Monday, March 19, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Linda Kittmer

I'd like to introduce you to an artist who does some very fun and interesting fiber work, Linda Kittmer. I'm always interested in the process and the history behind an artist and their work and Linda kindly agreed to share her story with you.

How did you become an artist? 
2012 Bead Journal Project by Linda Kittmer
I guess I’ve always been an artist, or at least had some artistic ability.  I loved art in high school and took some fine arts electives in university, but never thought of pursuing it as a career.  Then, as is so often the case, life got busy and art was put on the back burner.  In 1999 I began quilting.  I was a self taught quilter and quickly discovered that I preferred creating my own unique designs rather than use a pattern.  From there I moved to art quilts, fibre art and mixed media work.   

What need are you fulfilling, why do you make art?
I find working on my art very relaxing.  When things are going well, my art is a wonderful pastime, allowing me to express who I am and how I see the world.  It allows me to play!  And as Marion Boddy-Evans says, “I believe art is foremost for the artist who creates it.  You do it for your soul, and if the rest of the world gets something from it, that’s a bonus.” 
Rock Paper Scissors by Linda Kittmer
But, perhaps more important to me right now is the fact that when life presents challenges, my art becomes therapeutic.  To quote Twyla Tharp, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”  I am currently struggling with depression as the result of a concussion I incurred after an accident, and my personal commitment to do art everyday is incredibly helpful in allowing me to keep things in perspective.  John Updike summed it us so well when he said that “What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit”.
What is your favorite medium and why? 
It’s really hard to say what my favourite medium is.  I enjoy experimenting with a wide variety of art media (various fibres, paints, paper, inks, beads, etc.) but I usually come back to something that allows me to incorporate stitch.  I love free-motion quilting and thread sketching, and I also do a lot of beading and hand stitching. 
What is your favorite ongoing project and how did you become involved in it? 

I’m currently working on a relatively large piece that I’m hoping to have accepted into a juried show next year.  This piece was inspired by some of the needle felted work done by Jane LaFazio.  I’ve started with hand dyed pieces of left over bamboo batting as a base.  Over that I’ve layered all sorts of wonderful yarns, wool and silk rovings, hand dyed cheese cloth, etc.  The next step will be to add a lot of hand stitch and then some beading.  I love the unpredictability I get when working on my embellishing machine.  It’s so much fun to watch the piece evolve in front of my eyes!  
You Are Unique by Linda Kittmer
If your curiosity has been sparked, head over to Linda's blog and check out more of her work. While you are there read her review of my Bead It Like You Mean It DVD. She'll be giving away a copy so be sure to leave a comment there for a chance to win.