Contemporary Quilling is where I met today's featured artist, Deb Booth of Different Light Studio. I'm sure I'll be showing the work of more members as time goes on, but because Deb has a solo show underway at C'ville Arts in Charlottesville, Virginia throughout the month, I'll start with the remarkable mixed media pieces she creates that have wowed many of us in the group. Her series of colorful Siamese fighting fish never fails to attract attention.
Deb told me she lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia and has worn many hats in her life - wife, mother, secretary, hairdresser, actress, radio personality, author, audiobook narrator, photographer, and Zentangler. All have contributed to her current favorite pastime, quilling. Hairdressing gave her a love of flowing lines and curls, and her photographer's eye and experience fostered a love of creating arresting visual scenes.
Two years ago, after spotting modern quilling on Pinterest, Deb began experimenting with techniques. Initially, she glued traditional quilled shapes directly onto the surface of misprinted photos, but quickly switched to on-edge monograms and flowing designs.
Lines and Curves
Deb began a series of quilled ballerinas called Tiny Dancers; originally, they were only 8x10 inches when complete. She would find an image, alter and edit it, and print it out. Then she would watercolor the dancer and quill the leotard and tutu. It was like grownup paper dolls! She began embellishing the dancers with tiny jewels and spangles in addition to the quilling.
Last year, Deb was asked to do an exhibit that would include much larger pieces. She experimented with having her Tiny Dancer images printed on canvas, which she then quilled atop - a new and scary experience. Her Tiny Dancers went from 8x10 inches to 30 x 40 inches, and leapt onto the walls of the exhibit, exuding vibrant life and movement.
Deb says that while she is at work by day as a law firm's file manager, visions of new projects dance in her head. "People will often look at my quilling and say it must be so tedious. I tell them I don't do tedious. I've never been able to shut my inner three year old up long enough to meditate. When I begin to quill, I clear my work space, put on beautiful, happy music, say a quick prayer of gratitude, and start. THAT is my meditation. Applying sequins, one by one, can be deliciously quiet and centering. Until I drip glue on my piece..."
See more of Deb's work at Different Light Studio and on Facebook.