Friday, April 23

Art Quilt Elements:TEXTURE

I've had the craziest of days. Ups and downs, opportunities and failures, joys and frustrations, progress and setbacks. AAAGHGHGHGH! So before I hit the hay I want to look at some art.
I'm glad I saved these for last, as it helps me understand that the crazy day I had was just demonstrating the texture of my life- and these works really explore texture."Father and Mother" by Susan Lenz is a stunning example of texture. It contains grave rubbings on vintage needleworked fabrics, casting another layer of time onto the already history-rich cloths. Her taut quilting stitch (kantha stitch...) ripples the surface creating texture within the cloth, not merely on the surface. I want to hold it in my hands and feel its weight (After perusing her blog I've seen that even the backs of her grave rubbing quilts have vintage fabrics, and now I reallyyyy want to touch it!)."Crossover" by Mary Ruth Smith also blurs the lines between quilting and embroidery, as every square inch of the surface is densely stitched with patterning. The image has a satellite view like looking down on city blocks and buildings. It wasn't until I looked through my camera viewfinder that I noticed the prominent black cross in the composition. Is it just an asphalt intersection? Or does it allude to the faith of a community? This is another one I'm tempted to call "favorite". (the link has more of her artwork as well as her teaching philosophy with which I couldn't agree more)I share this image of Denise M. Furnish's "Nine Patch" not because it was a favorite, but because of its surface texture and boundary breaking. Of note, this piece won the Surface Design award. From far away it appears to be a very formal abstract painting. The beauty of the piece is on close inspection. Made of 2 deconstructed and reconstructed nine-patch quilts, the painting catches every ripple and wrinkle, brushing and caking the surface, but allowing glimpses of the colors and fibers within. It's sort of like a Rauschenberg in that way- elevating the trashed and found to serve the artist's purpose, juxtaposing the traditionally feminine craft of quilting with the oft-perceived masculine art of painting.
I had a student this week question every "artspeak" term I used. "What do you mean when you say texture?" Well, we were drawing and I explained how the marks we make to fill in shapes create the visual appearance of a texture that we may see or touch in real space. Fiber artists have the advantage of creating both visual and actual, sensual texture in their works. These artists really took advantage of that possibility.


  1. Hi!
    Thanks so very, very much for such wonderful words of support! It was my honor to have an art quilt in such a significant exhibition....and the energy from last weekend's opening is still fueling my days and making my fingers stitch with extra happiness!
    Thanks so much!

  2. Wonderful coverage of this exhibition and excellent blog.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog ladies! It really was a great exhibition, and it introduced me to so many artists!
    Terry, I didn't get a picture of your piece, but had a great conversation with a classmate about how important that loose red line was in contrast to the large forms in your quilt!