ABSTRACT FLOWER DESIGN is a favourite of mine because it is such a versatile subject in terms of colour, shape, pattern, texture and embellishment, creating a richly contoured surface used in both The Natural and Womanhood Collections. The freedom to create abstract structures beyond natural form is endless. There are many textile artists who represent nature beautifully in detail. I am not one of them. This article will look at using recycled and unusual materials and the techniques used to create structure and form. I am inspired by my own garden, television , magazines, other artists, fashion and print. I have a collection of visuals in my Pinterest and Patternbank libraries to which I refer. Seasonal change provides an ongoing canvas. Being selective is the tricky part!
ABSTRACT FLOWER DESIGN IN Textile art – RECYCLED MATERIALS
I only use recycled materials in my work (car boot sales and charities shops offer a treasure trove of clothing and soft furnishings). Pattern and colour will dictate the direction of a design and the techniques used. Indian fabrics are a source of beautiful embellishment which you can enhance. Example: Elephants
Unusual materials include plastic bags in Ivory Roses
cat hair in Abstract Flower Design E
and the disintegrating lining of an old cushion in Abstract Flower Design B
ABSTRACT FLOWER DESIGN IN Textile art – TECHNIQUES
Flat designs are created using a traditional method of applique (stitching your design onto the background). Example: Ecstasy
Layering wool circles (with a central stitch to anchor to the background) is effective in creating depth and movement within the contouring of a flat design. Example: Fur Pocket
Padded structures (adding a layer of wadding or stuffing the cavity between the surface design and background) are effective in creating depth within the surface contouring. Example: Yellow Sunflowers
Hollow structures are very effective in establishing 3D form (two layers of fabric are machine stitched to create a petal or leaf shape and turned out). Movement and direction can be manipulated using pipe cleaners or metal inside of the cavity. Example: Blue Sunflowers
ABSTRACT FLOWER DESIGNS IN Textile art – EMBELLISHMENT
Embellishing a design in light reflective beads, buttons, sequins and old jewels is not only decorative but also establishes depth within the contouring, with shadows cast as light travels across the surface. Example: Abstract Flower Design E
ABSTRACT FLOWER DESIGN IN Textile art – USING PRINTED PANELS
Using printed fabrics with flower motifs is a fabulous way to add colour, pattern and embellishment to your textile design. I adore vintage fabrics, faded by sunlight and naturally eroded. This adds a sense of time and place. The Womanhood Collection uses pattern and texture to create a sense of nostalgia. Example: Reducing us to simply a heartbeat
An abstract flower design can effectively transcend it’s purely decorative form. I used a beautifully descriptive pattern to present the reproductive system in ”Three Ages of Woman”. The more elaborate the motif the more mature the woman.
I do hope you have found this article inspirational in creating your own Abstract Flower Designs in Textile art. For more examples please visit https://www.ccunningham-textileartist.com/ and https://ma9798.wixsite.com/ccunningham-woman . Previous blog posts and the techniques page may be helpful to you.
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