Saturday, January 25, 2014

Artist Highlight: Meg Marchiando

Marta & Annabelle - "Quirkies" by Meg Marchiando
I'm still doing too much catch-up and not enough creating, although I've almost finished a padfolio for a challenge and have a second one in the works. Because it's for a challenge, I can't show it yet. So instead, I'd like to point you to the latest work of one of the members of my art group, Meg of Blue Turtles Art. She has just completed two pieces (right) for an exhibit which opened last night at Panhandle Bank in Sandpoint, Id. The theme is "Flowers and Fabric" but it is open to all media. It was interesting to see what the local artists came up with (and no, I'm not one of them). More traditional quilts than I anticipated, plus photographs and paintings of flowers as one would expect.

Meg with her "Green Man" quilt
When Meg and I first met, we were loosely doing similar work - nature inspired designs in a basic square or rectangular format with edge finishes more or less traditionally executed (the photo left was taken last February at our second art group meeting). We both have diverged from that since then, Meg in particular, as she has really found her voice in creating children from fabric and stitch. 

Meg with her original kid Jack in progress
Specifically, she wanted to create a boy that would be doing a handstand on an actual bicycle sculpture in her living room. She brought "Jack" to our third meeting (right) where we discussed hanging and finishing options. She worked out the logistics, using a stiff interfacing in lieu of batting and strategically-placed velcro in lieu of hanging sleeves. She really liked not having to applique her creation onto a background, and we encouraged her to pursue this. But there were so many questions: What do I call them? They're not really quilts. Will they be accepted in the exhibits and how do I hang them? Will anyone want to buy them and at what price? 

Meg at exhibit opening explaining her process

All those questions have been answered over this last year, and it is stunning to see how her kids have grown from fairly static and small (yet cute like the ones in her website banner) to larger versions exuding life and energy like Annabelle.  Read Meg's own description of her latest "girls" here.

A house "quirkie" by Meg Marchiando
Meg has also toyed with fishes, houses and snowflakes which you can find in her Etsy shop. You can also see some of them along with her other work and see our roots and progression in this post about our joint exhibit last year.

I have to say, it has been so exciting sharing this journey with her and a joy to watch an artist develop such a distinctive style that is being well received. It's also gratifying to have developed a supportive friendship with her (as well as the others in my art group), one in which we do not feel in competition but strengthened as we pursue our artistic endeavors. 


Biblioteca Orobó Mikail said...

Hi Sheila, thanks for your updating!
I remember Meg, when I started to follow your blog I read about a meeting when she (and her fabric children)were there.
Congratulations to your art group for all the maturity and support.
It is good to read about communities, they are so important.
Great week and thanks again!

Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila, I am sorry that I posted my comment about this post with my other email.
Its me, Lucia.
Great week!

The Idaho Beauty said...

I thought that was you, Lucia. I mean, how many South American librarians could I have following my blog? ;-)

Yes, communities are everything!