Welcome to my Blog! Hello, my name is MaryLouise and I am a Special Education Language Arts Teacher. I have utilized my lesson plans and other original teaching material to create picture books, workbooks, nonfiction and fiction articles and teacher's guides for educational resources.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Today's Topic: Thread Paintings

Today's interview is with Teri Oja, a Fiber Artist and Painter who creates a variety of Thread Paintings. She has a degree in Biology and a degree in Medical Technology and has loved Art all of her life.
MLAC: Tell us about your method of creating Thread Paintings.
TO: I start with a plain piece of fabric. I create a painting on this and then stitch over it. My Thread Paintings are made using freeform embroidery over a hand painted fabric background. I've done sewing and embroidery since I was five years old. I was also a Watercolor Artist for many years. Twenty one years ago I decided I could combine my painting and stitching into one art form: Thread Paintings! Instead of using watercolor paint on paper, I now use textile paint on fabric...the detail work is done with thread. All of the scenes are from my imagination. I know what the finished piece will look like in my mind before I start.
MLAC: Please explain in more detail.
TO: There are a lot of variables. I use a variety of threads, such as cotton, silk, and rayon. I have even used carpet thread to achieve the effects I want. I have about 1,500 spools of thread ranging from regular sewing thread to specialized thread. I also have to decide on the type of stitches to use. I may cover the entire painting with stitches. Some pieces are done with very traditional hand embroidery and others are done with a method called free motion machine embroidery. I use a regular sewing machine and the free motion part is me....I am moving the fabric up, down, and around to form every petal, leaf, and blade of grass. I may cover the entire painting with stitches or let some of the painting show through. Several layers of thread in various colors will be used to complete the piece.
MLAC: Can you tell us about your background?
TO: My husband and I moved to the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area in 1994. I am a native of Illinois, although I have also lived in North Dakota and Wisconsin. I received a B.A. from Millikin University in 1975. Art and Needlework have interested me from an early age. I have had extensive training in drawing and painting techniques through high school, college and post graduate work. My education in Fiber Art has also been extensive. I have taught many classes in needlework and painting techniques, and have judged both fine art and fiber exhibits. In 1993, I began professionally exhibiting my art work. I continue to strive for innovative ideas to use in my work.
MLAC: What's your inspiration for creating each unique piece of art?
TO: I create pictures with thread and fabric by mixing color and stitches together to create texture. It is an Impressionistic Style that lets the eye blend the colors together. I'm trying to capture the visual impression that a scene makes, not to reproduce it exactly as it looks. I look for inspiration in the things that surround me in daily life. The rich colors, patterns and textures in nature provide an immense number of possibilities for my interpretation. I try to capture the beauty of nature that gives me such peace and joy. I want the viewer to be drawn into the picture I have created and experience my pleasure vicariously.
MLAC: Where can we see your artwork?
TO: I exhibit in regional and national juried art shows, and have had several solo exhibitions. My work is included in the corporate collections of the Chamber of Commerce (Mystic, Connecticut), Embroiderer's Guild of America Headquarters (Louisville, Kentucky), First Mutual Bank (Decatur, Illinois), and Lucent Technologies (Allentown, Pennsylvania). My work is also in private collections throughout North America,South America, Europe and Asia. 

To view Teri Oja's Thread Paintings and to view her Art Show Schedule...go to www.terioja.com
To contact Teri Oja by email: meoja@pa.net and by phone: 717-766-2443

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