Line Mastery

As part of my January lines challenge I viewed work I admired by artists ranging from the renowned Paul Klee to textile designer Lucienne Day. I’ll be showing the second part of my January lines challenge soon, but first I want to share work I looked at for inspiration.

I consider Paul Klee a master of line as he uses it so many different ways. The handbill below shows his thick line technique that echoes Arabic writing to me.

Paul Klee “The Comedians”

Lucienne Day was a British textile designer whose work epitomized mid century interior design. I believe these designs are still available. If they look familiar I suspect it’s because many current designers have done work that is curiously similar.

Selection of Lucienne Day’s textile designs
Closeup of Lucienne Day’s Dandelion design
Good study for effects of solid and dashed lines

While Matisse is often praised for his use of color, the sketches below show how well he used sinuous line.

A Matisse collage

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an architect and interior designer whose renowned stained glass and rose designs use line decoratively and functionally.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Willow Tearoom doors

Thick, thin; solid, dashed; curved, angular – the combinations seem endless, as do the ways to mark lines. Matisse even used the gaps between pieces of paper. That’s an approach I didn’t try, and I really need to add it to my lines toolbox.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Commentary, Inspiration

12 responses to “Line Mastery

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with all this inspiration!

  2. Jane E Herbst

    Some of these works are good examples of how sometimes the textiles I purchase are inspirations for my quilt – or quilting – designs, rather than fabrics that I use in a quilt or other project. Please never feel that doing your blog is not worthwhile. With every post I read from you I learn and grow as a quiltmaker and otherwise.

  3. Gwyned

    What a treat! Brought back fond memories of when I was first introduced to works of Klee and Matisse. Mid-century modern is my era. Marimekko and similar designs filled my childhood home. We even had Calder-like mobile suspended from the ceiling. Always good to reflect back and use it as a springboard. Looking forward to more lines and shapes from you.

    • I am amazed at the textile designs produced in the post WW 2 era, especially the Scandinavian ones. I wasn’t exposed to them in my childhood as my extended family was in thrall to Wallace Nutting’s colonial revival.

  4. These works and your words have really cause me to see lines where I may not have before. Endless ideas! I have always loved the Matisse nude and Lucienne Day’s Dandelion design is a new favorite. Thanks for sharing these.

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