Friday, June 30, 2006

Quilting and Art

These are illustrations I've done. When I draw, I'm not worrying about where the line goes, or what colors to use. It just comes to me and I do it. When I first started quilting, I read so many books and websites about how to do things the "right" way--which I soon realized wasn't right for me at all. Piecing and precision just wasn't my thing. I figured, "Hey, I don't draw like that, why should I quilt like that?" So I started quilting like I draw and it started coming to me. So what if my stitches aren't perfect, or this part's a little crooked? It's what I intended. If someone else doesn't get it--it's on them. When I was a Corcoran art gallery intern I saw plenty of art that I didn't understand. I realized that it all boiled down to how I felt about it. Isn't that what art's all about?

One thing about doing art quilts is that we seem to feel as if we're always walking that line: "Is it a quilt?", "Is it art?", "What do I call myself?"

Easy--An artist whose medium is quilting. It's really that simple. It's no different than pencil sketches or watercolors. It's all art in the end...


Deb R said...

'"What do I call myself?"
Easy--An artist whose medium is quilting.'

Amen, sister!!! It really should be just that simple and I've never understood how or why so many people make it such an ISSUE!

I adore those pigs. :-)

Susan said...

Great drawings! I really admire people who can do more than one kind of art, especially if it involves drawing or painting anything that looks like what it is supposed to be! I do alright with quilting, and a little cartooning, but "serious" art is just not for me - even after a drawing class. =)

The artist or quilter issue to me is just silly. Quilts are art, and sometimes art is a quilt.

Look at the Gee's Bend quilts as the perfect example. They are art based on their lives, abilities and what was available. I won't make quilts like that, but that's not my life, so it would be fake if I did.

I'm really enjoying reading your blog.

Shirley Goodwin said...

You've got it right, Elle! Do what's right for you, even if it's not what everyone else is doing. I've never fitted in with "the crowd" and after initially vaguely wondering why I couldn't do stuff the way they did, I now embrace my own way of doing things.

diva of quilts said...

I have been going through exactly that this summer, about the way I paint as opposed to the way I quilt. What a transformation! I wish I'd been observant enough to figure that out years ago when I started quilting!