Exploring Pattens and Spatial Relationships
After making traditional quilts for many years, in 2009 I sought a more creative response to my craft than following in the footsteps of others and began a journey to create art quilts. I was inspired to improvisational piecing by a book I happened upon by Jean Wells, Intuitive Color and Design. My early abstract art, “First Light” and “Intersections”, explored spatial relationships by sewing small piecing units then incorporating them with larger cut pieces that made the design elements seem to float in the art.
Later, my work evolved into creating series of art quilts in order to more deeply explore the patterns I created. “Fault Line”, “Urban Cathedral” and “Skylights” are in one series which employs cutting strips 3/4” which are sewn together to make a large unit. This unit is then cut and re-pieced to create a grid-like pattern that depends on the intense texture of the fine piecing sewn together with either blocks or strips of color to ground the design.
Another example of a series of work can be seen in “Constructions II” which combines ombre gray fabric and black fabric. This series considers the use of the ombre to portray light in unexpected spaces. Black fabric breaks up the planes of positive and negative spaces to present a bold structure in the work.
Combining my skills in calligraphy and fiber arts inspired the creation of another series of art quilts as seen in “Encrypted”, “Encrypted III” and “Be Someone”. Traditional rules of very structured forms found in quilting and the ancient art of calligraphy, are broken when there is little regard for space. Stacking brushed, hand written, words and letters onto whole cloth, as well as writing both horizontally then vertically over the same letters is aesthetically pleasing and playful. This is accomplished by dipping my brush into thickened dye or acrylic paint and applying directly onto cloth.
Another series of my work involves photographic images that have been altered in PhotoShop and then commercially transferred to cloth. The work is heavily quilted in a thread painting style. “Succulent Sorbet” is an example of this artistic voice.
I have found that I lean toward work that is black and white. Though I like color and use it in my art, I am most inspired by the visual impact of the absence of color and the statement it makes, especially if just a hint of hue is added.
I invite you to explore more of my work on my website: hopewilmarth.com