Liz works in quilting and sewing, book arts, collage, and some printmaking and watercolor. She has been at RWS since it moved to Anderson Street nine years ago. Color, flowers, and the places she’s traveled are all sources of inspiration for Liz, with an emphasis on color. She’s very affected by the spaces she lives in and works in; how much light there is, the configuration, and the colors around her all contribute to her experience. She likes to use color to create atmosphere or mood. Her favorite colors to work with, and in all things, are pink, purple, and green. She’s fond of orange and yellow too. She believes her love for these colors started with the tulips and lilacs she remembers from the backyard of her first home, or perhaps are the influence of travel to tropical locations. She has always loved flowers and her first ambition as a child was to be a florist. She was inspired after a friend’s mother had been sick in the hospital. When the friend’s mother went home someone had sent her flowers. Something about the arrangement and gesture had caught Liz’s attention and it was a formative moment. In her mind then, she considered herself creative but not artistic. She wishes she had had someone to encourage her artistic affinities when she was little. While she may not have had someone guiding her toward art, what she did have was access to great art. Her family lived in Belgium and then Paris when she was in the fifth through seventh grades. She was exposed to a lot of great art, living in Paris, and she remembers the first time she went to the impressionist museum, “It was one of those moments in life that I remember thinking, ‘This is so amazing, I love this.’” It was the colors and compositions of those paintings that spoke to her. She visited Monet’s house and garden in Giverny and his ability to capture the light and colors drew her in. After a career as a florist, Liz became a stay-at-home mom for many years, working part-time around her kids’ schedules. She started being a maker by doing a lot of sewing and some quilting. She laments that finding fabric was challenging when she started out in the 80s. It was difficult to source fabrics in vibrant colors because the color trends in home decor were muted, country colors like powder blue and gold. It had been the hippie fashion of the 70s and her mother’s cool clothes and groovy dresses that attracted her to working with fabric. Her mother had also knit and sewn some skirts and dresses for Liz when she was a kid. With the lack of those fabric options Liz gravitated to Amish designs in her quilting. Liz is typically working on more than one project at a time because she gets bored easily and has trouble focusing. She loves messing around and seeing what she can come up with. She joined a book arts group and participates in shows with them every year. She recently made a popup book with painted flowers–flowers that, not long ago, she would not have attempted to paint. She appreciates these opportunities to challenge herself and grow her practice and trying new things keeps her attention. Liz recently completed a quilt that uses a running-stitch technique she’s never used before, called kantha that originated in eastern India. The quilt was a part of a larger project organized by a fabric designer who sent participants information on the tradition of the practice and how to pick fabrics. The quilt is hanging in her studio and is a rainbow of colors.
Liz has always wanted to make things, partly due to her mother’s influence, and as an adult she has taken various classes and workshops and pursued creating on her own while her four children were growing up. When her youngest went to college Liz did too and majored in Art and Entrepreneurship at USM. The fabric industry is much more colorful now, with greater color options and patterns to choose from and it is a dream of Liz’s to design a surface pattern for fabric someday. Learn more about Liz and her practice by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.