mira putnam

acrylic on canvas
12 x 18 in.


artist website

artist statement

Drawing on the nature around me and traditional craft practices such as quilt-making and historical ornament, I attempt to keep both feet in the future and a finger in the past while reflecting on how these textile processes relate to the idea of women’s work. Color, material, and the combination and re-contextualization of pattern, nature and situation– traditional v. non, nature vs. manmade, etc. – are subjects that get me most excited about art-making. I come from a painting background – not a textile one – so my approach to using these methods is less practical and precise and more about using their visual language in something larger and less straightforward.

Illuminated manuscripts and decorative borders are also forms that interest me. What is important enough in one’s life to ‘illuminate’? Broken leg surgery? A favorite plant? Do these things and events suddenly absorb more meaning if we gold leaf them or frame them this way? Or, in some cases, does the border become the subject and the content it is framing fade into the background? I attended a Waldorf school from Kindergarten through 12th grade during which we were required to frame most of our drawings with simpler versions of these historic ornamental borders. Looking back on some of the pages I made as a child, the border gives them a sacredness that they would not hold otherwise. They look like something special. I have a reverence for these drawings that I want to capture again, years later, in the images I create today. 

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