Rita H.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to listen to Jane's sharing and discussion of my writing. Parts of it were painful to write and to see all of the "Shitty First Draft" down on paper put me into a tailspin for a week.  But listening to the other offerings (and I thank those students who shared so openly), and reading the lesson over and over, I was able to highlight the good stuff, and turn the negative into positive nuggets that I will now use for my own focus as I move forward on this journey. I actually took a highlighter and underscored what was the thread, and how I might see a negative as a positive - i.e. - it was hard for me to accept all the moving around which was unexpected, but through this exercise I can see that in each place I was able to make friends, create a new community and find art in some way.  This resiliency is now what I am focusing on as I begin this process again in a new home.

History - Process - Content - Edited

Art has always been a part of my life.  Whether the thrill of the smell of a new box of crayons each September, making clothes for my dolls with needle and thread, the joy of messy finger paints, these are the happy memories of my childhood.  I learned to make my own clothes growing up in Northern New Jersey in the 60’s and also took painting classes in oils and watercolors.   Educated in Catholic schools at home and graduated college in Virginia, I returned to home to live and work in New York City, loving the access to art all the time at the fantastic museums there. I met and married my husband and began our lives together, first daughter in 1984 followed by two more in '88 and '92.  It was a hand quilting class in 1986 that planted the seeds of working with textiles and made me fall in love with quilts.  Life brought challenges and we moved around the country to three other states, having our other daughters in the meantime.  With each move, I was able to make new friends, find new communities, and join quilt guilds, which became like family in each state. It was our move to Connecticut in 2005 where I discovered Art Quilts through Studio Art Quilt Associates, and have been on that journey ever since.

After 13 moves, I am taking time for myself to explore all the processes I have been interested in, sort of like putting together my own art school education. After years of traditional quilting (which gifted me with friendships and community in strange new places), I am now interested using my vintage photos digitally on textiles, and exploring surface design and color.  After having some of my pieces accepted into exhibitions, locally and nationally, my plan is to work in a series, to learn more deeply where I can go with my art.

I love making stuff, whether it is painting and stenciling a piece of furniture, sewing hand made gifts, or creating an original piece of art.  I love texture, color, stitch, vintage photos, surface design, and finding a way to combine all this in order to tell a story.