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Kathie Kerler--Portland, Oregon, USA

I have been a life-long learner, which is why I’m excited to be part of this international group of artists. It’s an opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from people in other parts of my country and other parts of the world. While I grew up in Portland, Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, I have been fortunate to live in other states and other countries. The differences in food, architecture, language, culture, and society fascinate me and have taught me so much. I’ve often been surprised by not only what’s different but by what’s the same. Following is a photo of one my favorite places in Oregon, the view from Ecola State Park overlooking Cannon Beach.

I credit my mother, Meredith, who taught me to crochet at age four, with sparking my lifelong interest in fiber art. After learning hand embroidery, with crewelwork my favorite style, I began quilting in 1988. Since then, I have completed rigorous courses in design and embroidery through London City and Guilds College of England and at the Lesage School of Needlework in Paris.

In 2009, I was commissioned to create a quilt for my state’s (Oregon) Sesquicentennial celebration (150 years). The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum awarded my quilt first place in their 2010 Evolutions challenge and a solo exhibition the following year. A first-place quilt at the American Quilter’s Society’s Paducah show was chosen as the cover quilt for the 2018 AQS wall calendar. More recently, I received an Award of Excellence for a hand embroidered whitework cloth at the International Quilt and Fiber Festival in La Conner, Washington, USA.

Since 2002, I have judged over 150 regional and national shows. As a National Association Certified Quilt Judge, I teach the Introduction to Quilt Judging Seminar. I have written articles for several publications. Most notably, I wrote and contracted over 100 articles featuring techniques, patterns, and interviews for American Quilter magazine over a seven-year period.

Artist Statement

Art is communication. I have written all of my life, stories about people, places, and ideas. My visual art is another way of communicating. Line, shape, color, and texture tell the story whether it’s my impression of a field of flowers at twilight or the life- shattering event when my husband died on the last day of a cycling trip through New Mexico.

Research is one of my greatest pleasures in designing artwork. I gather information about my subject through photography, on-site sketches, on-line and print images and text, and sometimes conversations with people connected to the subject. A combination of sources helps me better communicate thoughts and emotions, leads me through a more satisfying process, and enables me to create more complete and thoughtful art.

My recent artwork is representational. Rather than being realistic, it has a cartoon-like quality. Embroidery, hand and machine, plays a large role in my work. I embroider to emphasize or create motifs, add texture, and provide the viewer with an additional layer of interest.

My materials include fabrics, both found and my own hand-dyed, but I may incorporate paper and other materials resembling fiber. I employ a wide range of techniques, such as surface design, dye painting, and creating my own hand-twisted cords and dimensional embellishments. Choices depend upon design and composition. Below is "Z is For Zinnia, C is For Cosmos" which features a hand-dyed background, hand embroidery, and hand-twisted cords.

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