Life Is Good


Karol Kusmaul
(Inverness, Florida)


Vintage quilt, fabrics, acrylic paint


33” W x 44” H


Artist Statement:

I paint with fabrics. Having worked in quiltmaking for more than 40 years, I appreciate the value and sparkle that patterned fabrics have to offer in a composition.  I’m influenced both by my concerns and my daily joys.  I notice common, everyday (but magnificent) moments. I find interesting people everywhere, and I know that each one has multiple stories to share.  My work may show our world’s natural beauty, or ironic contrasts, or the joy of shapes and patterns.  My portraits may depict strangers or those closest to me.  My style is representational with unconventional mixes of patterns.  You might see polka dot lips, plaid rivers or birds in someone’s hair. I focus on strong contrast, and often limit my color palette due to the abundance of pattern in my work. To make fine art from scrap fabric is a delightful transformation.  There is a special look and feel to a ‘painting’ made with cloth and stitching.The patterns and textures are inviting to the eye, the mind and the hand.


I’m deeply upset by the normalized gun violence and loss of innocent lives in our country. We have more guns than people. Guns, even automatic rifles are easily obtained. Americans are easily offended and angered.  Mental health issues are rampant.  Violence ensues.  Innocent people are killed.  It has become commonplace.  It’s happening in schools, churches, grocery stores, movie theaters, concerts, doctors’ offices, daycare centers.

Why am I doing this work?  Because I’m afraid.  I worry when I watch a football game, or the Queen of England’s funeral, where large numbers of people are gathered.  I’m suspicious of strangers who appear in my church.  I’m doing this work because I’m angry.  Guns are valued over innocent human life!

My goal with this work is to show relatable people, portrayed on quilts, the essence of comfort, warmth, and safety.  But they (and their family and friends) will become victims of gun violence.