I first met Judy at one of Pokey Bolton’s Open Studios at International Quilt Festival – Houston. I was amazed at the delicacy and beauty of the small painting on which Judy was working. Her artwork continues to amaze me with its meticulousness and its joy. Stop by her Painted Threads blog as Judy is generous in sharing what she is working/experimenting with in the studio. Whenever I visit Judy’s blog, I always ending up staying longer than I anticipated! Judy has a busy teaching schedule; check it out here to see when she will be in your area.
1. Why are you participating in the ONE fundraiser for the American Cancer Society?
I had a dear friend die from ovarian cancer five years ago. It was such a frustrating, heartbreaking experience. It was so hard to believe that this disease could not be stopped and would take such an amazing woman away from all the people who loved her.
I think Virginia’s Fiber Art for a Cause fundraisers have been incredible. I feel like my contribution has so much more impact than I could ever afford to give in dollars myself. I am grateful to be able to contribute this way.
Garden Visitors by Judy Coates Perez. This artwork will be available during the ONE fundraiser on February 16.
2. What are you working on in the studio now?
I am working on a new art quilt for The Space Between exhibit curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison, which will exhibit at International Quilt Festival.
3. What has been the biggest surprise of your art career so far?
Maybe, how little time I have to make art, since I started teaching.
Moon Garden 6 by Judy Coates Perez.
4. What advice do you have for artists who are seeking their unique voice or direction in their own artwork?
Look at art outside your chosen media. Learn many different techniques so that you have a variety of skills to express yourself. When taking a class, try not to duplicate the instructor’s work beyond mastering the technique being taught, then find a new way to apply the technique to your art, using your own visual vocabulary. Look at the world around you like it is the first time you have seen it. Then think about how you might communicate what you have seen or experienced to someone who has never seen it.
5. What would you do with a year free to do what you wanted with no responsibilities or financial concerns?
Oh, wow, what a dream that would be. I think I would organize a couple get togethers with other artist friends, where we would make art, share stories, eat great food and visit galleries, museums and other inspirational spots. Then the rest of the year, I would spend time learning more about painting, working on canvas, fabric and a variety of different media, using my retreat time as inspiration.