Marlene Lloyd featured as Wilsonville Public Library's artist of the month
For Marlene Lloyd, the hardest part is letting go.
A weaver since her undergrad years at Northern Arizona University, Lloyd said sending her pieces off to new homes has taken some getting used to.
"I just really put my heart and soul into creating my pieces," Lloyd said. "They're kind of like my little children."
Lloyd's work — handwoven textiles, each of which can be worn or used around the home — will be on display and available for purchase at the Wilsonville Public Library throughout September. After also showcasing her work in 2018, Lloyd was again chosen as the library's artist of the month.
In the exhibit, she will display throw blankets and is trying out variegated chunky acrylic yarn after primarily using silk and cotton in her previous work.
"I wove the pattern in a plain weave and it shows off the beautiful, chunky, vibrant colors," she said.
Since age 8 she has sewn, crocheted and knitted. Her grandmother Gladys owned a vintage Lily Speed-O-Weave. As a child, Lloyd spent her time making doilies for grandma.
"She was definitely one of my early inspirations," Lloyd said.
Lloyd continued her hobbies through high school and into college in Flagstaff, Arizona. She took a bevy of art classes: drawing, painting, ceramics. Finally, a peer suggested she take a weaving class. She did, and it reignited a love that began with Gladys.
Her first teacher was Joanne Tallarovic, an internationally-known weaver. Lloyd quickly felt inspired.
"I just fell in love with it," she said.
So much so that, after the semester concluded, she purchased her first loom — a LeClerc. She still has it and uses it all the time.
With her new loom, Lloyd kept practicing until she felt the urge to display her textiles in a local exhibit. She vividly remembers a conversation she had with Tallarovic. The instructor encouraged her to enter her handwoven table-runner into the exhibit. Lloyd was accepted.
The experience was instrumental. So was her extended time in the Southwest. It's where she developed her palette and affinity for vibrant works of art. The purples, oranges and yellows she was immersed in have shaped her current work.
"I find my color and pattern inspiration in nature," she said. "I walk all the time. I walk in neighborhoods. I go on hikes in the mountains, in the desert. I just hike whenever I'm at."
Once taken aback by the beauty of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Lloyd set out to create a piece in homage to it. She eventually settled on a scarf made out of mercerized cotton. It resembled the blue pool with concentric bands of oranges and other colors surrounding it. Her work made the cover of Handwoven Magazine.
"That is such an honor for me because it's not every day that you get to make the front cover of a magazine," she said. "That is just a dream come true."
In many ways, Lloyd is traditional. She weaves tried-and-true patterns with standard materials. But her bold, contemporary colors stick out.
Lloyd considers her pieces to be one of a kind. She'll rarely weave more than one of any item and, when she does, the colors and textures are different.
Each time she starts a project, she falls in love again. And as hard as it is to let each go, she adores seeing them find a new home.
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