ARTIST’S STATEMENT

I am a fabric artist who sews original abstract art works using traditional quilting techniques. Employing my own designs, I piece together fabric shapes with a sewing machine and by hand. My main materials are commercially printed fabric as well as fabric I’ve dyed and manipulated myself.

My work expresses my fascination with light, color, texture, materials, and process. I love the ritual of taking fabric of one color and changing it into another color with dye or bleach. I’m completely absorbed by the simple acts of washing, rinsing, drying, sewing, and ironing as I pull scores of separate colors together into a single piece. Like many traditional quilters, I’m devoted to precise construction. I differ from many traditional quilters in that I design and cut fabric in an effort to distort geometry. I work to create irregularity, using various shapes to impel the viewer’s eye to roam over the entire surface of the quilt, seeking the harmonies in the middle of contrast. I create my work in order to disappear into its making.

I also teach quilting. I love to help other quilt artists as they move from traditional designs to more free-form creations. I feel energized as I watch my students learn to improvise with shape and line, create more surprising color combinations, and gain the confidence required to do original work.

My artistic influences are eclectic and include the paintings of Paul Klee, Arthur Dove, and Ellsworth Kelly. I am also a student of world textile traditions ranging from Bolivian weaving to Seminole strip-piecing to the indigo tie-dyeing of Guinea. My work often contains fabric from, and visual references to, my travels to West Africa, Australia, Thailand, India, and South America.

I consciously fill my work with visual energy that flows from sources both very old and very new, with an intent to surprise and delight the viewer.

To order my book from Blurb (premium print-on-demand service), CLICK HERE.

Portraits of Barbara courtesy of Chuck Moses.

Barbara Ramsey-6.jpg
 Dancing Limbs, 2016

Dancing Limbs, 2016