M. Anne Smith has made textiles the focus of her art, working with not only colours and images, but dimension and texture. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she received her degree in French, Latin and Greek Studies. After attending Lakeshore Teachers’ College, she taught elementary school with the Wellington County/Upper Grand Board in Erin, Brisbane and Guelph for 31 years.
Because art was not offered at her high school, Anne was not able to pursue an art degree. However she has always enjoyed art and, during her teaching career, she took courses in painting, traditional quilting, macrame and silk ribbon embroidery. By the time she retired, her focus had evolved into art quilting and mixed media. She enjoys collecting and experimenting with a wide range of fabrics, fibres, threads, embellishments and techniques.
Anne has taken classes with Helen Hughes, Marilyn Clark, Maggie Vanderweit and Elaine Quehl, among others, and currently belongs to two quilting guilds. She also enjoys journaling, painting and sketching. Anne has taught classes to members of her Cambridge guild, and the GWRWT art and her fibre arts groups. She was part of the Hills of Erin Studio Tour for many years and has participated in the Art Walk in Fergus and Art in the Street in Guelph. Anne has been involved in group shows at the Burdette Gallery, Cafe Creperie, Turn of Fate Studio, and the Teak Barn. Her work has been shown in the Rockwood and Puslinch Libraries and the Cambridge City Hall. It is on permanent display at the Teak Barn Decor store in Ospringe. Many of her pieces are in private collections. Anne also accepts commissions.
Artist Statement: My practice as a textile artist is constantly evolving — I am always learning and experimenting which has impacted the development of my style. I began as a traditional quilter, following set patterns and rules, but was drawn early on to creative art quilting, where the machine stitching was not just functional but a tool to “draw” on fabric. My main focus is on combining textiles and fibres with stitches and thread as an alternate way to “paint” my interpretation of the textures, light, depth and colour in the world around me. I often use photographs as a starting point and then decide on the technique which will best help me realize my end result: piecing, collage, appliqué, thread painting, confetti, batik, needle felting, etc. Each piece can take hundreds of hours to complete to my satisfaction, depending on size and complexity.