One of the things I'm looking most forward to as editor of Quilting Arts Magazine is learning more about surface design.
Techniques like fabric painting, dyeing, printing on fabric, and foiling are all familiar to me and I admire other artists' use of them. But I haven't explored surface design techniques much myself.
|Surface design fabrics by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.
I love the idea of being able to create fabric that is uniquely mine. As fabric collage is one of my favorite styles of fiber art, I thought I would start by looking for surface design inspiration from artists who mix their media. There are so many to choose from: Judy Coates Perez, Kerr Grabowski, Jane Dunnewold, Melanie Testa, just to name a few, and I'm planning on learning from all of them. I'd also like advice from you.
In the meantime, because I'm just beginning to branch out, I thought I'd take some tips from mixed-media collage artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Her free-wheeling, no-rules/no special equipment approach appeals to a relative newcomer like me.
Julie likes to work with watercolor and acrylic paints, gesso, stencils, and "tools" like paper towel rolls, plastic forks, masking tape, and bubble wrap to make designs.
|Painted collage quilt by
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.
On an episode of "Quilting Arts TV," Julie created a quilts from scraps of painted, stenciled, and stamped fabric. She then lightly painted over a piece of fabric with gesso and used watercolor paints on top to create a face and a message as the focal point.
Her anyone-can-do-it style of teaching really appeals to my sense of adventure. Julie's first Cloth Paper Scissors WorkshopTM video, "Collage Fast and Furious," gave me some great ideas for painting, stenciling, and stamping. And her new video, "All About Faces: How to Draw, Paint, Stencil, and Collage Faces in Mixed-Media Art," focuses on ways to create a pleasing face and incorporate it in paper and fabric art.
I can't wait to start exploring!
P.S. Do you have any tips for learning surface design techniques? What is your favorite surface design medium? Please give me some guidance in the comments section below.