Anyone who has looked at my body of artwork as displayed on my website will probably have noticed that I have taken a new direction with my work in the last year or so. This is mainly in the way of developing a new theme. I want to capture some of the child-like wonder of small children discovering the world around them. As a mum I get to appreciate again the many small things which children find so wonderful, but which we as adults tend to take for granted (such as bubbles popping, water dripping, caterpillars crawling and clouds drifting).
Portraying this in my quilts has meant a lot of experimenting with how to depict children, especially as I would like to stay with the techniques I have been using up till now (machine piecing and quilting with some printing in the background). I don't want to produce photographically real images, but also don't want the figures I portray to appear too sweet or too cartoon-like. While I have already made several quilts depicting children, I am still working with different ways to portray them in my quilts.
At the same time, I wonder if part of the reason why I am spending so much time playing and experimenting with ideas is because I am a little bit shy about venturing into this new range of quilts. I have so much positive feedback and success with my 'eucalyptus' quilts that moving on from those makes me a little bit apprehensive. How will they be received? Am I able to portray more complex ideas as an artist, or should I be staying with a theme and style that I know works?
Anyway, I suppose you might wonder where this post is going... Yesterday I received news that my most recent major artwork 'What does YOUR family look like?' has been accepted into Art Quilt Australia '09. I am very excited about this as it gives me some of the confirmation I was looking for, for my 'childhood' quilts. Actually, what I feel is almost relief - I really want to pursue this theme further into a solo exhibition, but wanted to be sure that what I have in mind is also accepted by others as 'good art'. Now I feel like I have been given a bit of a go-ahead for all those ideas I have in my head and in my sketchbook. So be prepared for a flurry of cutting and stitching in the next months (that is, if I can drag by growing belly and iron-deficient legs upstairs to cut out the next quilts)!!