Monday, August 15, 2016

Member Profile: Suzanne Housley-Noonan

Suzanne Housley-Noonan is our latest member to be featured on the blog. You can see more of her work here and here www.etsy/shop/OceanStateHomeDecor.

If you would like to be featured please click here.

When did you start making art quilts?
I started making quilts when I was 15. My Aunt Nell would teach me how to sew on summer trips to Tennessee. My Father bought me an antique Singer sewing machine. All it had was a “straight stitch,” but I was on my way and have been sewing ever since. 

What type of work do you do - abstract/realist/representational...? What styles or techniques do you use?
My art lends itself to be a representation of the landscape and nature around us. I tend to represent a view of a familiar area or just a close up of nature.

How did you learn the techniques you use?
I studied textile design at RISD. I learned screen printing, painting, and the dyeing process using acid and natural dyes. My mentors were teachers, my Aunt Nell, and my father.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
My color palette usually starts with one color I like. Then I will choose a contrasting color or a shade darker or lighter. I have a good sense of what color formulas are made of. Primarily all colors have red, blue and yellow in them. The color scale may tip depending on the amount of pigment. I love all color pallets. I find myself using earth tone colors a lot. 


Are you working on a particular theme or series now? Tell us more about it.
I am working on a series of landscapes. Landscapes are a constant theme for me. Mostly New England wet lands and tall grassy fields. When I am stitching onto the fabric I try to depict the wind movement, and the lines in nature. Trees are also a passion of mine. I am fascinated by their strong foundation that roots itself into the earth.

How do you work? Give us some insight into your design process?
Photos are my starting point. I make several sketches with notes on colors and the types of fabric I need. I draw the design to scale on tracing paper twice, once for design and once to dismantle. Next, I go to my wonderful source of hand dyed and hand painted fabrics. If the fabric is not exactly what I am looking for I may re-dye or paint the fabrics again and again. I will also work with commercially made fabrics in conjunction with my hand dyed fabrics. I may also paint a landscape with oil paints on canvas before stitching the fabric.

Do you work on a single project at a time or do you work on multiple pieces at once?
I work on multiple pieces. There is never enough wall space or time. Many times I need to step away for a piece and come back to it later.

What are your sources of inspiration?
My inspiration is definitely landscape textures, color and beautiful nature everywhere. I love to go to museums and get inspired by the art around me. 

What is your studio like and when do you like to work?
I am so fortunate I have a nice studio space. I work in the third level of my home. I have two rooms connected. One I paint in and the other is a clean space for sewing. It makes me so happy when I step into my space every day.

What are your goals or aspirations for your art?
My goal is to share my work with others. I have sold many of my small pieces. Now I would love to sell my larger pieces or show them in galleries or quilt shows.

How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?
SAQA is a group filled with wonderful, talented people. I have been following you for many years and finally decided to join. I found the meetings to be very informative and enjoyable, having met many artists that share my passion for textiles.

Do you design your art with a purpose in mind (function of the piece, for a particular call for entry, a commission)? Tell us about that…
Since I joined SAQA I found myself designing for the call for entry. I always have multiple pieces under construction at once, and I continue to work on them until they are complete.

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