Pamela Allen: Think Like An Artist

Title: Think Like An ArtistDSC_0879
Instructor: Pamela Allen
Process: Stitching/ Quilt
Workshop Duration: Three Day
Date: Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, 2015
Location: Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Centre
There are two parts to every art quilt . . . one is the technical expertise of stitching, applique, quilting, blocking, binding.  And we all continue to improve in this category simply by making work.  The other side . . . the ART part . . .  is more challenging, as it requires many years of questioning, risk taking and imagination to develop.  Pamela has designed a program that will start the student along the road to that development.  Students will hone in on the important elements of creativity.  Each morning and afternoon, the class will work on projects that address certain problems faced by every artist.

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 Pamela Allen

headshotPamela has been a full time artist for several decades and has been working in fabric since 2002. She has exhibited in many national and international quilt art exhibitions and has won numerous awards for her quilts. She has had her work published in the Quilting Arts Magazine, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine, and the Canadian Quilters Magazine. Her work has been included in the recently published Masters: Art Quilt, Art Quilt Portfolio, The Natural World, (Lark books) and Creating with Fabric (Tweetiejill Publisher). Pamela has made an instructional DVD as well, called THINK LIKE AN ARTIST!

She began her art teaching experience at Queens University Fine Art department and now teaches fabric art in Canada and as far afield as South Africa.

“I had fulfilled my dream of being an artist late in life…..I got a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1982 at the age of 34,and began a career of painting, collage and assemblage art. But all along it kept occurring to me that the images I did would make very good art quilts. If only I could SEW! Learning to make an apron in grade 8 was the only experience sewing I had (and didn’t we ALL!)
In 1995 I had a solo exhibition of paintings and collages about a trip to Texas…. lots of colour, folky figures and symbols. Again I thought quilt. At that time, a friend actually made a wonderful quilt based on one of my paper collages. So I just jumped in and started making fabric collages using any method I could to stitch the elements together. I was not concerned about the normal quilty criteria of even stitching, square corners and the like. Right from the start, I liked to embellish with unconventional materials…. found objects, bits of metal, carved wood, copper tooled shapes. These first efforts were very like fine art collages but made of fabric. I joined some lists on the Internet whose members were art quilters and began asking questions about techniques and trends. It was then I realized I was in real trouble as most of the juried shows DID pay attention to workmanship. I gave myself a year to build up a body of work and the next year began to enter juried exhibitions. Much to my delight, I was accepted into many shows that year…. both Quilt festivals such as Houston and Albuquerque and also fine art gallery shows which included textiles in their prospectus. That was 2002 and since then I continue to show work in the United States and even in Europe and Japan. I’m happy to say that my workmanship HAS improved too!’