Cher Cartwright I used to be a teacher and then a lawyer and now I make art. After half a lifetime of relying on words to communicate, I discovered the language of visual art which allows more articulate and subtle expression than I could ever achieve with mere words. I hand dye fabric and sew it into pieced, quilted wall hangings as my medium of visual expression. I consider my work as "painting with cloth," but with an extra tactile element. My quilts are primarily abstract explorations of form and color and the emotions evoked by these elements, but I also hope to elicit a physical response in the viewer whose hand almost invariably seeks to touch the wondrously sensuous surface of the quilted cloth.

I am largely self-trained in art, but have benefited from workshops with many luminaries of the art quilt world, the most personally influential of whom are listed on my Links page. I have also studied modern art history, and this has greatly influenced the development of my work. I am constantly inspired by the work of modern painters, especially the Post-Impressionist and the Abstract Expressionists of the New York School. I am drawn to the play of color and fluidity in much of their work and enjoy the challenge of trying to translate visual effects I see in paintings into the more tactile language of cloth.

All my work is machine pieced; I never employ appliqué. My piecing is always improvisational and freehand, although in some instances I hand cut large cardboard templates defining the major areas of the work and piece improvisationally within those templates. I work only with cotton fabric that I have dyed myself because I believe that half the creative process of art quilts is the creation of the fabrics. I derive immense satisfaction from the hand dyeing process, as I find the creation of color on cloth is a pure pleasure. I generally use only Procion MX dye, sometimes do immersion dyeing and sometimes employ surface application techniques including painting, stamping, screening and monoprinting.

I was born in the US and grew up in the eastern half of the country. I came to Canada in 1968 during the Great Anti-War Migration, found myself in Vancouver within a year, decided it was the most beautiful place I had ever been, and have stayed in the general area ever since. I now live with my husband and two dogs on the most southwest tip of Canada in the Vancouver suburb of South Surrey, British Columbia.

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