The Artist

My name is Margaret Abramshe. I live and create in beautiful Saint George Utah.

I am an art quilter exploring stories starting with a photograph.

Vintage images, family albums and camera phone snapshots documenting my life are my primary subject matter.  Every art quilt I make has a rich subtext - a hidden story. Creating allows me, as an artist; to think deeply about my life and celebrate the joy I find everyday. 

My process starts with a digital image. I use photo manipulation software to enhance or create a new composition. The digital file is sent to a commercial fabric printer. When the fabric arrives in my studio, I use a variety of  materials including dyes, pigment sticks and paints directly on the cloth.  As I quilt through the cloth, batting and backing; I am  drawing with thread to create a rich and visually exciting  work of art. 


I accept commissions.

 

Recent Posts

How to avoid the deadzone in your composition.

I spent my career as an art teacher in the public school system. For years I had piles of student work that I sorted, graded and selected for display. I taught children from kindergarten through high school.

During that time I saw and corrected the same mistakes in compositions.  One of  frequent mistakes was starting to draw in the center of the page and filling in the space from the midpoint out.  I called this little trap “the deadzone”.

A typical children's drawing. Perfectly symmetrical.
A typical children’s drawing. Perfectly symmetrical.

A deadzone is placing the center of interest or a point of emphasis in the center of the composition when you are using asymmetrical balance.

To avoid or resolve this problem you need start with an understanding of emphasis and balance.  

Emphasis is defined as an area or object within the artwork that draws attention and becomes a focal point. Subordination is defined as minimizing or toning down other compositional elements in order to bring attention to the focal point.

https://www.sophia.org/tutorials/design-in-art-emphasis-variety-and-unity

Symmetrical balance can be described as having equal visual  “weight”  along a central axis. It may also be referred to as formal balance.  In asymmetrical balance used by fine artists, the two sides are not identical,  but the elements are arranged so that there is a visual of balance.

https://www.sophia.org/tutorials/design-in-art-balance-and-contrast

A work of  art by Jenny Beyers. Perfectly balanced from a center point.
A work of art by Jenny Beyers. Perfectly balanced from a center point.
http://www.sallywrightquilts.com/
http://www.sallywrightquilts.com/

Artists who work with functional forms like houses, jewelry, or  functional quilts use “formal balance” because they have to consider function.

Does it make sense to have an entry to a dwelling in the center of a building? Does a quilt have to fit on a rectangular mattress of a certain size? Of it does and that’s why these artists and craftsman consider how how object will be used before they consider how an object looks.

Fine artists like painters or art quilters; do not have to consider functional restrictions. What matters when making a purely creative  nonfunctional; item is the composition. Fine artists often use asymmetrical balance because it keeps the viewers interest longer, allows the artist to lead the viewer to point of emphasis.

Van Gogh
Van Gogh

How to Avoid the Deadzone

Use your camera phone, or a ruler and roughly divide your composition in thirds in both horizontal and vertical directions. The division will look like a tic-tac-toe board.

Find the focal point. It’s the place or object you want the viewer to see first.  Ask yourself: Is that focal point in the middle? Hopefully not because that middle is the dreaded dead zone.

Below is one of my quilts called “Namaste”.   The focal point is clear.  The hands touch the forehead with a burst of light radiating from that space.  Initially the point where the figures hands met in front of her face was lower. You could see the full circle of light.

After taking a picture, I cropped the top of the quilt several inches to raise the focal point.  In the completed work the focal point is located in the upper third of the composition and off the center line avoiding the “dead zone”.

deadzone

I hope this hint has helped you make more informed design decisions.

until next time……..
Margaret

You can see my work…….
H2Oh!
New England Quilt Museum
Lowell, Massachusetts  •  July 11, 2018 –  September 23, 2018
Sacred Threads

Flint Festival of Quilts, Flint MI – September 2017
HeART Gallery, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH – October 18-30, 2017
Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville GA – November 1 – December 15, 2017

 

Interpretations: Conversations
Visions Art Museum
San Diego, CA
October 21 2017 – January 7 2018
Under The Western Sun
Handi Quilter
October 4 to December 1
“Art Quilts”
California Heritage Museum
Santa Monica CA

December 8 2017 – March 18 2018
Carnegie Arts Center
Turlock CA
April 4 2018 – May 7 2018

My New “Newsletter”

I Launched a Newsletter!   I miss reading the newspaper. In Denver I subscribed to the “Rocky Mountain News”. It was in a tabloid format. I loved the shorter square that was like a magazine making it seem easier to read. In the summer (when I was not teaching) I could take my paper and my […]

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Embrace the term: Art Quilt

 Many people in the art quilt world  question the value of using the term “quilt”. Several years ago I was a member of Front Range Contemporary Quilters.During one of several meetings in early 2012 there was a rich discussion of whether FRCQ should drop the reference to “quilt” in the guild’s name. Members were passionate […]

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Artists like Authors, Need a “Reader”: The Value of Trusted Feedback

Have a best friend….. who you trust to tell you the truth? I have a best friend who will tell me the unvarnished truth. It’s cheaper than therapy. I am a better person because she is the person helping me keep moving in the right direction in my personal life.  The idea that an artist […]

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Tools: Invest in your Art!

When I began exploring art quilting I was very excited to get going. I had good sewing machine (a Pfaff) and a large table with plenty of surface to support my fabric. It was an adequate set up for my skill level. As I got better I started looking at equipment I would need to […]

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