Parallels Between Painting and Quilts

Posted by on 24 February 2018 | 0 Comments

Quiltmakers who are moving forward with their work often study art - there is so much to be learned. Think of all the parallels between painting and quilts.

strength of quiet windowsa by Elizabeth Barton smThe public at art shows asks:

“What is abstract art good for? Of what use to society are pictures of nothing?”

The public at quilt shows says:

“These are not your grandmother’s quilts! Of what use to society are quilts that won’t keep you warm!”

There are so many similarities between what happens in the “fine art” world and the quilt world. Don’t worry I am not getting into an argument as to whether art quilts are art or craft. For me they are both: the concepts are orthogonal. Do not waste your time on it!

Art, especially abstract art, can inspire quilt design more than almost anything else.  If you want to jump start, if you want to move forward with your work, there's really nothing that comes close to looking at the innovators in abstract art.  And beyond the first innovators are all the subsequent developments which focused on extending the new ideas, combining ideas, overlaying, mixing, matching in very much the same way that has happened in the art quilt world. Much abstract art is not really the result of totally new discoveries or ideas but rather the result of taking ideas that were already there and adapting, recycling, isolating, recontextualizing, repositioning and recombining to form new possibilities! And this is what I hope to encourage you to do in this workshop! People discovered the African American Quilters of Oakland, Gees Bend and folk like Anna Williams with their free form improvisational ways of cutting and sewing fabric and built on them. And are still building on them, in very much the same way the early abstract artists took ideas from each other and built upon them.

Come and enjoy this journey into the world of abstract art...and create a multitude of new designs!

......Elizabeth Barton
                Blog Site

Join Elizabeth in her online workshop "Abstract Art for Quiltmakers". This class is stuffed with exercises for designing many different kinds of abstract quilts… plus a great introduction to the wonderful abstract paintings of female painters so often overlooked.  You will end up with enough designs for a whole year of quiltmaking!

tree by Elizabeth Barton sm

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