Monday, July 15, 2013

Featured Artist Profile: Jan Holzbauer

Today I'm pleased to feature Jan Holzbauer, a wonderful art quilter from Oklahoma.  She can be found online at  I was pleased to meet Jan this past weekend at the opening of Fiberworks 2013 where Jan's beautiful piece "Bruiser" is being shown.  I was just amazed at the density and texture in the thread painting; it was fabulous to see it in person.  Bruiser's expression is so very cat like, regally waiting to offer judgment on whatever wanders into his domain.

1. Who are you and where do you live?
I am Jan Holzbauer.   I live just outside of Jennings, OK which is between  Tulsa & Stillwater.

2. Tell us a little bit about your artistic journey and how you got started?
I have sewn since I was a little girl making my doll clothes, then graduated up to making my own clothes.  I got started as a traditional quilter in 1986 when I made my first quilt for my 1st step-daughter when she turned 16 years old.  Then the other three step kids got a quilt, my daughter has gotten several and now I’m working on grand kid #5.  My art quilt journey started when I went back to college in 2006-2010 at OSU and finally talked my professors into letting me do my work in thread painting.

Pinwheel BOM 1, c. Jan Holzbauer

Hadiya 1, c. Jan Holzbauer

3. How do you describe your work?
I like to make representational art pieces using fabric and thread.   I enjoy making portraits of people and animals.  Mostly if you have a photo – I can thread paint it.

Bruiser, c. Jan Holzbauer

Bruiser, detail, c. Jan Holzbauer

4. Do you have any favorite techniques or approaches?
I love free motion thread painting.   I don’t use a computer to digitize my pieces.  Some call it free motion embroidery but it entails so much more than just embroidery.

5. What do you want to communicate with your work?
I like to make memories for people whether it is of a person, place or pet.  To give them a special type of way to remember that special thing.

Rod & Jackie, close up, c. Jan Holzbauer

6. What methods, or lifestyle tips, or time management tips do you find helpful to producing work?
Get up from your work frequently; stretch; get something to drink; take a brief walk.  Take a few steps back away from your work to get a different perspective.

Black Bear, c. Jan Holzbauer

7. What kind of studio/workspace do you have and what features of your surroundings are most helpful for your productivity/work?
When I am working on my longarm quilting machine it is in an upstairs room because that’s the only place it would fit.  But I get my exercise going up and down stairs because I usually have something downstairs in my ‘regular’ sewing room that I need.   Downstairs in my ‘regular’ sewing room is where I do most of my work.  It is where I do my thread painting and painting on fabric.  Although it sometimes feels a little crowded in my sewing room I like it because I know where everything is located and I try to keep it somewhat organized…although that doesn’t always work.

8. Which artists, other individuals or subjects currently inspire you?

I love Pam Holland’s work, Hollis Chatelain, Lura Schwarz Smith & Maria Elkins.

Thanks for sharing your work with us Jan!


  1. She's not only a great quilter, she's an amazing person. What a great featured artist to choose.

  2. It's great to see Jan's work being admired as it should. What talent!

  3. I think her work is great too, and aside from the fact that she is my baby sister, which in and of itself makes her great, she is a great lady and artist. I love seeing her work. She is a constant inspiration and encouragement to me. She bops me on the head a lot. I love her and am very proud of her accomplishments.