At 85, the lifelong artist says she feels like she’s reached a new peak.
One of her art quilts is about to be part of an international touring show of Studio Art Quilts Associates. It’s an international non-profit group based in Storrs, Connecticut.
A second quilt will tour in the group’s separate national show.
“It was quite a surprise,” said Reive.
Reive created the international piece, Lake Vistas II, in 2014. It shows the lake scene in a disjointed way, with its rectangular sections rearranged.
“It was taken from one of my paintings,” said Reive. She photocopied the painting, then cut the copy into sections and repositioned them before creating a quilt depicting the new look.
The national show’s entry is the colourful A Fall Day in Westport, created in 2015.
“I actually did a little painting right on the spot.”
Both are about the size of coffee tables.
They’ll be displayed starting May 21 at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ont. before their tours, each of which are to last two years, Reive said.
Born in Edmonton, she grew up in Regina during the “dirty ‘30s” of the Great Depression.
Reive began drawing at age 9 and at about the same time began sewing.
Her teacher, Mrs. Burch, sparked her interest in art.
“We painted in watercolour every day … She was a really great teacher as far as the arts were concerned. She was the one that got me going.”
Her first big achievement was winning first prize at a children’s fair at age 11 or 12. Her entry was a drawing of United States President Franklin Roosevelt.
Reive said she continued with art – though it wasn’t offered in her high school – and after she married George Reive, he bought her an oil-painting set for Christmas. The gift encouraged her further.
Today she can paint in most media in addition to crafting her quilts, drawing and working in felt.
“Sometimes I dye my own fabric if I can’t find the right colour or value.”
Reive has had several pieces in Quilt Canada’s national shows, including a jurors’ choice award and honourable mention.
She’s a member of several local art associations, a well-known exhibitor and for 38 years taught art in Loyalist College’s continuing education department.
“I always make time every day to do something art-related,” Reive said.
“She disappears downstairs,” said George. A retired air force mechanic and engineer, he’s constructed lightboxes and storage for his wife’s work. Their basement contains her studio and a few storage rooms full of framed art.
Quilts and paintings also decorate the walls.
The artist said sales have declined in recent years.
“People are paying too much for lettuce, so they’re not buying much to hang on their walls,” George said.
But his wife wasn’t complaining, especially now that she knows her art is about to become well-travelled.
“I thought, ‘I’ll enter it and see what happens,’” she said, laughing.
“I’m ecstatic that after 85 years something has happened!”
article courtesy of The Intelligencer/Luke Hendry
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