Art textiles were my earliest creative medium after childhood drawing. At age fourteen, I joined a very innovative stitchery guild that my mother belonged to. They had exceptional international visiting teachers. Creative embroidery and applique quickly became my medium of choice. Direct stitching, free machine embroidery and juicy raw edges were part of my vocabulary under the reliable feed dogs of my trusty Bernina 830 that I got for my 16th birthday and which is still serving me well today.
After several years of traveling, I found myself living in the UK where I had the great good fortune to attend Goldsmiths College for 2 years in the Embroidery/Textiles department under the leadership of Audrey Walker. This was an extension of Goldsmith’s Fine Art department with no allowance for work for production, industry or fashion. After completing my Diploma, I started my family and life got busy, complicated even further by several international moves.
Norman Laliberté and Polly Hope were important influences. In many ways, I found textiles an ideal medium to work with in the bits and bites of time that busy family life allowed, easier to pick up and get to work with than mixing paints and having to be “in the zone”.
In 1994, I started Pavelka Design sewing patterns and contributed wearable art extravaganza pieces to the prestigious Fairfield Fashion Show. Wearable art became my signature for many years. I approached textiles in the same serious manner that I would have approached paint but since my life become more my own again in 2003, I’ve left textiles behind and moved over to paint. These days, I still get the machine out to whip up my own embellished clothes but painting is where I want to be now.