Patterns, Stencils, and Exotic Textiles

29 Jun 2011

Believe it or not, this piece of cloth was sky painted by artist Terry Maddox using light-sensitive paints.
Believe it or not, this piece of cloth was sky painted by artist Terry Maddox
using light-sensitive paints. Yowza--it's beautiful. 
Who says I have to start painting or drawing on a blank page? Some of my favorite drawings are doodles that are on torn newspaper pages or napkins or menus, where there are lines of text or graphics or blocks of color underneath. That might be the reason I like street art and art quilts so much. Street art...and quilting? Did you hear me right? Yes, yes you did. Both practices are all about interesting layer effects with color, shape, texture, and pattern. 

Why not apply the same techniques to a drawing or painting? That's what I asked myself, too. And that's why I did a little recon over at Quilting Arts to see how I can turn my defiance of the blank page into something new and noteworthy.The potential to learn from other crafts is definitely there. I found this article on surface design that really set my mind a'thinking about possibly pre-printing or marking my surface before I start on my final composition by stenciling with found objects, incorporating patterns I see in the landscape, and more.

Painting on top of a surface that has a subtle pattern on it creates the illusion of depth on a flat surface, as in this art quilt by Barbara Schneider.
Painting on top of a surface that has a subtle pattern
on it creates the illusion of depth on a flat surface,
as in this art quilt by Barbara Schneider.
Plus, there is a free eBook on 5 Surface Design, Paint, and Monoprint Techniques that quilters likely apply to fabric, but I could definitely apply to paper, panel, and canvas. Sneaky, aren't I?

I've already brainstormed a few ideas. Like instead of doing an underpainting wash on an oil painting canvas, I could use a subtle, all-over pattern taken from a vintage ceiling tile (I got that idea straight from the eBook). Maybe get a length of unstretched canvas, dye it, and then mount it? Who knows if any of these will "work," but that isn't really the point for me. I want to explore! I've got artistic wanderlust, and I think this might be just what I am looking for to express myself and open some doors that have been closed to me before, artistically speaking. Are you with me?

 


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