Wednesday, May 25, 2011


ART + QUILT is a good book for a novice art quilter.  Author Lyric Kinard's aim is, first, to demystify and to take away the fear many have, many who (like me!) claim not to be true artists!  After her first, pep-talk chapter, she has chapters on the elements of art and the principles of design.

Kinard encourages readers to work through her book in order, starting with the first exercise in the chapter on the elements of art.  And so today I dived into the waters of learning the elements of art.  The first exercise involved Texture.  Following her directions, I first scanned several different fabrics of varied designs and patterns.  After printing these, I then cut out various geometric shapes and arranged these into compositions.

I had great fun!  I got totally lost in the composition process and the time flew by.  Kinard suggests that her readers keep all the products of the exercises in a notebook, in plastic sleeves, and this I will do.  When I buy the notebook and sleeves!  But I plan for this blog to be a diary of my efforts as well.

It was striking and illuminating to me how a black and white image of a colored fabric changed the way I felt about it!  For example, I used chiefly batiks, which are my current fabric passion, but I added in two prints, a stripe and the whirligig one you can see in the triangle at the upper left of the first scan.  I never have liked that fabric particularly, never used it in a quilt, but I love it here!  The triangle below in the bottom right is a scan of the brightest and most vivid of the fabrics, but as a black and white image, it is muddy and not distinctive.

My compositions from this first exercise (called "Visual Texture") are pictured below.  Kinard also encourages readers to ask themselves various questions and make comments on the back of their compositions.  I'll record a few comments in my captions.  The questions I'll ask myself and answer in my notebook later!

This is the first one I composed, and it remained my favorite!

I like the way the other shapes and their textures
look on a larger piece of the scanned striped fabric.

I called this one "All Triangles"

And this one, all circles.  I love this one, too!   I am always drawn to circular shapes!

This one looks too crowded to me.  I used
leftover pieces of all the fabric scans for this one, my least favorite.

I observe about myself here that I am commenting more on the shapes and my reactions to how the fabric looks in black and white, and NOT concentrating on "texture."  I suppose I need now to answer those questions, but I'll do that just for myself.


  1. The book seems to be a LOT of fun. I would like to try some of her exercises myself. I meant to buy a package of black and white scraps today at the New England Quilt Museum and forgot. Then I could have played with you.

  2. Yes! Of course, these were paper, but it made me eager to do a small quilt in black and white fabrics. I've been collecting them for some time!