Leslie Bixel is an abstract artist who works with fabric, dye, paint, scissors, blades and stitch to create textile constructions. Trained as a painter, her design process begins with the hand application of color to cloth, and ends with the last stitch of a facing or binding. Her favorite tool is a rotary cutter, which allows her to add motion and gesture to a composition.
The process of piecing fabric together in a way that looks fluid and spontaneous requires very precise and exacting techniques. Also patience and practice. This is a slow art form. Each construction begins with an idea, a constraint, or a puzzle. The idea is the jumping off point for improvisational design at each and every step of the art making process…color, shape, line, form, composition, surface. A work is done when it contains more feeling than thought.
Leslie spent her professional career practicing the business of commercial graphic design software development, and traveled the world working with designers, typographers, engineers, and artists to develop innovative digital tools. Working in Japan in the late 80’s and early 90’s provided an opportunity to experience a culture and aesthetic that honors craft as fine art, and reveres nature as the embodiment of grace and beauty. Leslie’s art continues to reflect these experiences.
Leslie began her own exploration of fine art in an attempt to express what is experienced, but cannot be said. In the late 90’s she began working with textiles as her primary medium, finding the tactile and sensual properties of cloth unique in its ability to evoke feeling: physical and emotional. Leslie grew up with sewing as an everyday activity while living with a mother who sewed the children’s clothes, aunts who embroidered tea towels at every family function, and a grandmother who made and sold wedding dresses to make ends meet. Seldom was there an idle moment absent some sort of handwork.
Today Leslie creates abstract cloth and textile constructions for the wall, and quilts for beds.
Leslie Bixel lives and works in Santa Cruz, California.