Art friends you meet in the strangest places!

Pal Erin Russek and her trainer friend Luke Haynes

Pal Erin Russek and her friend and fellow quilter Luke Haynes

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

-Georgia O’Keefe

I met my friend Erin Russek at our day job when she came to McCall’s Quilting Magazines. (Strange place? Not really, only occasionally. wink wink.) I have a favorite quote by Georgia O’Keefe so similar to the above one Erin has on her blog. Guess we again seem to be drawn to same inspirations.
Like many artists, Erin is talented in all sorts of areas. Creating applique shapes for quilts is one of her strengths, which means she likes to draw shapes and transform them into beautiful quilting art! She’s also been transforming herself lately, working out and getting healthier. What inspiration!
A sample of Erin's quilt applique work

A sample of Erin’s quilt applique work

Erin and I had the chance to teach 120 quilters about how to make quilts and learn about color. Except we were on 2 different cruises with McCall’s, me in 2013 and she in 2014. Too bad we couldn’t have the chance to travel together and share experiences.

Erin swims with Dolphins!

Erin swims with Dolphins!

Karen plays tourist in Grand Cayman and shows art quilts on the ship for class

Karen plays tourist in Grand Cayman and shows art quilts on the ship for class

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be teaching quilters about designing with color on a cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea. (Did you, Erin?) I’m glad for it all, as it truly was a once in a lifetime experience, as they say. Hoping to reconnect with lots of my art friends like Erin and compare notes, now that I have a little bit more time in my day!

I’m back to painting full time in the studio after nearly 5 years of working as a graphic designer at my day job for McCall’s Quilting Magazine. I’m happy to have worked at that job, as it pushed me forward in my life in ways I can share later, so many positives.

Now there are so many things happening in the creative life, with painting, art quilt plans and multi-media. Comment below, please,  I’d love to hear things like:

Do you have an art friend who inspires you?

Do you both have different interests and yet similar things in common?

Thanks for reading,


Erin Russek’s blog is at:

"Flowers on the Terrace", Acrylic painting, Karen Gillis Taylor, 24 x 24", detail

“Flowers on the Terrace”, Acrylic painting, Karen Gillis Taylor, 24 x 24″, detail

Doggie is busted, Erin's little guy

Doggie is busted, Erin’s little guy

Hey Erin, what is your doggie’s name again? What a cutie…






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2 Responses to “Art friends you meet in the strangest places!”

  1. nsturgill Says:

    How can one not be inspired by Georgia O’Keefe—the color, the natural inspiration, the design. One of my favorite places in the world is Abiguii (?) and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the landscapes and colors of New Mexico!


    • karen Says:

      Abiquiu is a wonderful place for inspiration! I am going to New Mexico soon for that very reason, and hope to share some cool things, check back in mid-September please!


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