I make representational, somewhat abstract, cotton landscapes that are layered, stitched, and based on my drive to spend time in natural spaces. I may not be able to go back to places for various reasons, so landscapes intrigue me.
Working on these pieces adds a permanence to my own memories of the density of the air, the smell, and how soft or hard the ground was at a place. My eye recognizes distinct patterns in fabric that lend to accurate depictions of my trips into nature.
Jerilynn Bush grew up in Iowa on a farm in a small rural community, spending many hours outdoors. The farmhouse was situated on a high spot in the middle the acreage with distant views of town and neighboring farms. It could seem private during summer with corn growing and a little forlorn after harvest. This particular amount of space set an internal need to continue to experience it and largely influences Jerilynn’s expression in fiber art.
Early influences include art classes, family members who valued and practiced art in various forms, learning to sew at home and school, chores on the farm, and hours of free time to explore outdoors throughout the seasons.
Jerilynn studied writing, drawing, and painting during her first two years of college at Northwest Missouri State University and Iowa State University. Color Theory at the Iowa State Design Center in the late 1970’s had the most impact on Jerilynn’s future in fiber art. She graduated from University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Journalism/Advertising Design in 1989.
She made her first patchwork quilt in the early 1990’s, studied traditional quilt blocks, and produced several hand quilted bed quilts. Quickly bored with repeating blocks, Jerilynn began to incorporate her own designs into these machine pieced quilts. This led to answering a call for entry to a local art gallery with a pictorial quilt.
In the mid-2000’s, Jerilynn helped the residents of a local nursing home make quilts for soldiers’ families, lap quilts for a local hospice center, and many stitched art items for the residents’ own enjoyment. During these six years her work evolved from traditional methods to a looser style of design, fusing, embellishment, and free motion quilting.
Today, Jerilynn’s fiber art can be seen in juried national and international art exhibitions. It reflects and enhances her excursions into the outdoors. Laying down pieces of fabrics and working with color during the process embeds the memories of that personal experience so it becomes more a part of her. It is at this point which she detaches from the finished work and someone else can enjoy the view.