Introduction by Kaffe Fassett

From the time I decided to become a practicing artist, I was busy painting or drawing almost every day. Moving to England in the ’60s, I earned money by illustrating magazine articles and books with line drawings and selling about one painting a month. Between the two they kept me fed meagerly and housed.

Then I discovered a stunning stash of yarn in subtle colours in Scotland and turned to knitting as a way of using them. That quickly dominated my life as I knitted up a storm, going on to needlepoint, patchwork, and hooking rugs. These textile arts were deeply alluring and I built up a following of fans eager to use colour in these crafts.

Painting took a backseat as I took to the road to teach workshops and lecture all over the world to audiences who were buying and working from the books I published on textiles. About 30 years ago, my sister Holly and her daughter Erin took up painting. When I’d come to visit, Holly’s house was abundant with canvases and paints, and
I began to set up still lifes in her dining room, spending the days of my visits painting.

Erin would join me, and a body of work grew from our approaching a still life from slightly different points of view. Over time, it became fascinating to see our similar but quite uniquely different angles on the same subject and to see how we’d interpret the same objects, over and over, channeling the Italian still life painter Giorgio Morandi, who worked from the same collection of objects for his whole career.

Now, Erin and I meet once a year to paint our collection of objects. The fact that we visit these old beloved vessels, jugs, jars, etc. every year and squeeze out of them new colour arrangements and dances of proportion amazes both of us. We both felt our quite different approaches to painting needed to be seen as a body of work. We are delighted the Monterey Museum of Art saw the point of bringing these paintings to the public view.