Carol Marshall is an artist, who having never sewn before and continuing to grow her art from mural painting, began to create scenes with fabric – transforming her visions into art quilts. Using scraps of fabric samples from a local upholsterer, a $50 sewing machine, she began to create with cloth as she did with paint, blending and layering to fashion landscapes, abstracts and city scenes. Her work encourages one to reach out and touch the work and become part of it.
Advancing to a more sophisticated machine and exploring ideas, she has created a collection of fabric art quilts. Her Night and Day series explores the juxtaposition of red, white, black and gold, against the shadows of the moon and the sun. Her Harbor Sights series depicts different scenes of boats and harbors. The Michigan Landscape series includes a summer sunflower field, a winter beach scene, a lakeside cabin in autumn, a snowy forest night, a pumpkin field in autumn, the grape vineyards, the Michigan rolling hills of the Grand Traverse Bay; and of course, the sunset. Her quilts “Red Sky at Night” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” clearly demonstrate how different the skies change and are never the same. Her abstracts are simply delightful in their whimsical display of shapes and colors as seen in My Rescue, The Women Series, and Time and Tide Wait for No Man.
“I call my technique painting with fabric. There’s nothing “set in stone” about my art style. It’s my perspective of textile art – not a quilt, not appliqué, not just a sewing project –but a form of painting. Being a painter and pastel artist, I just substitute my paint brush for a sewing machine – and fabric for the paint. There are no solid, opaque colors in nature. There are no flat surfaces. There are only shadows, lines, color variations, shape and dimension. The more bits of fabric I use, the more intense the blending of colors. The more layers I sew, the more depth and dimension. By using fabric as my tool, I can imitate nature’s texture, patterns, colors and shapes: the veritable layers of the natural beauty that surrounds us.”
Her work has been exhibited at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids; Daybreak Gallery in Manistee, Three Pines Studio in Cross Village, the Manistee Art Institute, Synchronicity Gallery in Glen Arbor, The Oliver Art Center, Pentwater, The Fiber Festival in the Old Art Building in Leland; The Fiber Art Almanac: Essays from the American Midwest; and on the on line galleries – Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery and Light and Space Gallery, most recently was awarded third prize in the Abstractions: Theoretical, Conceptual, Intellectual. Her “Kaleidoscope” art quilt has been published in “1000 Quilts Inspirations” by Sandra Sider and in the Midwest Fiber Arts Trails print version of “Essays from the Midwest – The Quilt Maker’s Story”. She has taught classes in Manistee, the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico and the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, Michigan.
Carol also paints murals in private and commercial establishments. Her most recent commission being the Children’s Room in the Manistee Public Library – a 140 foot mural surrounding the reading room depicting images of Manistee County and the joy of reading.