My Fabric Painting

It was my friend and batik artist, Carol Conklin,  that called my wallhanging a “Fabric Painting”.  I liked that.  Because that’s really just how I see my wall hangings, as paintings that I create with fabric.  So from now on, that’s what I’ll be calling them.  (Thanks Carol).

I’ve been working on my new fabric painting this week. And I’ve made a lot of changes.  I want to show them to you.

The first thing I did was add the glove next to the Goddess.

I like the idea of the hand print that is used in so much ancient art.

Often it was done by a person placing their hand on a surface and blowing paint around it to outline the hand.  It’s seems to me such a basic human instinct to use a hand print as a way of identity.

Even before anyone ever thought of fingerprints as a way of identifying people, the hand print was doing something similar.

I like  how the glove is the reference to the way women used to wear gloves.

I remember wearing white gloves when I made my communion when I was a kid.  Or we would wear them to church sometimes. They’re mostly out of fashion anymore (except maybe in high fashion).  But they do speak of a time when women were viewed in a certain way.  Where they were protecting their hands, and like crossing their legs at the ankles, they were seen as lady-like.

But as much as I liked the idea of the glove, and the way it’s shape mimcked the shape and color of the tree on the bottom right of the piece, it was just so much a glove.   It did’t in my mind go beyond that, or leave any room for ambiguity.

So I cut the glove to look more like the handprints on the cave walls. Now it’s more than just a glove, it speaks to an ancient history of art as well.  The upside-down triangle that I stitched on to it is an ancient symbol of the feminine form.

Next I started working on the Goddesses headdress.  Covering over the marker drawing that I originally did, I cut out fabric and sewed it on using my free motion sewing machine.  When  I was  stitching the fabric onto the surface of the old quilt, I thought of it as if I was drawing lines around the fabric. Just as I would with a pencil or marker.

The little moon and star, vaginal symbol and butterfly all come from a piece that Veronica sent me a year or so ago.  It was a wallhanging that her grandmother made.  I’ve used pieces from it before.  This is the last butterfly and it just happened to be the perfect color.  These are all feminine symbols.

I wrote before about sewing the small velvet book onto the old quilt surface.  The book looks like it’s hand-made.  You can see the tiny stitches along the cover.  It’s holds sewing needles and seems to tell a story without words.

I first sewed it into the middle of the circle, but then removed it because it needed something behind it.  I found the perfect drawing in my Language of the Goddess Book.  A symbol of regeneration, rebirth, the egg.

I did the drawing in marker and wrote the words, “No one has to die for me to be free” in the border.  These are words that came to me recently, as if in a dream.  I’m still working with them.

This is what the fabric painting looks like now.

Yesterday, I got some metallic thread that I’m planning on using to fill in the designs above the goddesses eyes.

I’ll be sure to post a picture of it when I’m done.

You can see the fabric painting from the very beginning of the process here. 



6 thoughts on “My Fabric Painting

  1. Your art is so interesting, unique, and eclectic, Maria. I appreciate how you explain the process. Being a bird lover I’m very curious about the owl figure.

    1. Well thanks Hazel. I do appreciate your words. I’ve gotten into drawing owls lately, mostly from seeing depictions of them in my goddess books. They seem to keep coming up in my work now.

  2. I just love the creativity and symbols you have in your painting, the Goddess is stunning and I love the use of the glove. I enjoyed reading your words and how the process is going. I look forward to seeing this progress to the end. Beautiful so far.

    1. Thanks Deborah, I sometimes wonder when I’m in the middle of making a piece like this if it’s something other people can relate too. It’s good to know it strikes a cord in you.

  3. i too enjoy your comments that give us insight into your creations.
    Fabric Painting..perfect description.
    perhaps someday you could put a photo book together of your designs. a gallery showing in book form.

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Full Moon Fiber Art