ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just in Time for Christmas

Have you noticed that they started playing Christmas songs on the radio in early November this year? People will be all Christmased out by December! I for one am celebrating already because I have just narrowly escaped jury duty (at least for now). But in the spirit of the season, and while there is still time to order them and receive them before Christmas, I want to introduce you to two new books that will make great Christmas gifts for any artist, art quilter, or art quilt lover on your list.

Martha Sielman, the Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) is fast becoming a major author and curator in the art quilt world. Following on her hugely successful Masters Art Quilts, Vol 1 (published in 2008), Lark Books has just recently released her Masters Art Quilts, Vol 2.
Just like in Masters Vol. 1, Masters Vol. 2 brings us another 40 outstanding contemporary quilt artists with luscious photos of their work and an essay about each one's artistic influence and methods. This time Sielman delves into the interesting backgrounds of many of these artists.

Masters Vol. 1 is still available and comes highly recommended by me. It focuses more heavily on North American artists, whose names we are all familiar with (such as Hollis Chatelain, Jane Sassaman, Joan Schulze, Yvonne Porcella, Katie Pasquini-Masopust, Susan Shie, Inge Mardal & Steen Hougs, Michael James, and Velda Newman). It also includes Canadian artists Pamela Allen and Cher Cartright.

Masters Vol. 2 is far more international in scope. While it does include names well known in North America, such as Jane Dunnewold, Paula Nadelstern, Laura Wasiloski, Elizabeth Busch, Emily Richardson, and Tim Harding, it also contains a lot of artists that are new to me, and some that I have only recently learned about. Dorthy Caldwell is the one Canadian featured in Vol. 2. I find myself particularly enamoured with the elegant portraits by Dutch artist Leslie Gabrielse, and the very poignant and emotional portraits by French artist Genevieve Attinger. American artist, Alice Beasley's portraits and still lifes are absolutely captivating as well.

Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) also publishes a book each year called "Portfolio". This year's is Vol. 18, and as always it includes one art work by each of SAQA's Professional Artist members. I own copies from the last 5 or 6 years. Each year I enjoy poring through Portfolio, enjoying the variety of styles and being inspired by the creativity of my colleagues.

Both books can be purchased from the SAQA Bookstore.

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