I'm sure this talented lady could make a scarf if she wanted to, but there is so much more to Bobbi Lewin and her amazing shops! There are so many delightful needlework and mixed media items to tempt anyone with for themselves or other people, but I have to say the darling buntings are my favorite. There is one for every occasion, from Christmas and Halloween to weddings and flowers. Expressing herself through a modern take on a timeless craft, Bobbi crochets some truly exquisite works of art that brings such happiness with their simple beauty.
1. How do you define art?
I think art is any physical manifestation of something you pull from within your self. I don’t believe that all art has to have some deep philosophical or social meaning. Some art is created just from a desire to create beauty, and that is ok.
2. How would you describe your art?
Random. I go back and forth between wanting to create with fibers and wanting to paint and draw. My subject matter tends toward birds and flowers, but not always. A lot of my textile work is non-representational. In it I’m mainly focused on texture and form. I like to juxtapose new with old, shiny with nubby textures, and join things that don’t belong together.
3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
colorful, incongruent, wayward
1. Textile Art
4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
That is really kind of hard to answer, as I get bits and pieces of inspiration from all over. My fiber work is originally inspired by my grandmothers and my mother, the women in my family who handed down these traditions. Painters from the past who inspire me are Marc Chagall, Van Gogh, and Cezanne. Today, I really enjoy Dolan Geiman’s mixed media and collage work. Louise Bourgeois is a favorite sculptor. I am amazed by Elaine Bradford’s crochet sculptures and I love Ann Wood’s owls. Oh and I can’t forget Mister Finch.
5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
My color palette seems to be changing. I tend towards bright colors in my mixed media work, but lately I’ve been using a more muted scheme.
6. What inspires your art?
Mostly things from nature. The wetlands around the Great Salt Lake are a major stopover place for birds on the western migration. I love to go out to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and watch and photograph them, then they show up in my paintings. Woodland birds are another repeating theme. Textures that I see in nature translate into fiber work, such as fungus growing on a tree or other plant forms.
7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
I adore Matte Stephens mid-century style.
8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
I don’t think in terms of competitors. I’m pretty small stuff and don’t really show up on the radar of people looking for art, so...... yeah.
9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Well the truth is I’m really clumsy and I hurt myself all the time. I stab myself with needles, spill paint on my good clothes, knock stuff over, and run into doors and furniture. I’ve accepted that I’ll never be a ballerina and I can laugh at myself.
10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
How hard it is to market yourself.
11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
In the crochet shop my favorites are the garlands and buntings, especially this one https://www.etsy.com/listing/155906099/modern-farmhouse-crochet-flag-bunting?ref=shop_home_active I really like the colors. I think the world should be covered in buntings because they are cheerful:) In the mixed media shop it is the Pelican Dream painting. https://www.etsy.com/listing/74944035/pelican-acrylic-painting?ref=shop_home_active I actually have it on my dining room wall and hope nobody ever buys it.
12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite author today is Barbara Kingsolver. She deals with important social issues; I always learn a great deal from her books while I’m being entertained.
My favorite book as a small child is one I can’t remember the name of and would love to find again. It was about a mom and some kids who went on an adventure. The mom was obsessed with violets and everything she had was covered in violets: her dresses, her sofa, the wallpaper. What drew me to this book is that it made me laugh hysterically. I’m just so curious to know what it was about it that I found so funny, and if that is related to my very quirky sense of humor today.
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist. Or a horse; I really wanted to be a horse.
14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
Uganda. My husband and I were at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka last month volunteering for The Fistula Project. I was knitting with women who were there for surgery and my husband, Craig, was working with women and kids on writing their names, and also documenting the project through photography.
I really don’t remember where I dreamed of going as a child; that was so long ago.
15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
My musical tastes are quite varied. I enjoy the female jazz greats from the previous century like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. I like traditional world music, and contemporary folk music. My favorite childhood song was a lullaby my mom used to sing, Chi-Baba Chi-baba. It’s an Italian lullaby that Perry Como sang.
16. Where can people find you and your art online?
Currently my work is for sale in my two Etsy shops and on Society6. I plan to add a store directly to my website at http://bobbilewin.com/