Our artist of the week this week (11/11) is Don Dixon
In 2007, my long forgotten childhood interest in art was rekindled when I started making quilts for our expanding family of grandchildren and other family members. At some point, I created my first ‘artistic quilt that captured the attention of an extremely talented local artist. As my mentor, he encouraged me to go beyond the borders of my quilts.
Using self-taught improvisational piecing techniques and hand dyed fabrics, I create pieces with structural balance and intense color that evoke the warmth and comfort of a snugly quilt. I trust that when you bring my art into your home or business, you too will experience that warmth and comfort.
Hand-dyed fabric is my medium of choice: Prior to creating my artworks, I was making quilts for my family. A few years later I was encouraged to use my quilting skills to create fabric art.I chose hand-dyed fabrics due to their intensity and variations of color that I obtain from the Ricky Tims company in Colorado
Tips on Tuesday:
My basic tip is to be bold with color and use unexpected combinations to find what is pleasing to your eye. Stan Wiederspan, a locally well known artist, is my mentor and my inspiration. In large part, it was his encouragement that I’ve been able to acknowledge that I am an artist. His works are shown below my piece in the picture.
Here is my process when I make a piece:
- Assemble strips of fabric into rectangles, cut across them at a 30 degree angle, assemble into new rectangles that are then squared and cut with a 45 degree angle.
- Use the triangles to build designs on a display wall. I arrange and rearrange many times until it works.
- Sew the triangles together and add a black border.
- Embroider my name in the corner.
- This throwback piece was my very first art work that was purchase by Sue at the Wiederspan Gallery. I recently received Sue’s thoughts about her artwork.
- Red makes me happy.
- Gold makes me think of my grandparents and what they added to our family.
- Blue makes me think of the struggles all my forefathers and mothers went through to be Americans.
- Green makes me think of the acres and areas my ancestors crossed to be me.
- Orange and red are celebrations of births and lives well lived.
- Angles, seams and intersecting lines show me the uneven paths of success and failure in all our lives.
- Every shade of color, every square and triangle mean LIFE, my life, my relatives lives and my immediate and blended family’s future lives.
I stretch the finished piece onto an artists canvas. It’s finished. IT’S ALL GOOD
The 2019 edition of the Iowa Shop Hop magazine featured Don in a two-page spread.
- The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art published a Call to Artists for their summer ‘Into the Blue Exhibition that resulted in 221 artists submitting pictures of 486 art works. Don’s ‘Wonky Spiral’ was one of the 81 artworks selected.
The Lion Bridge Brewing Company than selected four, that included Don’s Wonky Spiral, for their Food, Beer & Art Pairing in celebration of the CRMA ‘Into the Blue Exhibition’
The Newbo Art Festival board selected Don as one of 37 artists that were included in their juried art show. During the event, the judges, Kate Kunau and Janelle McClain), presented their 1st Place Booth award to Don.