Artist Statement

Sketch for self-portrait

Life is a journey. Lessons along the way open paths to explore, some doubling back to the main trail others taking us in a new direction. Looking back at my experiences I see times when I settled in developing a style for years gradually moving on because of an added skill or interest.

I grew up exploring woods and fields with family and friends, learning about nature, observing how humans use elements for immediate use. Through Girl Scouts the responsibility to be a steward of those resources has influenced my actions, and artwork.  After living in suburban centers for decades, my partner and I built our log home nestled into a hillside in the style of local old structures on enough land for me to feel at home again.

The traditional handcrafts of rug hooking, embroidery and applique’ all require lots of time. I use these for my own health – the time spent with each subject allows reflection and resolution. I purposefully use fabric and needles because they are common domestic utilitarian materials and tools. I use these to record social and environmental issues for researchers decades later. Made in my home studio the rugs, pillows and mats are as vocal as the activists marching in the streets.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, may my work communicate the beauty and fragility of my subjects.

Channeling generations of craftspeople as I work and mentoring the next generation, my passions for history and art are satisfied.

Working with fibers, connects me with generations of artisans’ spirits.  Due to the slow, repetitive process, there is time to dwell on natural subjects within my art and the materials selected.  Now living in West Virginia, I have come full circle – back to the farm, and rural lifestyle of my youth.”               

Susan L. Feller

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