Mardell is a textile artist who uses a combination of her own hand dyed and designed cottons and high quality commercial cottons. Each of her pieces of art are constructed by stitching together textiles which have been cut into small pieces using a free hand cutting technique. Once the artwork is composed, she layers it with cotton or bamboo batting and a backing textile, then stitch the layers together with dense stitching, resulting in a highly textured surface.
Mardell began sewing quilts in the traditional style in the early 1990s, taking classes and learning a variety of techniques. Health challenges led her to explore various surface design techniques, construction styles and mixed media applications in her home studio. She began exhibiting in 2007 and show venues have included Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., and at various galleries throughout Canada. Her work can also be found in the homes of collectors throughout North America.
I make abstract textile paintings as a way of expressing ideas about a variety of topics. I enjoy working in series as a way to fully explore the theme. Two of my current series delve into themes around connections, and of balance. Colour, texture, line and shape fascinate me. These factors, in combination with the tactile nature of fabric draw me to the studio daily to work on my art. I often hand dye cotton fabric to use in my work, in combination with commercially available cottons. The artwork is constructed by cutting the individual pieces freehand and then sewing them together. Once this surface is created, it is layered with batting and backing. Finally, additional texture is added by dense stitching using a cotton thread mostly by machine, and occasionally by hand.