Elizabeth's view on Abstract Quilts
I'm looking forward to Elizabeth's next session of Abstract Art for Quiltmakers so thought it would be fun to get her thought's on Abstract Art.
"I have loved abstract art for many years, never really understood it! Some just look so sloppy!! Some are exciting but difficult to figure out what the artist was thinking, other works are so inspiring to a quilter. I must admit I often think: now that would look so much better in Fiber!!! I love writing a new course; I always begin by thinking about something that really inspires, fascinates and intrigues me - something I want to know a lot more about and dig into. And abstract art is really fascinating when you get into it...the history of it, what painters were trying to do, and why some paintings work so much better than others.
Many traditional quilt patterns are in fact abstract designs, fiber artists in general, discovered the beauty of abstraction long before people like Kandinsky and af Klint. Think about those really ancient textiles from Peru. I think as quilters and designers we can look at abstract art and build on the ideas that we see, change things, add two separate ideas together to create something new, or just work from a small detail of a larger picture.
People often worry about a design course that it will involve a lot of drawing...and so many people have said to me "but I can't draw!". Well, the truth is none of us can, until we have learned. It's a technical skill like playing the piano. You have to learn and you have to practice. But...do you need to be able to draw well to create quilt designs??? I don't think so!! As long as you can write your name! And draw a simple diagram - like a map you might give a friend - before the days of smartphones and GPS of course! - as long as you can doodle!...then you can draw out a perfectly serviceable quilt design....especially an abstract one. Errors, in fact, might turn out to be the best part!!!!
When I was a child, my father was the cook (dreadful cook!)...and we would come home from school and say "what's for dinner?"
He often would reply: "oh it's one of my mistakes!" "oh, goodie!! they're often the best dinners!"
so there you are....mistakes mean you are taking risks, and taking risks is the way into creativity."
.... Elizabeth Barton
About Abstract Art for Quiltmakers: This online workshop 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! Read more...
Some of Elizabeth's Abstract Art quilts (quilt at top right is "Strength of Quiet Windows")
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