Leslie Rego

Color and texture work off of one another to create a multitude of patterns. These patterns, integrated with light and shadow, create layers of depth. I use color and shape in my pieces to create a balanced composition, constantly adjusting the design to maintain an equilibrium between harmony and chaos. Textural designs added to the surface of my pieces add another layer of depth, while also serving as focal points within the composition.

I use a combination o different fabrics, paints, colored pencils, and trims to create a variety of textures and patterns in my pieces. I use my own hand-dyed fabrics, but I also incorporate Indonesian batiks, hand-woven pieces from Guatemala, Japanese kimono lengths, ikats and early twentieth-century finds to develop many different color combinations. In addition, I add old silk and metallic ribbons or blend in velvets. Often I overdye or embellish many of the fabrics I include in my work.

Recently I have been starting my pieces with a background fabric that I dye with some kind of pattern. Over the surface I then paint my design or print a hand-drawn design. There are a variety of printing techniques which I can use, including silk screening, thermal printing or deconstructed screen printing. Next, I add layers of fabrics and thread embroidery. Finally, I add details with colored pencils and oil stick paints.

For many years I lived in the small town of Antigua, Guatemala, a Spanish colonial gem. I was married and my three children were born in this town. Antigua holds a special place in my heart because it was not only the place of origin for my family, but also for my artistic awakening. It was in Antigua that I first noticed and studied the joyful and unusual color combinations used in the Mayan-Indian weavings. I also observed how the light hit the dyes used in the textiles during different times of the day. I believe that it is my time in Guatemala that gave me my fearless approach to color. I love to combine unexpected color choices and figure out how to make them work. I have been experimenting with the effect of light and color in my work ever since.

While I lived in Antigua, I collected rare and priceless Mayan-Indian textiles. For many years I have been sharing my textile collection through lectures and demonstrations at universities, quilt guilds and other venues.

Many of my quilts have been juried into international and national shows, galleries and museums. My quilts are included in private and corporate art collections in the United States, Europe and Guatemala.