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Judy Gates
South Portland, Maine

An environmental scientist by education and profession, I have spent my life immersed in the natural world. Much of my adult life has been spent calling Maine home, from advancing my education, raising two adventurous boys through to adulthood to following a winding and always interesting career path. Experiences in Maine’s woods and waters, learning, cultivating gardens, homesteading and quilting fostered the patience and vision to create unique works using fabric collages. My art focuses on the simplicity and splendor of Maine’s native flora and fauna and the landscapes they occupy. As I create each piece, the feel is of painting with fabric, using stitching to add texture and depth – ultimately resulting in an intriguing push and pull between 2D and 3D art. From a distance, these works read as paintings or drawings. Upon closer inspection, one can see the texture and tactile quality created by the combination of colors, patterns, layering, and stitching fragments of different fabrics. Individual leaves, flowers, twigs, fur tufts, and features are cut from fabric into intricate shapes, creating layers of color reflecting nature's order amid its seeming chaos. Favoring batik prints, many layers form the final image. Overlaying the collages with tulle and freehand stitching creates cohesion between the subject and each intentionally placed shape. The texture of each piece is highlighted by either open framing or window-box frames, some individually custom-crafted by Bozworks, LLC, a Maine-based artisan. Using sustainably harvested oak, birch, mahogany, or cherry remnants, proprietor Noah Bosworth assembles and finishes the frames by hand, employing a no-waste ethic.

Atlantic Salmon
Great Horned Owl
Winter Red Fox