In our current society that is ever focused on the new, the digital, the technologically advanced, I find myself drawn to the historic, the traditional, and the comforting. In 2017, I have developed a new series of artworks entitled “Woven Contemplations”, which are a series of mixed media artworks inspired by textiles using watercolour paper that is woven together to create abstract compositions full of colour and texture.
I have long been fascinated by textiles. Their history and tradition is paramount to me. But I have been long confused by the lack of respect textiles receive as part of a “fine art” artwork. Often, people have narrowly relegated textiles to the world of craft, not art, thereby diminishing their importance. I believe that this is a mistake, as it is short-sighted to define textiles as not belonging to the world of art. In reality, textiles are a fundamental part of what many people consider “fine art” most paintings are painted on a canvas surface, and all canvas is a textile (usually linen or cotton). In addition, many archival high-grade artist-quality watercolour papers are also made of 100% cotton, and therefore also textiles. It was this realization, as I often work on watercolour paper and canvas, that made me determined to incorporate the inspiration from the world of textiles into my artwork.
For my “Woven Contemplations” series, I start with 100% cotton watercolour paper strips that I paint using a variety of media including acrylic, liquid acrylic ink, paint pens, and pencil, and using a different tools (including brushes, my hands, and even a screwdriver). I then weave together the dried watercolour paper strips to create the final artwork that is inspired by the history, tradition, and beauty of textiles as well as the textures and colours of nature.