‘Walk in the Woods’ theme lets artists branch out

“Aspen Forest” by Cindy Williams of Paonia is part of “A Walk in the Woods” exhibit now showing at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX in Philadelphia. The special exhibit is the work of members of the Art Quilt Association, based on the Western Slope.

“In Contrast” by Eldrid Schafer of Clifton sets warm high desert colors against cool blues and whites of heavy snow. She was inspired by complaints about the area’s dry winter.

“Winter in Yellowstone” by Susan Strickland of Grand Junction depicts “a bucket list” item of spending Christmas at a snow lodge in Yellowstone National Park.

“Spirit Walk” by Kathleen Malvern of Grand Junction employs copper fabric and large-scale aspen leaves for movement and depth. Subtle use of turquoise fabric makes a good focal point, according to the juror’s statement.

“Winter Walk in My Woods” by Laurie Marks of Grand Junction was inspired by hiking in Colorado National Monument and reflects her change in direction to more abstract designs.



■ Does the piece have a focal point, while being an integrated whole?

■ Is there a path for the eye to follow?

■ Does the piece exhibit originality and a sense of the artist?

■ Does it push boundaries or indicate emotional impact?

■ Has the artist mastered appropriate techniques so that they enhance the work?

— From Rosalie Dace’s juror’s statement; her website is http://www.rosaliedace.co.za

If you’re walking in the woods this time of year, no doubt it’s the lemon sheen of Colorado’s quivering aspens that enthralls you.

Nature’s seasonal show eventually ages to an amber glow and, finally, the trees’ barren limbs reach skyward above winter’s snowy ground below them.

Works of art in themselves, trees of all species are central to the theme “A Walk in the Woods,” an exhibit that ends today at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XIX in Philadelphia.

Ten pieces of fiber art are featured, all made by members of the Art Quilt Association, based on the Western Slope.

These quilts also were showcased in August at the World Quilt Show-New England X 2012 in Manchester, N.H.

Both venues afford enviable exposure for art quilters in our area. The works were juried by contemporary quilter and instructor Rosalie Dace of Durban, South Africa, who selected five as the top entries. I list them here in reverse order:

5. Cindy Williams of Paonia, who is new to art quilting, was inspired by a state icon to create “Aspen Forest.” Juror Dace comments: The touch of greens is very successful with Williams’ choice of a reduced color range.

4. Kathleen Malvern of Grand Junction admires the mystical stories and legends of Native Americans. In “Spirit Walk,” she depicts trees embracing these native spirits upon entering the forest solitude.

Juror Dace praises Malvern’s use of copper fabric, as well as the scale of the leaves, which add movement and depth to the quilt.

3. Laurie Marks of Grand Junction turned her love of hiking in Colorado National Monument into a veritable abstract design titled “Winter Walk in My Woods,” representing a change of direction in her life and her work, toward a more intuitive process. The strong, almost abstract piece is “pleasing to the eye,” Dace writes in her juror’s comments.

2. Susan Strickland of Grand Junction captures a snowy, peaceful scene with “Winter in Yellowstone,” a pictorial quilt with stark trees and a crystal-clear stream of hand-dyed and painted fabric. Dace remarks on Strickland’s strong composition, range of values from dark to light and balance of linear elements and foreground texture.

1. Eldrid Schafer of Clifton counters warm desert colors against cool blues and whites of heavy snow — a rebellion from the recent dry winter — with her entry “In Contrast.”

Juror comment: Good choice of fabric with use of color and value, well-integrated with stitched and drawn line work.

“This juror (Rosalie Dace) was a special treat for us,” says Schafer. “An international teacher and artist to choose your work feels like quite an honor.”

Dace earlier taught a multiple-day workshop here in Grand Junction, sponsored by the Art Quilt Association, and may return in 2014, Schafer says.

See a gallery of all 10 quilts in the exhibit at http://www.theartquiltassociation.com, including two that tied in the members’ choice voting: “Pioneer Cabin” by Terry Lee of Carbondale and “El Darien Rain Forest” by Jeanette Davis of Grand Junction.

Most important: Make time for a walk in the woods, no matter what the season.

Email Sherida.Warner@


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