Diane Stewart

FABRIC COMPOSITIONS

AN EXPRESSION IN FABRIC

I started my artistic career in the late seventies after four years spent immersed in BFA studies. Watercolour was my chosen medium which I explored and perfected over a period of about twenty years. I enjoyed painting until the time came when the challenge waned, so I moved into a more experimental phase.

 During that period, I manipulated and embellished my watercolours by using additional materials and mediums, effectively creating multi-media pieces. As I continued my exploration, it became clear that the watercolours were becoming less important, while the fabrics and beads  I used to enhance them became more so. Eventually, the watercolour was abandoned entirely, and a stretched canvas with an acrylic underpainting became the ground for fabric pieces.

I use fabric in a way that suggests mosaic, but is constructed in the same manner as an oil painting with the building of contrasting tonal layers from the background to the foreground.

I have been working with fabrics for about fifteen years, and as I delve further into the medium, I am constantly discovering new ways to portray landscapes. Originally, I was able to only cut chunky piece, but over the years the cut pieces have been refined by greater scissor dexterity. I have also come up with more intricate and textural means of portraying my subject matter by using embroidery, machine-sewn textures, and collages. Painting on the fabric and using a variety of types of fabric, such as sheers, has also increased a variety of effects.

As my work has developed over the years, I have been absorbed by the possibilities and have felt great freedom in my exploration because, as its originator, the scope of the medium is unlimited. When I get up each morning, I am really excited about getting to work and meeting each day’s artistic challenges.

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