, some feel nubbier, take more time and challenge the viewer to explore the surface of meaning. Quilting does that for me, it takes ideas and breathes a new level of meaning into them.