My art reflects the microcosm in which I live—where the tall grass prairie used to be. I am inspired daily by the big skies, the reflection of light on water, the remaining remnants of native plants. Because I have come to embrace the idea of abstraction—capturing the essence of a moment rather than a literal depiction of a scene that could just as easily be photographed—many of my new pieces are in the style of the abstract expressionists.
Having lived all my life in the Midwest, my palette reflects the colors of the prairie and four real seasons. Some pieces are inspired by travels, but it is the prairie that most inspires me.
Most of my fiber pieces involve beginning with white or black fabric—silk, cotton, linen—which I then dye or paint or discharge to get the colors I want. Various layering and stitching methods are then used. Many are quilted, either by machine or by hand, to give added texture.I do this because along with color, the most important part of my work to me is the juxtaposition and manipulation of various textures—something I can only do in fiber.
My work has been featured in magazines and on websites. It has been juried into the American Quilter’s Society Show (Paducah), and the International Quilt Festival (Houston), among others.In 2004, I was juried into the Illinois Artisan Program as a fiber artist. I am a Professional Artist Member (PAM) of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), and a member of the Surface Design Association (SDA).
Madden Gallery, Decatur, Illinois, March 2010
Fine Line Creative Arts Center, St. Charles, Illinois, January 2010
Quincy University, Quincy, Illinois, February 2009
Keokuk Art Center, Keokuk, Iowa, January 2008
Form, Not Function, New Albany, Indiana, 2008
Art Quilts XII, Currents, Chandler, Arizona 2007
Fiber Focus, St. Louis, Missouri, 2007
SAQA: Balancing Act, 2007
John Wood Community College, Quincy, Illinois, January 2007
David Strawn Gallery, Jacksonville, Illinois,February 2007
Fiber Renaissance,January 2007--summer 2008
Modern Landscapes, Springfield, Illinois 2005-honorable mention
Quad State Show, Quincy, Illinois 2005-merit award, 2007
Hannibal Arts Council, Hannibal, Missouri 2005-2nd place in 'mixed media'
Keokuk Art Center Annual Show 2004-1st place in 'other media'
International Quilt Festival 2002 (Houston, Texas)
© All images copyright 2003-2011. All rights reserved by BJ Parady. All pieces subject to prior sale or exhibition commitment.