Sunday, August 9, 2015

The art quilts of Karen Schulz

Karen Schulz is an award-winning Washington DC-area artist, whom I met at last year's SAQA conference in Virginia. Karen was on a panel of artists and spoke to the conference about her work, her inspiration, and her career.
Out the In Door, 58 x 66, Karen Schulz
I find Karen's art exciting: her use of hand-dyed cloth, her concern with composition, balance and opposition, her use of shape and line.
Out the In Door, Karen Schulz (detail)
I use fusing to construct my Cityscapes, which involves collaging one shape to another with a heat-activated webbing of glue. Karen's uses "improvisational piecing" as her construction method, sewing one piece to the next. Her lines are created by couching a heavy cord to the quilted piece.
Stonehenge-ish, 28 x 47.5, Karen Schulz
It will soon be four years since I began my Cityscapes series, and I have a sense that I am ready to have my work evolve to a more abstract form of expression. I would also like to work larger, and it would be awkward to do that with my current technique of using heat-away stabilizer to guide my stitching line. Finally, I would like to dispense with mounting my work onto a painted canvas. I feel that while this gives needed "presence" to smaller pieces, it doesn't respect the integrity of the cloth medium. Perhaps larger, unmounted work could find acceptance in a gallery setting.
The Ellipse, 34.5 x 24.5, Karen Schulz
By taking a couple of classes this summer in abstract collage and painting, I hope to develop a better feel for abstract work. Meanwhile, Karen's compositions provide a marker of just what the possibilities are.


Karen Schulz said...

Heather, I just came across your lovely post. I fondly remember our conversation at the SAQA conference in Virginia. Will you be in Philly next spring? I hope we can connect again!

Heather Dubreuil said...

So glad you too will be at the conference. Look forward to seeing you there!