PUBLISHED: 1:19 PM on Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Quilting leads artist to multimedia arts

  Stephanie Hall's watercolor "Under the Sea" and knitted bowls will be on display during First Friday.
Stephanie Hall, quilt and multimedia/collage artist, will be featured for January First Friday at Juneau Artists Gallery, 175 South Franklin. Hall will showcase work in her newest media, felted bowls.

She also will display recent work in watercolor, quilts and blueberry collages, which combine the watercolor and sewing media.

The multi-colored felted bowls are created around a foam form in a dry process using a special needle and is a method learned this summer in Kodiak.

Hall was born and raised in Juneau and has been sewing since eighth grade, but began her professional art career later in life.

She began selling quilts at mall shows and Artwork Unlimited, an earlier artists co-operative in the Harrisburg Building. But it wasn't until 1994 that she had an artistic awakening to all media in Australia.

Her family was chosen for a teacher exchange and they lived in Rosanna, near Melbourne, for a year.

There she took classes in watercolor, papermaking, quilting, silk painting and calligraphy, while her husband taught and her children attended school.

"The classes were held in an old fire station called Neighborhood House, a program similar to our community schools," Hall said.

The message she got from her Australian art teacher was to "practice, practice, practice."

"I just kept doing it," Hall said.

She felt it boosted her confidence to experiment in other media. Upon her return to Juneau, she held yearly shows from 1995-1998 with fellow watercolorist, Polly Dewey at St. Brendan's Episcopal Church.

She has recently began to experiment with yupo, a plastic surface paper "that allows the pigment to pool and run" and glow with her iridescent paint.

These abstract paintings have underwater subject matter, inspired by shells, beach walks and views from her Lena Loop studio view.

"People see space, flowers, ice and whatever," Hall said.

She felt it all started when she remodeled a room and decorated it in a beach theme, and the theme continued into her paintings.

"I've always loved the beach. I beachcomb a lot and use shells in my quilting as well," she said.

Hall said she feels her work has a musical quality to it, perhaps reflecting her other pursuit: director of her church's music program.

"A music director by default," she said.

A customer once bought her painting claiming it was "a physical representation of her husband's song."

"My work is a spiritual thing, coming from faith, God or who knows where," Hall said.

She is enjoying the confidence to try new media- letting it take her to new "shores."