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“I Am Both”, self-portrait, 18”x24”

A couple of years ago I came across this Rumi quote and it really affected me.  I’ve been going through a period of rediscovery and have been trying to define who I was. Sometimes we want to put everything and everyone, including ourselves, into a category. But, we are so often many contrasting things at the same time.  I love that we can be peaceful and wild, and so many other opposing things all at the same time.  There are perfect times for all parts of us and we don’t have to choose just one thing to be.

I layered the batiks for the background and then built up the design until I had her just right.  Lots and lots of free motion quilting in many different colors of thread came next.  The final touch was to add all the bling.  Fifteen hours worth of hand beading, rivets and Swarovski crystals. The photos don’t do justice to the way that it sparkles.  All those ideas and thoughts and dreams and emotions either bursting out of her head, or being poured in.  You decide.  Or maybe it’s both.

I tried to capture the contrast of peaceful and wild in many ways. Her eyes, the contrasting colors, the juxtaposed stitching and the softness of the fabrics with the sparkle of the hard, shiny beads and crystal.
Love, love, love all the embellishments. Gotta love a little bling!
Layers and layers of bold Indonesian batiks. At least three layers of stitching on those lashes.
Gotta love some bling! So many hours, so much shine.



One thought on ““I Am Both”, self-portrait, 18”x24”

  1. I love this piece! It is so colorful and joyful. I love all your pieces of art! I went into your studio on
    May 27, 2018 and was so intrigued by your quilts. I too am a seamstress as well as artist in other
    fibers and am always interested in how other artists arrive at the process of their art. I first asked about your sewing machine and your were so generous in sharing the process of your art as I kept
    asking more questions about your art pieces. Thank you for that as I am hesitant to ask artists for information about their art process because some of them don’t want to share their “secrets”.
    I came home with such enthusiasm to create anything out of fabric, yarn, ribbon, buttons…anything
    in my craft room! Thank you so much for inspiring me! I hope to visit your studio again when I come to San Diego as I am from Whittier. I wish you much love in your creations!
    Barbara Vargas

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