Tag Archives: lines

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

Line By Line

Temporal challenges to create art abound on social media: 100 days of postcards, 52 weeks of collages, a year of daily ambient temperatures, etc. I wanted to begin 2021 with some sort of daily art prompt, but I didn’t know how long I could keep it up. I settled on 31 days of lines.

Why line? Though it’s one of the basic elements of design, in quilts it is often addressed only through actual quilted stitches. Some would argue that every place where fabrics meet creates a line, and I see that. But I am after line for line’s sake. Lines can be straight/curved/geometric/contoured/crisp/soft-edged/continuous/broken/jagged/even/dotted/dashed/thick/thin/varied/raised/recessed, and I’m sure there are more permutations I haven’t even thought of.

Paul Klee

So far I’ve been able to make lines on paper or fabric every day this month, and some days I’ve done more than one piece. I even persuaded a friend to join me on the line, though she is working with paper only, at least so far.

I’ve marked on fabric a little more than paper, and I’ve marked with India ink, acrylic paint, printing ink, colored pencils, tissue paper, and machine stitching; and used conventional and unconventional tools, including a feather, to apply my marks. I also did a bit of photography and Photoshop editing.

Here are a few highlights.

Silk that’s scrunched up, ironed, and then rollered with printing ink. I did several of these. I plan to iron it flat.
Monoprinted base, covered with torn freezer paper, rollered with printing ink. I did lots of freezer paper lines on paper and fabric.
Monoprinted base with eyelash yarn as resist (right), ghost print of yarn on left.
Bleeding tissue paper over watercolor paper, sprayed with water. For some reason, the tissue strips acted as resists and the color bled onto the paper at the tissue paper edges. I used the removed tissue strips in other pieces.
Plastic template scrap traced several times and colored with pencils.
Torn marbleized paper glued to construction paper and connected with white pen lines.
Crinoline painted and drawn on, ironed, and sewed into tucks.

I have still more ideas for line making, and may set aside the final week of January to create a larger work from all my bits. Have you tried a multi-day challenge and, if so, have you stuck with it?

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under In Process, Techniques

Get In Line

March madness is upon me with my master class project. This month it’s all about the line. We were to reimagine quilts we had already made as lines rather than shapes. Well, that was my understanding of the assignment, though some of the other students did their own thing.

From my photos I pulled two of my quilts I thought had possibilities and added a crayon drawing I had made in kindergarten. Here are the inspirations, my drawings, and parts of Elizabeth’s comments.

MARCH JMM sketch 1 origin MARCH JMM sketch 1 resized

“[I]t’s a lot more intriguing and sophisticated than the quilt . . . – which is fun, bright and cheerful…but not mysterious!  I think the idea . . . might work better if it’s bigger . . . . it almost looks like it’s a new alphabet and that there is a message encoded in the different swirls.”
MARCH JMM sketch 2 origin resized MARCH JMM sketch 2 resized

“I like the delicacy of the linear sketch, but I don’t think this one is as interesting as the other two . . . however you’ve developed a couple of interesting ideas here which don’t appear in the quilt above.  There’s a 3D effect that is completely lost in the solidity of the triangles above..created by the illusion of diagonal blocks – and that’s very nice. Also the contrast of broken and solid lines is good and interesting…and brings out the beauty of the Stitch, sometimes forgotten in art quilts these days.”

MARCH JMM sketch 3 origin resized MARCH JMM sketch 3a resized

“I very much like what you’ve done with the marquee . . .the lines have a lovely wood cut look to them … I’d work a little more with this idea…it is very elegant and I think definitely the most interesting.”

Which one did I choose? You’ll just have to wait.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process