Fibre Artist – Diana Bartelings, Midway BC
Diana Bartelings, lives and works near Midway BC, a small town along Highway 3 in southern British Columbia. She joined FAN about the same time I did and has been an co-exhibitor in most of the group shows since 2010. Diana’s story is similar to that of many fibre artists in that she entered the fibre art world via traditional quilting. As she learned the basics she discovered that she really liked ‘doing her own thing’, designing rather than following patterns. Emily Belak, a fibre artist from Grand Forks, BC was a feature speaker at a guild event and triggered Diana’s journey as an artist. (I would love to have met Emily but she left for a kayaking adventure on the Sea of Cortes the day I passed through Grand Forks!)
Diana first showed me a triptyk that she and two friends created for an upcoming exhibition. Because it had not yet been shown, I chose not to photograph it during my visit. It is wonderful!
Diana travels to participate in workshops when she can add techniques and knowledge to her toolbox and mentioned Paula Needstrom, Anna Hergert, Sue Banner, Ruth McDowell and others in passing.
Much of Diana’s work is ‘Quilt Art’ but it also includes felting, free motion work and encaustic on fabric. One of her latest pieces features her cello. Diana likes to challenge herself and recently began to take lessons to play the cello. Her studio looks out on a river and her husband collects antique farm machinery. Both often appears in her work. Some of her pieces are inspired by a connection to the north and the story of its people.
Diana is versatile in her activities. She teaches a variety of fibre art techniques at a fabric store Poppin’s Quilt Parlour in Penticton. In addition to helping her husband in their business and supporting family activities, she job shares at a local mill where she works as a licenced ‘scaler’. As a scaler she weighs trucks and does a preliminary sort of timber destined for use in a variety of forestry products.
Our visit was short as Diana was on her way out the door to a hockey banquet the day I passed by. Like most of the people I know she is a busy woman!