One artist said she uses a stitched or quilted line in her work. My self-portrait above is a good example of using stitching to create a line. As my mother told my soon-to-be husband, I have the "soul of an artist." Now my mother meant that I don't clean house but I wanted this small wall hanging to show my artistic soul and downplay my physical habitation. That was my intent for this piece. So, I used ink to give the background some color, to move it into the background, and to ground the figure so it was not floating. I finished the background with some meander quilting for texture without drawing interesting to the stitching line. I used bold commercial fabric for the shadow to really make a statement but be dark enough to be the shadow. AND I used a stitched line for the figure because I wanted a thinner, more delicate line to show details. Drawing a dye line would have been too strong of a line for the intent of the piece. It would have said something different than I wanted the line to say. So, I chose a stitched line in this case.
Another artist said that there are so many different options to make a good line why did I bother with the dye. Again that is a good point and is answered again by asking, "What is the intent for the piece and what type of line is needed?" In this snow dye piece I saw a flower garden and wanted to enhance that. For this line I used a micron pen. It gave a solid consistent thin line that I wanted for the piece. That worked well because I knew I was going to use some chalk (also known as fugitive media) to enhance the flowers so I could "fix" it all when I was done. A dye line would have taken away from the delicacy of the flowers. A stitched line would have been difficult with so many individual petals.
So why am I using a thickened dye line in these pieces?
First, Intent. Right now in my art career I am spending more time in surface design than in sewing. Right now my goal with each piece is to create an artistic design that stands alone. Or in other words, doesn't need stitching or quilting or thread drawing to complete the design. I want to create something that could be framed or stretched without adding any embellishment to it. That is my intent so I am experimenting with a thickened dye line.
Second, Quality of Line. I want the line to be bold, obtrusive, an independent voice in the design. I want it to be free and loose and have some texture of its own. I want it to have weight. I like the work that Ayn Hanna is doing and so I am experimenting to see if I can produce such a line to incorporate into my work.
Good news is that with practice my lines are getting less gloppy and blobby and are starting to say what I want them to say. Stay tuned.
Brought to you by Judith.