Inspiration

BJ Parady

My art reflects the microcosm in which I live—where the tall grass prairie used to be. I am inspired daily by the big skies, the reflection of light on water, the remaining remnants of native plants. Because I have come to embrace the idea of abstraction—capturing the essence of a moment rather than a literal depiction of a scene that could just as easily be photographed—many of my new pieces are in the style of the abstract expressionists.

Most of my fiber pieces involve beginning with white or black fabric—silk, cotton, linen—which I then dye or paint or discharge to get the colors I want. Various layering and stitching methods are then used. Many are quilted, either by machine or by hand, to give added texture. I do this because along with color, the most important part of my work to me is the juxtaposition and manipulation of various textures—something I can only do in fiber.

My work has been featured in the magazines Quilting Today and Quilter's Newsletter. It has been juried into the American Quilter's Society Show (Paducah), and the International Quilt Festival (Houston), among others.

These pieces began with white fabric—white silk or linen or cotton. I then dyed them using low water techniques and Procion MX dyes, usually 3 or 4 dye baths. The next step involves using Jacquard Discharge Paste and a paintbrush—applying the paste where I want the piece lighter, or to make forms like the goldenrod galls. After they dried, I used a steam iron to finalize the process. Quilting on the machine came next.

For more about BJ's work see her website: www.bjparady.com or her blog www.bjparady.blogspot.com.