Fiber Artist Loretta Alvarado has the creative process all sewn up. Her home-based studio, neatly walled with fabric bolts and cubby holes, occupies roughly half the main floor of her Mission Viejo town home. It’s an inviting place, brimming with warmth and creative possibilities.
Loretta’s approach to the creative process defies conventional thinking: she frequently starts with a title, and then sets about creating a work of art to express it. Dry wit and word-play greatly influence her creative process, and the resulting artwork emerges through free association and experimenting. Little to no sketching. Tremendous creativity. Ample playtime. Great results.
The 20-year Art-A-Fair veteran relies on fabric, yarn, whimsy and humor to create a unique body of work that clearly demonstrates her expertise in three distinct techniques: felting, quilting, and fiber collage. Her prolific use of felted “rocks” forms a common thread throughout much of her work. She creates all her signature stones by hand, piercing a barbed needle through wool roving to compact the gossamer fibers into solid shapes. She has used the same technique to create more complex felted elements, including a turtle, octopus and sea otter.
Loretta is an avid cartoon fan and expert storyteller whose yarns kept this humble author in stitches during the course of our visit. One such story tells of an Art-A-Fair visitor who eagerly selected materials and fabrics for her as she worked on a new piece. He was so captivated with the resulting artwork that he purchased it on the spot. Another tale involves a young man who still treasures the gold fabric “coin” Loretta gave him as a little child visiting Art-A-Fair with his Mom. Don’t miss your opportunity to visit Loretta and enjoy her one-of-a-kind work at this summer’s Art-A-Fair. Perhaps she’ll give you a gold coin, too!