Exploring Your Artistic Voice in Contemporary Quilt Art

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

I found this book extremely disappointing. at best, this should be a blog post. there wasn't any substantive information that would help someone create art quilts that express their individual artistic voice.
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As a fibre artist, I found this book  good, full of sound advise on experimentation, building on strengths and realizing weaknesses, and mainly to believe in yourself.  Sandra Sider tells of her journey over the years. There are some beautiful example of the quilt art she has produced and built on over time, and she talks about how some of her pieces came about and points out how she felt some went wrong. 
Her information is very helpful especially in the advice on writing an artist statement for exhibition, talking to other artist,  and to never stop believing in you self.
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"How do I develop my artistic voice, and what exactly is that?" is the second most asked question in Sandra Sider's art quilt critique workshops. Inspired by the closing statement in Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, "there's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice," Sider was motivated to take the risk of sharing her quilts and journey as an artist in the public platform of a book.  

Sider begins with childhood memories of quiltmaking in her family and her early traditional quilts. In the 70s she saw quilt exhibitions that included "outsider art" that broadened her view of quiltmaking. A friend who wanted to learn to make quilts combined cyanotype images on fabric for quilts and this technique spoke to Sider and started her on her art quilt journey.

Sider shares the quilts she made over her career, explaining her growth in technique and artistic eye. She was not interested in traditional "pretty" quilts, but art that evoked a response. 

Sider shares what she has learned.

"Artistic voice" is not a goal, but a process, Sider writes. We sometimes get lost in the process or making a piece. We are warned to keep the purpose of your art piece in mind. Editing is important; too much machine quilting can obscure, fabric color choices may not match the message, over embellishing can create confusion.

Art education is ongoing for the artist, always trying new techniques and materials. Viewing art exhibitions can lead to new insights and inspiration. Draw from everything in your life. Keep a notebook of ideas, listen to critiques. Self-promotion is a part of a quilt artist's success.

Sider's book will inspire quilt artists in their journey. Her ability to self-critique makes her a sympathetic and approachable teacher. 

I was given access to a free egalley by the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.
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