Updated: Oct 16, 2022
I could stare at this quilt all day. Isn't it lovely?
A few years back, I met the artist, Ann Mayse through a six month course I was teaching, called Working in a Series. Ann was new to the Bay Area, and looking for a quilting community to connect with. In actuality, I created Working in a Series for just that purpose - community building, along with providing a safe space for discussions on creativity and exactly how to go about Working in a Series. The course turned out to be a definite community builder, with most of the students signing up multiple times. Friendships were built and a lot of amazing work evolved from that group. The course eventually morphed into what we affectionately call The Tuesday Morning Quilting Group. I think I can safely say, we have bonded for life.
Today, I would like to celebrate Ann Mayse and her beautiful quilts.
Ann has been a joy to watch through the past few years, as she took this journey of listening to her inner voice and blazing a trail on her own signature style of work. A few months back, Ann had her first exhibit at the Kensington Library, in Kensington, CA. It was so wonderful to see her work all displayed together. The exhibit flowed gracefully from one piece to another, telling a story of color, texture and a true love of the land. For me, and our Working in a Series group, it was particularly joyful, because we had watched these quilts grow and bloom over the past few years.
Let's look at some of Ann's work, along with a short interview.
Kensington , CA
Tuesday Morning Quilting Group ( we need a new name!!)
How long have you been quilting?
On and off for 35 years. I started with traditional quilt patterns and techniques, making mostly bed quilts and throws. I wasn’t inspired to make traditional quilts any longer, and fortunately after moving to the Bay Area four years ago I had the time and desire to branch out into what could be called “art quilts”. The community here is so creative, with many opportunities for classes, exhibits, and most of all spending time with inspirational people.
Do you have a particular medium or favorite tools that you are currently working with?
I love brightly colored and patterned fabric and had used it almost exclusively in the past. Since my move and through the knowledge and influence of members in my quilt group, I am exploring solids, hand-dyed fabric, and various forms of printing and mark-making on fabric and paper. I am also exploring hand-stitching and surface design.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Much of what I create at this time is based on the joy and inspiration I get from being in nature. We live near a large regional park, which allows me to hike often. The trails are filled with beautiful trees, and offer excellent views of the Bay and surrounding areas. However, once back in the studio, I find great inspiration in my fabric - color, texture and line.
Are there artists that have inspired you along your way?
I’ve always felt drawn to art, and as a young adult I wanted to study art. At that time my favorite artists were Gustav Klimt, Matisse, and Paul Klee. I can see their subtle influence even now in my fiber creations.
I didn’t pursue art as a career and was busy working and raising a family for many years, so I am now just exploring new artists. Pati Fried was my first inspiration after my move. I felt stagnant and didn’t know what direction to turn. Pati told me to “throw away my rulers” and just start having fun. That was the freedom I needed to get going in new and interesting directions.
I participated in a Zoom class with Tara Faughnan during lockdown, I created a large bed-size quilt with the pattern, On Point. Working on color with On Point was a challenge, and I had enough left-over triangles to try something else. This turned out to be a series of color exploration.
My second piece, Zig-Zag, was created using leftovers that were a variety of shapes and colors, and thus lent itself to making an improv piece.
The third piece in the series, No Scrap Left Behind, was created from the scraps left over from Zig-Zag. In the end, I had enough of the pieced blocks from No Scrap to put the side borders on Zig-Zag, which was waiting for me to think of border ideas.
This is one of my favorite pieces. Created from a deconstructed silk garment and scraps, it was the first piece I worked on after the Covid lock-down began. We were all at “loose ends” and the bottom of this piece was left partially unfinished to reflect this feeling.
Do you have any advice for others that are wanting to blaze a new trail in their work?
I am not comfortable giving advice. I will say my experience has taught me several things.
Don’t listen to your inner critic - it will stop your energy every time
Don’t listen to other people’s opinions of your work, unless you have asked for advice or a critique of a piece of work
There are always lulls, or even dark times, when it seems nothing interesting will ever come out of your hands and mind again. That is OK. Keep working and know that the doldrums of creativity will finally pass.
Make time for yourself. It is so easy to allow life to fill in every minute of the day leaving no time for yourself or your work.
Thank you Ann! It is always so inspirational to hear the unique path each of us take on this journey in the world of creativity.
If you would like to know more about Ann, I have listed a link below to an online student exhibition that Ann was a part of. I have also included her social media links again. Be sure to check them out. She is already off on another creative adventure since I started this post. Please take time to follow her and enjoy her next journey. You can also leave your comments for Ann in the comment section. I will make sure she gets them!
Fiber Arts Take Two student exhibition:
Visit her on her website and follow her on Instagram.
Hope you all enjoyed Ann's work. I will leave you with a very appropriate quote.
Journey on! Pati