Archive for No Art Work – It’s All About YOU!

No Art Work – It’s All About YOU! A New Category for Fiber Fantasies

A pile of treasures in my art studio for consideration for art quilts

OK, I’m going out on a limb here. So far, most of my posts have been about my art quilts and me. Now I’m going to invite you to be inspired by some materials or ways of working that maybe you hadn’t thought of. If you let your cursor linger over the title of the category for this blog,”No Art Work- It’s All About YOU!”, ( look over in the right hand “Categories” column),  you’ll see what I’m hoping to get across with this ongoing series of blogs. It says… “Art work ideas for the reader to inspire them to take them to the next level and challenge them to step out of their comfort zones.” So let’s begin with this photo of a collection of trash..ahem.. treasures on the top of a bookshelf in my studio. (As you can see, my concept of a “storage system” is pretty broad!)

Let’s pretend that you’re on a desert island, and all you have to make art with is what’s on this shelf. Perhaps an inventory is in order, but then there are others who would want to just dive in with whatever is the first thing that they pick up. Whatever would be your usual way of progressing, let me invite you to do the other, and make some kind of artwork. For example, if you’re the orderly type, then forget the inventory, and dive right in with the first thing you pick up and do something with it. Given that you can’t actually handle these materials, then let me at least explain one of them in the photo.

In the lower left hand corner is my old teacher bell; the kind that goes ding-ding and which was supposed to draw the kids’ attention back into the room. OK, what would you do with that to make art? You could repeat the pattern of the ding-ding, one-two, one-two sound across the surface of your art quilt or paper (we’re allowing some leniency on this desert island with regard tp available materials; there was another crate of found materials I forgot to mention.) You could take the bell apart and trace the shapes. You could dip the pieces in paint or mud and make marks that way. You could look into the reflective surface and draw the few images that can still be seen, as the surface is pretty scratched up. You could let it rust and then make images of what you see. In fact, there’s one artist. Melissa McClain,who specializes in photos of rust. Go to… . On the left side of her site is an icon to click on of a beautiful study in color of blue and gold that is actually rust from the bottom of the boat. I’d swear that it was done with Caribbean blue  and gilt paint.

OK, so hopefully, you have a new way of looking at simple objects as inspirational sources that you hadn’t considered before. Why not go and make some artwork, inspired by looking at things a new way, or proceeding with a different process than you usually use. We’ll look some more at the contents of the shelf in future blogs and how you might consider using some of the ideas for your own style and medium. I find that I often get more ideas when looking at other media from my own, and I hope that even though you may not be an art quilter, you’ll come away with something to apply to your own way of creating.

How do you go about looking and thinking outside of the box.? What are some useful hints that you’d like to share with the rest of us on your thought process. Also, please contact me at if you create any artwork based on these ideas. I’d LOVE to see it!

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.