Blossoms against blue skies
Swaying on summer breezes
Sweets scents of Spring
I was introduced to Barbara Williamson, the author of this poem, by her friend and co-author, Anne Copeland. Anne was recently a guest on this blog, writing about their book, Artful Alchemy. When I looked at Barbara’s website, I fell in love with the way she uses colour, painting with fabrics and a tangible joy.
Barbara is an award-winning artist living in Paradise, California and there is a sense of paradise in the landscapes she creates. “My love in design is landscapes,” she writes, “but I also work with animal spirit and goddess images as well as other images I consider to be spiritual.”
“People often ask me what draws me to want to make pictures in the fiber arts media. I tell them I love the textures of the different textiles, and I also love things like beading, embroidery, adding additional texture on the surface, painting and hand-dyeing, and I often use all of these techniques in my quilts. I also love nature, and since I can’t get out as much as I would love to, I use my imagination and creativity to create landscapes that I really enjoy. It’s my way of learning about different parts of the world as I did with my Lilies of the Pantanal quilt.”
Barbara’s work can be found in books, magazines, and exhibitions, and that is no surprise when you visit her website and explore her work.
“This is my Sacred Dawn quilt,” writes Barbara. “I did strips of multicolors around the border. This was a new technique for me and I like how it came out. There are three-dimensional parts on the trees and also I hand-painted the sky here. This piece was a lot of fun to do.” Personally, I love that tree… and I am in awe of the art, bags and quilts that Barbara creates from scraps of fabric, imagination and an inner vision of the world that seems to see only beauty.
I’m a parapeligic and paralyzed from mid-chest down because I was shot in the chest in 1969 with a 45. I was pregnant at the time of the shooting and it left me in a coma for a month.
My mother came to pray for me everyday and I believe that is why I survived.
Thankfully the spirits were looking out for me and my child lived.
When I came home to my mother’s house after being released from the hospital, I had my child on my mother’s front porch with the help of a friend and my mom. My baby was a preemy, 3lb 18oz.
I had amnesia when I finally woke up . Court was held in the hospital two days after I had woken and the man who shot me got 6 weeks in jail for stealing the gun he shot me with because I had lost my memory and could not remember him. He was later killed in prison for another crime.
I had to decide wheather to live or die and I chose to live. I had my little one to think of. I had to spend years in rehab learning to take care of my self and go to school to help regain my memory and my mom took care of my son while I recovered.
I fought my way back and have now become a professional artist, a member of Saqa, a member of my local art center and i sell my things in a local shop here in my town of Paradise . The shop helps the physically challenged in our community. I make bags, dolls, fabric bowls, fabric cuff bracelets and 3D landscape quilts using scrap fabric, and beaded bracelets, necklaces, and brooches. I was voted artist of the month last month in my local art center and I’m a grandmother of four wonderful grandchildren . My son is a wonderful father and I’m so proud of him.
I’ve always loved doing crafts. Im self taught and started teaching myself to sew in the early 90’s. We rented a house and it just happened to have a sewing machine on the second floor. So my husband at the time used to carry me upstairs so I could sew everyday. It was a God send. My favorite things to make are my landscape quilts.
It has been a long hard struggle but all along the way people have come into my life to help me to the next level, Anne Copeland being one of them.
She has been a friend and mentor for years and I am happy that our book was just published. Artful Alchemy: physically challenged fiber artists creating is available for sale on Amazon and Createspace.
I would like to write two more books . One about making fabric bowls and one about making mini landscapes.
To see more of Barbara’s work, please visit her website at Threadscape Studio.
All images copyright Barbara Williamson.