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Barbara Yates Beasley

Drawing, Fiber

14 S 31st St, Boulder, CO 80305

A love for the animal kingdom has always been a guiding principle in my fabric collages. From a wild collection of fabric emerges the personality of my subjects. Many animals sport crazy colors that express their freedom to be themselves, and not just be a part of the pack.

I spend as much time as I can around animals with a camera in hand. When I get back to the studio, I study the expressions and body language I caught with the camera. When a particular animal jumps out at me and has something to say, I will listen and translate for the viewer.

I create a pattern based on my photography that I then use to cut fabric. I dive into the extensive collection of material that fills the bookcase in my studio. Some of this is commercial fabric, new and old, or hand-dyed, hand-painted fabrics I have created to extend the palette. Unlike a painter who can mix the perfect shade needed, I have to find an existing fabric to create my art. Once my image is fused, I can add detail with thread and paint.

Although this technique evolved from quilting, this is not what your grandmother made for the bed. It can serve the same purpose to comfort and commemorate, especially when it is a beloved animal companion that is the subject. I know I have done my job if they can look into the animal’s eyes and remember this is a sentient being.

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