Artist Interview with Brenda Backman

Brenda Backman 

I began my current series, Lines Threads Connections,  working within the parameters of a challenge which limited the size of the piece.  While stitching the felt and seeing the stitches interlock and connect with one another, I thought of how we are all connected.  The connection of living on our planet and being from our beautiful Earth, and the connection of our DNA and being made of stardust, all draw us together.  I’ve enjoyed exploring the different aspects of this idea with different colors and textures.

I’ve been making art and stitching since I was twelve and started making my own needlepoint designs.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  In 2000 I graduated from Iowa State University with a BFA and began my professional art career.  I’ve shown my work all over the US and internationally as well.  My work is characterized by a lively use of color and a heavily detailed surface which gives an intimate quality to the pieces.

Lines Threads Pebbles
Q. How did you get your start as a professional artist?

Brenda:   I've been working on my art since I was a teenager, and have been sewing since I was a child.  I developed a love of embroidery and fibers from my mother and grandmother who both sewed.  I further developed my skills at Iowa State University and have been working as an artist since graduating.

Q. How long have you been working as a professional artist?

Brenda: I've been working as a professional artist since 2002.

Q. What are you currently working on?

Brenda: Currently I'm working on my Lines Threads Connections embroidery series.  The series explores how we are connected to each other and our environment.

Q. Your current body of work depicts?  

Brenda:  My current body of work is abstract and uses color and shape to depict connections.

Q. What materials do you work with and why?

Lines Threads Ripples
Brenda:  I'm a fiber artist.  I work mainly with embroidery threads, felt, cotton and silk fabric, and beads.

Q. What excites you about using the materials you work with?

Brenda:  I love the textures my materials can create.  They seem endless!  Fabric is so versatile, it can be soft or stiff, the beads give shimmer, and threads have so many textures to work with.

Q. Tell us about some of the processes you do in your work

Brenda:  I work in machine and hand embroidery, combining the two to create a dense textured surface.

Q. When you make a piece where does the inspiration come from?

Brenda:  I take inspiration from my materials and sometimes from dreams.  I find the textures and colors of the fabric, threads, and beads to be inspiring.

Q. Do you make art every day?

Brenda:  No I don't make art every day.

Q. What other artistic interests do you have?

 Brenda:  I'm also interested in painting

Q. Tell us something that most people dont know about you thatthey would find interesting.

I enjoy cooking and creating new dishes.

You can see more of Brenda's work here.