“What a phenomenal piece!” This was the comment I received about a black and white piece I’d created. Don’t get me wrong. I love color – a LOT! If you’re familiar with my work, this will not come as a surprise to you. And I know a lot of you love color too. But I also love black and white color schemes.
I like the stark contrast you get with monochromatic, graphic color schemes. In recent weeks, I’ve not been able to create new work but I try to keep up with a regular sketchbook habit.
Needle Doodles #1
When I was learning to draw with thread on fabric, the one thing that made a huge difference was drawing in my sketchbook.
I create Needle Doodles by drawing without lifting the pen off the page – just as though I were drawing with a needle on a fabric (hence the name needle doodle). I emphasize this learning technique in the upcoming course that I’m creating. Because I know how much of a difference it made to my own growth.
I haven’t found a better non-scary way to learn to draw on fabric than this. It’s a little bit hard to show some of the needle-doodles because they’re so faint when I scan them. So after the fact, I go over the lines to make them dark enough to photocopy. However, when I’m drawing them, I’m thinking of sewing with a needle. I know I won’t want to unpick stitches when I make a mistake so I don’t erase when doing needle doodles.
Needle Doodles #2
After I learned the power of practicing on paper, I’ve since focused on creating needle doodles which can actually be stitched. So I deliberately make each mark, each stroke of the pen or pencil a mark that can be stitched. Even when it comes to shading, I use a thread shading technique on the pages of my sketchbook.
Needle Doodles #3
I’m not trying to perfect the marks or lines when I needle doodle on paper. I’m just drawing them as best as I could as though I were sewing. This helps me immensely to overcome some of the fears and resistance when I sit at my sewing machine to creatively draw with thread.
As I previously mentioned, I’ve come to love the graphic nature of working with white, black and grays. I think it’s more challenging to create a balanced and interesting piece of work with this color scheme. And it’s a challenge I like to take on.
I’m a member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) a professional organization that promotes the art quilt and those who create them. Its yearly fundraiser will take place from September 15 through October 8. Each year, I create a piece for its annual fundraising event. Here’s my donation piece this year.
As you can see, all black, white and grays – with a LOT of creative thread drawing.
Totally Black and White Work for Benefit
Here’s a note I received from the executive director of SAQA for my donation.
Thank you for your donation to SAQA’s 2017 Benefit Auction. What a phenomenal piece! In our quilting world of over-saturated color, it takes great courage to make a piece in black and white. And I really like how you’ve used only two subtle fabrics while creating all the other elements with various weights of stitching. Fantastic! ~ Martha Sielman
Please support SAQA by purchasing these works of art here http://bit.ly/2tBrJKn