Lines Marks and Stitches 5

Patterns of lines – straight, wavy and zigzag, triangles, squares and other geometric shapes, arcs, circles, concentric circles, scattered dots, grids of dots, dotted outlines, spirals, these are are some of the most basic shapes that make up patterns that humans put together. I always think of them as primal, because if you put a mark making implement in any child’s hand he will come up with at least some of them and gradually assemble them into pictures, regardless of his cultural background. I googled childrens’ drawings and was faced with lots of vibrant pics, with various subheadings, so I selected one, psychology . There I found some fascinating and some very disturbing stuff! I could have googled around for hours.

Anyway, back to shapes. My very first art quilt, Ancient Expressions 1, 1988, featured a section across the middle quilted in a pattern I’d found in a book on rock art in America’s Southwest. A jeweller working in silver also probably saw pictures of the same rock, or read the same book, because I once came across a beautiful belt buckle engraved with it, too.

I used a variation of this kind of pattern again in Dreamlines 3 (2015) There are many ancient and modern objects and art works from different cultures with this kind of primal pattern on Pinterest.

I’ve loved it for a long time, and am seriously thinking of using it again in a large piece, 2.25m x 1.25cm. That size suits our dining area wall which needs a fresh piece on it. I’m contemplating hand stitching to oversew whatever I come up with in terms of lines and semicircles … heck why not think big, there’s a pandemic on, so I have plenty of time for a big project – and next year there’ll be an Art Quilt Australia exhibition, too. I’ve got fabric for several background possibilities, and just have to think about the fabrics for the appliqued shapes that might go on either a black, tan or cream. Something earthy and natural, primitive? Perhaps something very bright in splashy colours? I also have yardage of a soft light-mid grey with a sateen finish which could look lovely with all neutrals on it, so while I’m pondering all that, I need to complete the girt by sea landscapes project. I’m doing a bit each day, and at this stage it’s very time consuming. I’m hand stitching small iconic Aussie images onto them:

Sydney Harbour Bridge, ~5cm x ~2-3cm. Backstitch

Sydney Harbour Bridge took me a couple of hours yesterday (including perhaps 1/2 hour to unpick and re-sew a bit), but I’ve got a good supply of recorded books!

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