Arleen describes herself as a self taught mixed media textile artist who really enjoys what she does.
Her interest in textiles began around the age of 16 and at 18 she was working in the fashion industry. At 19 she moved to the UK and soon realised that she didn't like making clothes.
She saw a creative embroidery course at Richmond Adult College and completed the course in the evenings over 6 years.
Arleen loves nature and she never uses sketches or photographs for her work. She prefers to observe, feel, and 'enjoy the moment' which she then interprets into a piece a work. She also describes herself as influenced by the Impressionists. She is always looking at new things.
Although she has used watercolours she now uses acrylic.
Her passion for her work was very evident and she had brought a large number of canvas' of various sizes with her. She has us on our feet and we had a tour of all the pieces with explanations on her techniques for each one.
She first primes her canvas with gesso then uses a layering system. Sizes of canvas vary and with drying time usually takes about 4-6 weeks to complete. Her studio will have a number of pieces at various stages of work.
She doesn't use any glues or adhesives but uses free motions embroidery and craps of fabric and different threads to add depth, shade etc. He loves batik fabric as well as silk.
Once completed her husband then stretches the canvas onto frame. He is a key part of her business as he also does all the bookings and travel arrangements for her leaving her free to work.
She gave a short demonstration on her machine on how she free motions shapes and adds fabric, she made it look so easy!
Her enthusiasm was infectious, it was so obvious that she loves her work, for me a truly memorable afternoon.
Here are some of the pieces she brought with her.