Gobble Gobble

Gobble Gobble, detail, Paula Kovarik

I teach a class about line. Following the thread is what I do. Needle down, head filled with thoughts, I let the line travel. I draw like this too. Something about letting the line tell me where it needs to go lets me tap into an unconsciousness that builds my stitch vocabulary, soothes my worried soul and brings thoughts to the surface. 

Gobble Gobble was done in one of my classes. You can see the practice one in white and the final in black here. It's about greed. I think.

Gobble Gobble, practice tile, Paula Kovarik. With the exception of the small independent circles that are stitched by the bird heads this drawing is one continuous line that builds the composition.

I don't pre-draw the lines to stitch in these pieces. Instead I begin with an idea of what motifs will repeat in the work. In this case it was the bird-like heads that are gobbling up the resources. As the line travels through the piece the architecture of the composition is created with a connective tissue of swirls, leaf forms and repetitive pattern.

Gobble Gobble, Paula Kovarik, 12" x 12" 2018

This piece will be part of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Benefit Auction. SAQA is an international organization that promotes quilts as art and forges a community of artists who share a common passion for fiber and stitch. The auction will take place online from September 14 through October 7.

A treasury of images

I have this lovely book on my desk. I spent two hours paging through it yesterday. I've done this several times since it came in the mail. Each time I find yet another page I want to tag and remember. Each time I end with a feeling of awe and inspiration. These artists are GREAT. And this book shows them off with gusto. There are 126 artists in the book — colorists, story-tellers, modernists, painters, quilters, dye-masters, fearless truth-tellers and emotionally vocal ARTISTS. That's Artists a big A.

This worthy book of art quilts written and curated by Martha Sielman is a must have. That cover image is from Pat Pauly, a master of dyed and printed fabric.

The curator and author of the book, Martha Sielman, is a tireless advocate for this art form. She is the executive director of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), an international organization of artists working in this medium. Her efforts spotlight 29 artists in more detail while also compiling a set of galleries that expand her narrative.  I am profiled in the book and know that it was a significant honor to be included.

There are 300 full-color, full-throttle, full-frontal images that will take your breath away.

I spend most of my time talking to myself while I work. It's a conversation that can be non-linear and confusing on some days and on point and frenzied on others. The work follows my thoughts up alleys and down valleys. Sometimes I come up with something that might make sense to others. Emerging from my cocoon of conversation I am energized by other artists. Especially artists who work in cloth and thread.

Martha has given us a way to see other artist journeys through this work. It's the next best thing to a round table discussion. I recommend it to all seekers. If you purchase the book through the SAQA website you will receive 5 notecards featuring works by SAQA juried members and 45% of the proceeds will support the organization.

What could be better? Order your copy now.  Click here.

I'd love to bring my favorite artists together for a discussion on why we do this work.

I'd love to bring my favorite artists together for a discussion on why we do this work.

Stream of Consequences

The SAQA show, Earth Stories, has opened at the Michigan State University Museum. My entry, Stream of Consequences, honors the work being done by the Wolf River Conservancy.The show is an invitational devoted to good things happening on the earth. The statement for the piece is below the images. Each artist created two pieces, one that measured 12" x 14" and the actual piece, measuring 72" x 72".

Stream of Consequences, ©2013, Paula Kovarik, 11 x 14

Stream of Consequences, ©2013, Paula Kovarik, 71.5" x 71"

It comes from the country, courses through the suburbs, and wraps around the city of Memphis. The Wolf River, a small spring fed river of 90 miles, is one of the great arterial systems of the Mississippi River and all the life that it nurtures. As it flows, it filters, it floods, it captures and distributes. It is a filament that takes everything that flows downhill and sends it forward. It is the meandering collector of last resort for runoff, sprawl, industry and agriculture. Efforts to control it, channel it, or deny its value nearly led to its ruin—until it gained an advocate.

Since 1985, The Wolf River Conservancy has protected and defended the river in the face of development and abuse. The group has cast the Wolf as a community treasure that physically weaves the region together. They know full well its vital function and spectacular potential. They understand it is a pattern that connects.

See the show at:
Michigan State University Museum, May 11 - November 30, 2014
, East Lansing, Michigan
University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design, January 19 - February 28, 2015, Warrensburg, Missouri