Tuesday…In the Studio–“An Artist’s Response to Materials”

An artist’s response to organic materials influences their creative process and the resulting piece of art–a sculptor carves a fish from wood…a potter throws a vase from clay…a painter paints a landscape with paint and canvas…or a textile artist creates a wall hanging from fabric and thread.

Batik Cotton

Growing up in North Carolina, there were many fabric shops and factory outlets with a large array of different types, colors, and patterns of textiles. I first found my love of fabrics and thread, and the possibilities of what they could become, wandering @ and dreaming in these stores. My first sewing project was in sixth grade Girl Scouts. We got to use a pattern, cut-out fabric, and use a sewing machine to make an apron. I was hooked…During high school, it amazed me that I could find fabric that I loved, find a pattern similar to styles in the stores, and create clothes!  Magic…plus–they fit me!

During this past holiday weekend, we took a trip to Floyd,Virginia, a center for music and visual arts. This is one stop on the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and along the Blue Ridge Parkway with its natural, beautiful scenery.

Blue Ridge

It was chance to get out & about…get inspirations from the sights and sounds of a new place…have time to incubate ideas… and gain encouragement to be creative.  A time to be relaxed with other people…listen to music at the Floyd Country Store‘s noon concert…view other artists’ work in galleries, shops, and visit the sights and sounds of the outdoor community market. But, the main highlight for me was spending time at Schoolhouse Fabrics.

This store is reminiscent of the shops of my youth—an old three-storied school building filled with fabric of all types— including wools, cottons, and satins, colors—reds, greens, and purples– and textures—nubby, silky, and coarse.

Silver & Gold

I found the hard to find gold and silver fabric that is needed to finish my Lifeweavings  wall-hanging,

brights for the fabric “paint”stash,

Bright Fabric "Paint"

Vibrant Silks

wonderfully vibrant colored silks,

and fun fabric for my grandbaby, I just could not pass up.

Child's Fabric, print ©Hampton Printworks.
Printed Fabric, © Hampton Printworks.

These are examples of the materials that are collected and used by textile artists. The artist responds to the color of the fabrics, the feel, or hand, of the cloth, and the texture of the piece visually and by touch. Wandering through the many aisles and rooms of colorful fabric, not only did I imagine what I might create…                                                                                                                 I remembered the girl dreaming of all the possibilities…

♦What are the materials you respond to in your artistic endeavors?

Tuesday…”In the Studio…”

12" Art Quilt In Process...
In the Studio...

In the library this week, I found the video, The Art of Quilting, a PBS Home Video (2007). Today as I viewed it, I was inspired, encouraged, and delighted by the images and commentary about contemporary American art quilts and the artists that create them. The video has 3 different segments with a focus on the quilts and artists involved with–1) Quilt National, a biannual exhibit, 2) Chicago School of Fusing, a group of artists using the technique of fusing in construction, and 3) Art Quilts Philadelphia, a biennial event featuring art quilts.

For anyone working in the textiles arts or anyone interested in the design process used by these artists, I recommend this DVD.  You may want to visit the websites of several of the artists with art featured on The Art of Quilting video …a few I have visited include:            Melody Johnson,                                                                                                                                                 Bob Adams,                                                                                                                                                      Therese May,                                                                                                                                                         Pam RuBert,                                                                                                                                                      Tafi Brown,                                                                                                                                                      Lisa Call,                                                                                                                                                           Dinah Sargeant,                                                                                                                                                       Joy Saville,                                                                                                                                                     Kathyanne White,                                                                                                                                                        Anne Lullie.

For artists who work with fabrics and thread, the visual elements of color and texture, along with the feel, or hand, of the fabrics are all part of the inspiration and motivation to work in this medium…I believe the traditional, symbolic, and emotional connection with fabric through-out the history of civilizations is the draw for many viewers of this art.

♥ Who are your favorite textile artists?