Textile Art Blog posts

Inspiration Versus Copying other Artists

”Messengers Amidst the Lupine” by Lorraine Turner

Fiber arts and the world of textile design is a diverse community.  It’s growing like wildfire as it appeals to all generations.

Everyone wants to try their hand and off they go watching tutorials, reading books blogging and following their favorites on social media. It’s a very natural part of the journey, but if we are not careful the amount of research we take in can be overwhelming and bring an overloading sensation that makes us unable to even begin. Procrastination begins to build.

How can we find our own way through all of this information? I always pause and ask myself, what is it about this artist that is stopping me in my tracks. Is it color, subject matter or just an overall mood that is calling me?
Is it technique or is it something we cannot put into words.
Take time to just ask this simple question and you will find your response puts you in touch with your individual personality

As I continue to illustrate and explore the world of fiber arts, I see many who follow artists step-by-step, again and again. I can begin to see the influence of several contemporary artists. This is how we learn.

While studying at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, I was trained to paint and duplicate the work of the masters. I was taught to model Cézanne, Matisse and Monet. This was a wonderful exercise in applying technique in order to capture the look and feel the artist had rendered. But…had I copied the work and had I continued in making reproductions, I would have missed my own ability to make something fresh and new.

Be inspired, be excited, attend workshops, read blogs and by all means continue to follow the works of your favorites.
We must all find own path of self-expression and not try to cookie cutter others. Techniques vary, but it is our ability to move with what “feels” right that blends with our personality that truly gives the audience OUR identity and highest form of creativity.

Here are some of the textile artists I have learned from and I am constantly wowed by all they do.
Take a look and see if they knock your socks off too.

Rachel Wright http://rachelwright.com
Sophie Standing http://www.sophiestandingart.com
Sue De Vanny http://www.suedevannyartist.com.au

Rayleen Richardson https://www.facebook.com/Raylenerichardsonart
Judith Baker Montano http://judithbakermontano.com
Moy Mackay https://www.moymackaygallery.com

Artwork With a Warning Label

As a textile artist I am always experimenting with fiber. I try to only work with organic products and stay away from plastics and faux items. As many of the main characters in the illustration are animals, I especially avoid twine made from animal gut or leather. If I use any feathers, wool or hair, they are from trusted sources as no one wants to incorporate any negative vibes or harmed animals into the creation.

My white lion paintings are created using llama, alpaca, merino wool, horsehair and lamb locks. I work for hours on each piece and the textiles help build and construct the coat and mane of these majestic beings. Beautiful? Yes, however a hazard if you are not very diligent in mounting and framing the work to be displayed.

This is why every painting I ship, I include a warning label.

This craft uses wool and natural fibers.

Use caution as you would with any item
made of wool.

Much like a sweater or a wool carpet,
moths can be quite destructive.

Take care around pets, they love to chew
on the fibers — especially the mane!

I recently sold a painting to a person who left the artwork on the dining room table for a few minutes and upon returning found her dog had destroyed it. He was so thrilled to chew on this newfound toy!

So, as you continue to discover new textiles that help your artwork to really shine, be very careful to include a warning on every piece. This will save the recipient and the lovely animal that only wanted to sniff and chew any stress.

Keep playing with fiber and always remember – together we are students for life.

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Photographs on this site are property of Calico Horses © and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of Lorraine Turner.