“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.
I can certainly say I’ve developed my skills of drawing creatively with thread by practicing with needle doodles in my sketchbook. And now I’m reaping some of the many benefits of doodling.
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
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