In 1994, after a dozen or so years working as an electrical engineer and programmer, Sidnee Snell left the high-tech industry and began her professional artistic journey.
Sidnee has been working with fiber and fabric since her girlhood, including a stint as a custom dressmaker in high school. Her early art-quilts were geometrical and abstract in design. They were heavily influenced by traditional quilts and her studies with Nancy Crow and other prominent art quilters. In 2007, she began developing a foundation appliqué technique and producing quilts based on photographic imagery.
Sidnee's work has been collected by individuals and exhibited in galleries, museums, and art shows locally, nationally, and internationally, including Quilt National 2013. Her work was featured on the television program Oregon Art Beat and has been published in exhibition catalogs as well as national and international magazines. She belongs to Studio Art Quilt Associates and Art Quilt Network.
It all starts with an observation. My art-making is part of an ongoing, internal conversation where I attempt to answer the questions “What am I seeing? Why do I keep looking?” An everyday, often overlooked, object or view captures my attention and begs for further exploration. So I photograph it.
Each of my pieces begins with a digital image, usually one of my own snapshots. However, there are times when I am inexorably attracted to an image captured by another photographer. I am particularly fond of odd angles, the effects of light, and close-up views. Once chosen, I edit and manipulate the image on the computer (and/or by hand using colored pencils) until I uncover the focus of my interest.
Sometimes I find an untold story. Other times, it is simply the interaction of color, texture and shape that appeals to me. I use fabric and stitch to re-create the manipulated image and to draw the viewer in for a closer look. I hope to tempt the viewer to reach out and touch the piece (although I suggest resisting that temptation).
I consider my work to be representational, although much of it appears abstract. By presenting the subject broadly, through the elimination of details, I create an impression of the subject rather than a photorealistic re-creation. The viewer may or may not see “the rivet” but it doesn't matter; it's none of my business how the imagery is interpreted by the viewer.