Susan Levi-Goerlich

Columbia, MD | Inactive

My fiber artwork celebrates texture, color and the myriad possibilities fiber offers to “paint” an image using fresh and unusual techniques. My stitched paintings meld a blossoming interest in gardening with dyed silk and free-motion machine embroidery. As the first step in a multi-step process, I utilize both traditional and innovative silk-painting techniques to apply silk dyes to different weaves of pure silk. Then, using my thirty-something year-old sewing machine as a drawing tool, I blend and mix colors by layering threads. Painterly effects are created by thousands of stitches. Texture is achieved by determining the movement of the fabric under the needle. My fiber collages are a combination of dyed and hand-painted silks, layering and needle-felting techniques. I incorporate different weaves of pure silk to “paint” the image. Each shade of color in the collage is produced by a different piece of fabric. Then, using a needle-felting technique, I assemble the work without the use of adhesives. Details may be enhanced by the use of free-motion embroidery and/or by bobbin embroidery. I have long been fascinated with layering as a method to enrich both surface and meaning. I have used my work to explore the effects of layering fabrics, threads and yarns in order to create depth, rich color and texture in both my stitched paintings and collages. Movement and flow of color play an increasingly important role in my work, as do shadows and reflections. The imagery is inspired by landscapes and gardens encountered during my travels, and by favorite photographs.