Velda Newman is an internationally recognized contemporary textile artist, author, teacher, and lecturer who lives in Northern California. Known for her large-scale, painterly designs, most of which are based on her observations of nature, Velda creates original quilts of exceptional beauty and craftsmanship. She works in vivid colors and close-up, eye-level detail of her subjects —flowers, butterflies, sea shells, fish, and fruit—to create stunning works of art that have a tactile, three-dimensional immediacy.
Over the past 25 years Velda's work has appeared in many national and international exhibitions and has been featured in more than 30 publications, including The Art Quilt and American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780-2007 by Robert Shaw and Quilter's Newsletter and Threads magazines. Most recently, a selection of her work was featured in the special exhibition "Larger Than Life: Quilts by Velda Newman," shown at the Shelburne Museum in 2013.
Velda's 1989 quilt Hydrangea was recognized by a panel of experts as one of the 100 best American quilts of the 20th century. Both Hydrangea and Geranium, another one of her large-scale floral works, are part of the celebrated John M. Walsh III Collection of Contemporary Art Quilts.
Velda comments: “My approach to quilt design is similar to a painter’s: I use color, composition, and scale to capture the spirit of nature, but through the medium of fabric and thread. Many classic works of art depict nature on a scale smaller than real life. A landscape places you in a relatively distant position, and even a still life may portray the subject at less than its actual size. I do just the opposite: I take life and amplify it.”