Thursday, February 9, 2012

From Doodle to Art Quilt

I’m a doodler. I can sketch, I can paint, but what I really love to do is doodle. I can’t sit still in a meeting—I doodle as I take notes. So, I am trying to embrace what I do naturally and expand on that to create artwork, rather than trying to do what is popular, or what other people do, or what other people want me to do, so that my work will be unique and really express what is inside me. I doodle flowers, faces, letters and numbers, and abstract designs. I am also trying to stop being a perfectionist, and not feel like a failure when something is a little sloppy or lopsided.

This 8.5” x 11” artquilt started with a little doodle using an orange marker on ATC sized watercolor paper. I scanned that and played with it in Photoshop, creating my ‘red’ themed ATCs for our Arts in the Cards February exchange.

The theme for our very first Arts in the Cards REvisioned art quilts is ‘rebirth’…so I chose to try a different interpretation of the orange doodle. In photoshop, I changed it from orange to black, enlarged it, then did a positive/negative and flipped and repeated it. It was the same process I used for the red ATCs, but larger and in black and white. I ironed freezer paper [shiny side down] to white cotton, then cut the fabric/paper to 8.5x11 and printed it out of my computer.

The question was…what do I do around the edge? I designed a black and white checkerboard border in QuarkXpress, which looked cool. But then it seemed too puttery to cut little pieces out of fabric and piece them together, and too time-consuming to paint them on fabric. So, I tried a white border with big red buttons, a black border with big red buttons, an abstract b/w border of painted recycled tyvek, and a black felt border with smaller white buttons—which was the one I decided to use.

It was fun doing this just for me for a change—no jury committee or magazine editor to worry about, no concerns about mailing it, no duplication so that everyone could have one. I enjoyed the therapy of hand-sewing the buttons. There were a few mistakes; I didn’t have my rotary cutter and had to hand-cut the felt edging, so one of the sides is not quite the right width, and I miscounted on the buttons…the top row has a different number than the bottom. Also, I am not a super skillful quilter technically, so my machine quilting lines are wobbly. Rather than re-doing the edge, the machine stitching and the buttons, I finished it anyway, allowing myself to be imperfect…not an easy thing for a Virgo perfectionist!

1 comment:

Janet Ghio said...

Linda--very nice. I love the bold modern graphic mixed with the old fashioned buttons!. Great piece!!