Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ann Van Soest’

Oooh, Java Art!


The Intentional Printing Java Art Exchange is in progress with 24 artists working with at least 3 techniques and a coffee cup graphic from Lynn Krawczyk’s new book.

CunninghamM400Michael Cunningham was first to send me photos of his 12 completed artworks.  Shown above is a detail. Love the dynamic (dare I say, caffeinated) letters.

BaldwinInProgress400Rhonda Baldwin shared her work table and …

BaldwinDone400 her two completed beautiful artworks for exchange.  Rhonda liked the process so much, s
she also made a piece for her kitchen coffee wall.

VanSoestFabric400One of several complex fabrics for the java-themed artwork that Mary Ann Van Soest created using techniques from Lynn’s book.

VanSoestFinished400The four artworks Mary Ann will be exchanging.

Westcott400Sally Westcott will be exchanging these six high-contrast artworks. The heart print was created with a handmade foam stamp, one of the techniques shared in Lynn’s book.

Stay tuned for more great  artwork as the 24 artists work toward the May 2 deadline for completing their 6-inch square artwork for the Intentional Printing Java Art Exchange.







04 2014

Mary Ann Van Soest: Immersed in Nature

VSoest400Mary Ann Van Soest

Mary Ann Van Soest is a prolific exhibiting artist, especially since becoming a fulltime artist upon her retirement from a career as a successful real estate agent.  She lives in rural Indiana and her artwork (art quilts, paintings, and photographs) frequently feature the scenery she sees and, obviously, loves.  Visit Mary Ann’s blog for inspiring photos of her surroundings and her art.  Mary Ann has donated a multi-part prize to the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer – it’s amazing!  Read on for more details.

 1.  What made you decide to Sponsor the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer?
My family’s experiences with cancer is the reason I continue to support the fight against cancer.


Mary Ann has covered a box with her own nature-inspired altered fabrics and embellishments.
Inside are 3 half yards, 3 quarter yards and an eighth yard of her nature-inspired altered fabics
as well as muslin and PFD fabric.

2.  What are you working on in your studio?
I have some very big projects going on in the studio. I am doing a 12 foot wide by 6 foot tall landscape art quilt in 5 panels. I also want to have something to enter in Quilt Nationals.

EcoColourbookMary Ann is also including this book, Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles by India Flint

3.  What is one of your goals for 2014?
My goal is to enjoy the year and enjoy fiber art. Spending time in the studio doing what I love.


Left:  Fabrics  Right:  Top of the box.  Mary Ann’s prize will be up for a drawing when we have reached the 2K ($2000 raised for the American Cancer Society) mark on the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer.

4.  What big trend do you see in the fiber/textile world in 2014?
It seems like there are lots of sparkles on quilts something I am not inclined to try.

Fabric detail.

 5. What advice do you have for new artists?
For a new artist( I was just 5 years ago) is to try everything and to ask questions. You never know what you may like and your art will evolve as you grow. Enjoy what you are doing. Don’t make art for entries make art you love and the work will find acceptance.

VSoestfabric2400 Fabric detail.


The Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer opens January 15 at 10 a.m. Central with a goal of $5000 donated directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.  Fiberart For A Cause, through the generosity of fiber patrons, artists, and businesses, has already donated more than $230,000.


01 2014

2014 Cancer Fundraiser – Can You Donate a Prize?


I keep saying that I’m retiring Fiberart For A Cause.  Well, it didn’t stick this year either.

We’ll be having a fundraising event in January 2014 with a goal of adding $5000 to the more than $230,000 we have already donated directly to the American Cancer Society.

I’m still working on all the details, but what I could use now is your help in building a big pile of fiber-related prizes to encourage donations.  Of course, everyone wants to help fight cancer without a reward, but it’s all part of the fun.

If YOU would like to receive something as a prize, then it’s a great idea. If you are a fiber-related biz, I’ll be doing promos from now through the event, so it’s win-win. For example, Fiber On A Whim is once again donating one of its wonderful FOAW Packs.

I love the creativity of artists in donating for the event also.  For example Mary Ann Van Soest has donated Eco Colour by India Flint with some nature inspired altered fabric plus hand-dyed special fabrics packed in a shoe box covered with fabric and embellishments. Let’s talk!  Virginia(at)

Some ideas from last year.  What’s been donated already for 2014 – posts today and yesterday on Facebook.



11 2013

Auction of almost 400 art quilts opens today.

Mary Ann Van Soest
Summer on the Pond

Almost 400 small artworks will be sold in a reverse auction to benefit Studio Art Quilt Associates beginning today, September 10 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  This first flight of art quilts will be followed by two more flights opening on September 17 and September 24.

All the 12″ square artworks are here or you can view Dream Collections chosen by SAQA members.  My Dream Collection “Archetypes and Artifacts” is here.

Laurie Ceesay
A Woman at the Beach 

The money raised supports SAQA’s exhibitions, catalogs, and outreach programs.


09 2012

In the Studio with Mary Ann Van Soest

Mary Ann Van Soest

Mary Ann Van Soest is one of those wonderful people who is both an artist and a Patron of artists, as you can tell by her studio photos below.  Mary Ann shared this information about herself: I have not been formally educated in the field of art. Mostly self taught by choice. Had sewing class, music class and 4-H from an early age. Was tailoring clothes by the age of 12, working for a produce market by age 14 and running a produce stand by age 16. Owned a real estate office and had 33 good years of sales. But I always wanted to go to art school. Not in the cards for me. In 2009 I  went to the International Quilt Show on a whim and, wow, I found a way to express my art.  The art quilts fascinated me. There are no limits. The last three years being retired gives me all the time I choose to create. It has been fun and I look forward to growing as an artist. As you can see I am a little driven. When I choose to do something I go full speed ahead. I am close to Chicago and I may just try the Art Institute some day and go to art school after all.  My best friend is a 90 year-old artist who has given me a lot of direction in the last 3 years. Life is good.

1. How do you find/make time to be in your studio?
I usually try to be in the studio at least 4 times a week. I start to work(I call it playtime) by 9 am, break for lunch, and continue until 3 or 4 pm.

2.  Describe your studio in 5 words.

Big bright comfortable work space.

3.  If you could pick only one thing from your studio to represent your art practice what would it be?

I would pick my hutch which is by my idea wall. In that space I  have art from my friends, pieces of my art I choose to keep, carved birds, a collection of blue mason jars, books, pottery and whatever I like at that time.  It is a easy place to rest my eyes during the day and remember who I acquired those items from or when I made that special piece. Great memories that  inspire new art.

4.  What is the best/worst space you have ever had as a studio?
Hands down the furnace room where I started out. No windows and plain ugly.

5. What would make a “dream studio” for you?
I am in my dream studio now. Last year a family member moved into our guest room for 4 months. That had been my studio. When they left I stayed in the large bright room I have now. 22 by 20 foot open space with lots of windows, cabinets for storage and a sink for clean-up. This space has evolved into a great working space. A happy place to create.


This is one of three beautifully color-cordinated Fiber BONUSES donated by Mary Ann for Foto/Fiber 2012. Items in her BONUSES may include hand-painted fabric, snow-dyed fabric, batiks, beads, fiber cards, thread. See more details about her Fiber BONUSES on Mary Ann’s blog and on Facebook. Foto/Fiber 2012, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, opens February 15 at 10 a.m. Central. Mary Ann has also donated a gorgeous art quilt for a drawing when we reach our goal of $7000.

 6.What would you advise someone setting up a studio for the first time?
Think it through first. Imagine it in your head. Find the arrangement and style that is comfortable for you. You can always move things and change it out.

7.  Any unique features/pets  you would like to share?

My large window area that looks out at ground level is special to me. Deer, birds, the neighbor’s cat, some Canadian geese and squirrels have all looked into the window when I am working.  Always something interesting to see out there.

8. Any new exhibit or project we should know about?
I am part of a show coming up this summer, Under Indiana Skies. I am creating pieces for that now. I just finished the first art quilt, Sunrise, for that show. Five more to go. I use a photograph or a painting I have done to inspire the art quilt. The 2 pieces will be hung side by side for the show. Another show in 2013 that will be a botanical theme. I have just started to plan that one. Both shows will be at the Wells Center in Lafayette, Indiana.





01 2012