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Monday, August 13, 2012

Aullwood: The wonders of Vita Marie Lovett and Anne Theobald


Vita Marie Lovett, "Robinson Farm Girl," 28" x 22.5" NFS
For the past several years, I have had the pleasure of introducing people to art quilts at the Aullwood Nature Center's art quilt show.  Vita Marie Lovett's and Anne Theobald's work always astonishes the visitors.  Taking at look at Vita Marie's work, it is easy to see why.

At first, from a distance, the visitors don't realize that it ISN'T a painting...but a quilt.  When you get up to it, they then realize that the entire surface if painted with threads.  Vita Marie Lovett uses acrylic paints to paint on the fabric in the general color she wishes the piece to have.  She then machine stitches over it, laying in multple colors of thread in order to give the piece the dimension and depth she wishes to achieve.

Quite honestly, I don't understand how her quilts manage to be distortion free and usually this amount of thread work usually causes mine to bump and sway from all the extra threads.

Vita Marie Lovett, "Robinson Farm Girl" detail
Here, you can more easily see the thread work, and below is her artist statement:

"This farm gal is a Buff Orpington hen who has the pleasure of living in a five story 1915 dairy barn. The girls come and go through an open side window.  Robinson Farm, located in Woodstock, Vermont, is part of the Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast.  Now you can really see who provides the breakfast.

My subject matter is a simple door, yet I find that it is open to so many possibilities.  I feel that the shapes and textures of old structures lend themselves to reinterpretation in fabric.  I enjoy the challenge of creating the illusion of rustic wood and peeling paint with thread, hence my most recent work, my Primitive Door Series.

I worked for an architectural firm for 12 years and also did free-lance graphic design. Working in this field has made me more focused on small details; it has carried through to my artwork.  I am currently working full time as a mixed media fiber artist.

I live in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains where I raise chickens and share a studio with two crazy cats."

I would love to meet Vita Marie in person some day as we seem to have a lot in common in our interest in old buildings and small details....and although I don't raise them, I do love to look at chickens...much to my husband's amusement, I make a beeline to the Poultry Barn at the area fairs...along with the Sheep barn...You can see more of Vita Marie's work and read more about her method on her website.   You can read what I wrote about her piece in 2009 here..

Ann Theobald, "Impression:  Strata", 14" x 18" $300
I was really happy to see Anne Theobald's work at Aullwood again this year....and was stunned to see that her piece "Impressions: Strata" hangs next to mine and that we were both inspired by the same thing.  Unlike Vita Marie's work, Anne's work is entirely hand done, and is a celebration of texture and color.  I wrote about her work last year here.

This isn't a really good shot...or rather, at the resolution I post with it isn't the greatest.  I also don't think that the "barn board" background does it the best, but it does work well with the rest of the quilts it hangs with. As I said before, I think that the quilts are hung more for color groupings than statements, but at least this and mine really do work together.  My piece, "Soil Horizons" is the one you see partially, with the buttons...I think Anne is showing the differences in soil color (referred to as soil horizons) but it could just as easily be showing the bands of earth as you see it from the sky.


Anne wrote: "Sometimes a thought needs to be expressed, or a color, but more often one fabric piece leads to another. I am fascinated with constructing something with small bits and left overs. I love "painting with and on" fabric, threads and exploring new trends in the art quilt world.  I trust my intuition to lead me to new expression, recording experiences and perceptions , whether it is of the places I have visited or the feelings of being at this age in time. I continue learning new skills and techniques with great joy."


Anne Theobald, "Impression: Contours", 23.5" x 17.5" $450

Perhaps the "Strata" can also be layers of emotion....and that's one of the great things about art.  The meaning is often the interaction of the viewer and the piece...and the emotions and reactions of the viewer may be entirely different than what the artist had in mind....but they are both valid.

Anne has been working with fabric and thread for 40 years....actually, about the same amount of time that I have been quilting.  Like me, Anne loves the connection that working with needle and thread makes with people across cultures and time.  Thread, fabric, color, texture, dimension, all work together and connect us even though our end results may be very different.

Anne Theobald, "Impression: Contours," detail. 
The fact that Anne's work is framed is a good thing...the texture calls out for you to run your hand over it....but the frame is a reminder that too many people doing this would destroy the work.

I think of all the pieces Anne has in the show this year, my favorite is this last one, "Under the Waterfall."  I love the colors, I love the contrast of the white bursts, which speak of the bubbles and diamonds formed from sunlight striking the water.

Anne Theobald, "Under the Waterfall", 17.5" x 15.5" $400.
Both Vita Marie Lovett and Anne Theobald are fellow Studio Art Quilt Associate members...maybe if I'm lucky, I just might be able to meet them some day.



4 comments:

Alison Schwabe said...

Well Lisa, I have known Anne for many years, beginning with EGA in Denver where we lived for several years back in the late 80's. Having seen her quilting develop from the embroidery and other fibre arts background, in much the same way as mine did, I take real delight in seeing these latest works. We STILL have something in common it seems - she wrote she too enjoys creating something with small leftover bits and leftovers! Being widely geographically separated now, we haven't had a good old catchup for years, but this has given me some insight into where her art is now. Thankyou for featuring Anne's work.

vitamarie said...

Thank you Lisa for your kind words about my work. I apprecaite your sharing it with your blog followers, it is quite an honor!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Alison, I would love to meet Anne someday. You are so lucky!

Vita Marie...I mean every word I say, and I am sure that you enjoy the disbelief when people first see your work as well. Such a kicker to tell them "yes, this is a quilt.." and know that their world has expanded in that quilts are now more than something their granny did.

Anne Theobald said...

Thanks for posting pix of my work againin the Aullwood show. Since I'm too far away (Denver) to see the show it's a joy to get to see my pieces hanging. I'm in good company!