Instructor Profile - Ann Johnston

by - Sunday, August 09, 2009

When we put together the 2009 Symposium course calendar, we are limited to one or two photos of instructor works. Its a real shame because so much of the instructor work is breaking new ground or taking a technique to a high level of refinement. And, even though we think our course calendar is beautiful, it breaks our heart to run some of the colour photos as monotones. So, in some of the posts leading up to this fall's workshops we are going to showcase the instructor work that didn't fit into the calendar.

This year Ann Johnson will be teaching two workshops; Color by Accident and Dyed to Clamp. In February of 2009 Ann had an exhibit of her work at the Boger Gallery, College of the Ozarks, Missouri "Dyed to Stitch" the works ranged from full saturated colours to beautiful explorations of natural cream and rust tones. A full set of exhibition photos is available here.

What motivates Ann's work? Here is her artist statement: "The impetus for my work is the world around me, its shapes, patterns, colors and textures. I work toward a goal in each quilt I make, having a particular concept in mind that is sometimes specific, sometimes broad. I also usually have a task, something “new” I want to try. I use many different construction techniques, traditional and contemporary, depending on the idea of the quilt, so my quilts are often very different from each other. I may start with a rough sketch, a scale drawing, a computer printout, or a paint brush and a white piece of fabric. In making the quilt, I allow the design to evolve according to the physical processes, that is, how the dye flows on the fabric, where the last curved piece ends, or how the last line of quilting makes the fabric lay. Mastering dyeing and painting fabric has allowed me to expand the kinds of quilts I can make and now, more and more frequently the fabric I dye is itself a source of inspiration for the design and structure of a quilt. I consider each piece to be a step in my growth as an artist, something I had to try, a process to learn from, never an end. I am currently pursuing several interests, for example, the action of a wave, steps and ladders, cranes and chimneys, and the spaces they create. This year I have begun to look at some of my fabrics, dyed over and over again as art cloth, finished works in themselves."

Here are three images of Ann's work that we were looking at when we put the calendar together. We find the colours, implied textures and scope of the work to be very inspiring. These images link back to Ann Johnston's gallery page on her website.

As of this posting Ann's workshops are almost full but we do have one or two spaces available.

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