Sibyl Graber Gerig

I want to capture the light. The intention of my nature-themed art quilts and prints are to interpret those light-infused moments into stitched layers of cloth and thread or block-printed layers of watercolor paint. Whether it’s sunlight filtering through the trees, afternoon light sparkling off the water, or moonlight casting shadow shapes on a serene landscape, I seek to capture the serenity I feel onto my stitched or printed pieces, offering that emotion to the consciousness of viewers who engage my work.

My passion for fabric art draws on my watercolorist’s love of light, and its effect on colors, textures and shapes. My nature quilts are tactile, dimensional “paintings in fabric” designed to capture the colors and light of a specific time and inspirational place. They link me to my Mennonite heritage of quilt-making and to my work as a watercolorist. I use fusible web to adhere the fabric pieces to each other, and position this “quilt top” over a thin layer of batting, then complete the piece by using a combination of straight and free-motion machine stitching.

My prints are made using the traditional Japanese form of color woodblock printmaking. Watercolor is brushed onto the surface of a hand carved woodblock, Japanese paper is placed on top, then printed with a hand held baren (flat disc). Each print is hand rubbed, from at least 5 or more separate carved blocks to carry the various colors.

My imagery is often based on the design and composition of my nature themed art quilts. I have sometimes combined these two methods by printing on pieces of fabric that I then incorporate into a finished art quilt.

I hope my work evokes each viewer’s own memories of experiencing nature and the visual feast it has to offer.

I grew up in Puerto Rico and graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College with an art major, then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Medical and Biological Illustration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I have illustrated numerous medical journals, magazine articles and several books for children, including The Underbed, Fiddlin’ Sam and The Worry Stone. Most of my illustrative work has been in watercolor. I was awarded Best in Show at the Midwest Museum of Art 34th Elkhart Juried Regional 2012, and two other pieces were included in The Artist as Quiltmaker XI Show 2012 in Oberlin, Ohio.

Northern Lake version 2 Woodblock 5″ x 16″ 2017
Waterdance Landscape Quilt 13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″