|Channeling Ernst Haeckel #2, detail.|
The Newton Free Library hosts a monthly exhibit in the gallery, highlighting the work of local artist(s) or organizations such as the Newton Camera Club. The month of April brought Color, Line and Shape in Fiber, twenty-three works by local textile artists Sandy Gregg and Valerie Maser-Flanagan.
|Channeling Ernst Haeckel #2, Sandy Gregg.|
You don't need to know that Ernst Haeckel, 19th-century zoologist, discovered many microscopic species to enjoy the movement and color of Sandy's homage. According to the hand-out at the gallery:
A retired college administrator, Sandy Gregg began making bed quilts and quilts for the wall in the 1970s. At the beginning it was a hobby, but in retirement has turned into a full-time obsession. Sandy uses a wide variety of surface design and other experimental techniques with paint, dye and non-traditional materials on cloth to create collage-like paintings that are quilted.
|Riverbed, Valerie Maser-Flanagan.|
Valerie Maser-Flanagan also finds inspiration in the natural world; lines of quilting echo the pieced seams in her composition, evoking ripples, currents and the sculpted edges carved by flowing water. More about Valerie, again from the exhibit information:
Valerie began as a traditional quilt maker but became interested in creating original designs. In 2009 she began her studies with Nancy Crow, a renowned artist. This experience changed Valerie's approach to design. Two important changes were to use hand dyed solid fabric instead of commercial prints and to focus on the lines created in the piecing process as integral to the design of the composition.
|Cracks in the System, Sandy Gregg.|
Sandy also quilts her objects heavily to make multi-layered works that seem to have accumulated and coalesced over time. Her designs often feature letters and numbers, and remind me of the strata of graffiti and handbills accreted on urban walls.
|Whispers of the Past #3, Sandy Gregg.|
Sandy and Valerie first met in a class taught by Nancy Crow at the Fuller Museum in 2009. They use different methods to create art that is made out of fabric and is stitched. Valerie freely cuts lines and shapes out of her hand-dyed fabric, composes on a design wall and then stitches the pieces to make improvisational compositions. Sandy most often applies paint and dye to a whole piece of fabric which is treated like a painter's canvas. Both artists are working in fiber and mix dyes and paints from primary colors as a painter might. Their focus is on the principles of line and shape in their compositions.
|Chrysalises #3, Valerie Maser-Flanagan.|
|Three Figures, Valerie Maser-Flanagan.|
|Channeling Ernst Haeckel #3, Sandy Gregg.|
|Channeling Ernst Haeckel #3, detail.|