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Routine maneuvers

Locals use rituals, routines when creating artwork

Bridget Manley

If you go

What: 13th Annual Art Walk and Second Annual Taste of Chocolate

When: 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Craig businesses on Victory Way and Yampa Avenue

Cost: $10 each for Taste of Chocolate tickets (limited quantities)

If you go

What: Craig Centennial poster contest entry display

Where: Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Avenue

When: 5 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Viewers can nominate posters for the People's Choice award. The winning artist will receive a $100 prize. For more information, call 824-5343

— A dab of ingenuity.

Sometimes that’s required to create works of art, local artists Sasha Nelson and Lynette “Sis” Pell said.

Nelson and Pell are two of 23 artists who will show their work in the annual Art Walk hosted by the Downtown Business Association on Saturday, DBA treasurer Carol Wilson said.

Nelson will display her quilts at Pam Designs, 512 Yampa Ave., while Pell will show her paintings at Sundrop Custom Framing, 541 Yampa Ave.

While Pell and Nelson are both devoted to creating artwork, each ply different techniques to coax their ideas onto canvas or fabric.

A Colorado Environmental Coalition employee by day, Nelson is a textile artist at night – or during any other hours she’s not at work, she said.

She devotes her leisure time to reading craft magazines, testing new quilting techniques and designing new quilts.

And stashing.

Nelson’s stash is a plastic bag packed with swatches and scraps, all potential quilt materials.

She reaches for the bag when she needs inspiration, she said.

“Unlike other artists, my palate is my fabrics,” she said, adding that she constantly looks for cloth patches that could be stitched onto a quilt.

More than cloth lands in her stash.

Foil candy wrappers, silk paper, Christmas wrapping paper – anything that can be stitched or glued onto a quilt surface goes in.

And her sources aren’t limited to fabric stores.

She hunts for fabric pieces in thrift stores and closets – both her own and those of friends who are willing to donate old clothing to her.

Eventually, most of the sundry pieces are grafted onto quilts that Nelson further embellishes with paints and dyes.

“It’s a very sensory experience,” she said. “It’s very consuming. When I’m working on a quilt, I don’t have to think about anything else. I dream in quilts.”

Pell, on the other hand, sees the world through watercolors.

When she sees an object or a photograph, she wonders what the image would look like if in a painting, she said.

When she needs inspiration, she doesn’t turn to a bag of materials.

Instead, she goes to the “graveyard.”

One of Pell’s former art teachers gave the term to a collection of photographs and images she stored. Pell continues the tradition, turning to her own file when times are lean and ideas are few.

She also has a solution for when she’s unsure how to finish a painting.

Her unfinished works find locations in her kitchen and living room, in places where she will see them often.

As Pell goes about the house, occasional glances at the paintings jog her imagination, she said.

“When you clear your mind, the solutions just come,” she said.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com


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