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Clara Batton Smith
My University studies concentrated on theatrical Costume Design. After graduating and moving to Chicago I realized I found as much joy in creating the renderings as making wearable creations. These renderings transformed into free standing mixed media (mostly collage and watercolor) pieces. Tearing up paper was therapeutic. I continued to develop that particular style for about a decade while working and showing with a group of extremely talented and diverse artists.
Moving continents shook up my artistic practice. I started concentrating on children's book illustrations still mostly in the same vein of watercolor and collage. Then came my children and creating art really ground to a halt. I was a bit stuck for a few years, not making much art until my dad passed away and my mom came to stay with us for a while. My mother is a remarkably talented heirloom stitcher who had attempted many times to teach me her dainty, fiddly handwork and it never took. I was awful. Until the day she taught me the lazy daisy embroidery stitch. I was hooked. I haven't stopped embroidering everything I can get my hands on for the last six years. I mostly make wool felt toy patterns, dolls and ornaments as a commercial endeavor. Embroidered textile art wall hangings have become my way back into my own little world of fine art. Life has come full circle. I still love ripping up paper and I am back to working with thread and fabric.