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 and explored for years and then added a skill or interest that moved me on.

I grew up exploring woods and fields with family and friends. Learning about nature, observing how humans use elements for immediate use and hopefully as stewards, these lessons have influenced my lifestyle and now artwork. After living in cities and towns for decades, my partner and I built our log home nestled into a hillside in the style of structures built a century before on enough land for me to feel at home again.

There is a tactile joy that settles me, working with fibers and textiles and using simple hand tools, slowly (very slowly) stitching and pulling loops, painting visual stories of my surroundings. The prep work often includes a hot dye pot and glorious colors soaked into the various neutral wools, creating a palette for the line drawing on my frame to gain dimension. With hook in hand each pulled loop added to the others creates the picture. Needle and thread anchors other materials and paint may even cover the canvas adding another dimension to the 2-D works.

I am at a point in this journey where my work reflects important issues for me and the future as I see it. Speaking out at protests is not easy for me. Environmental issues and human rights are the focus of my art. 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. I hope you enjoy seeing life through my efforts.

Hopefully viewing my work begins a conversation with yourself, or even better with a neighbor.

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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