art quilt

Safe Art for the Bedroom

Choosing art for your bedroom can be tricky. Maybe you want something soft and romantic? Or there are two of you and agreeing on the theme is difficult? After you know what look you are going for, you need to make sure your art is bedroom safe!

If you live in an earthquake zone you know you need safe bedroom art. Some of you might have never thought about it before. The most important art is the piece hanging at the head of your bed. No one wants a heavy picture frame dropping on them in the night! 

Art quilts are a great art choice for above the bed. My Classic Car Art Quilts are soft cotton fabric. Most are hung by a lightweight dowel in a fabric sleeve on the backside of the quilt and will be unlikely to hurt you if they do fall down. If you did not want a dowel other hanging solutions can be utilized in earthquake country too. 

Sleep tight! Love, Dawn

Sorry if I tricked you!

1953 Ford in the Aspens . 34" x 34" Cotton fabric quilted.

1953 Ford in the Aspens. 34" x 34" Cotton fabric quilted.

Recently I confused some people when I shared my art online. I shared my digital art and they thought I was sharing images of quilts.  I certainly wasn't trying to trick anyone so I thought it might help to explain myself.

A year ago I started designing my own fabric and I had two good reasons for doing so at the time. 1) To stop being under the control of fabric companies and their copyrights. 2) To have full artistic input into my work. 

I have shared about my fabric designing adventures throughout the year on my blog. One thing I discovered early on, is that there is no reason to print the fabric then piece it together. Instead I could put the fabric designs together on the computer and then print the fabric. Out of that was born a new technique that I call "digital piecing".

When I started my current series, Cars with Curves, I gave myself permission to print my digitally pieced art onto metal in addition to fabric! That was an exciting moment but also an identity crisis.

Me (Dawn Allen) with a fabric quilt in the back and a metal print of "1955 Chevy in Desert" in the front.

Me (Dawn Allen) with a fabric quilt in the back and a metal print of "1955 Chevy in Desert" in the front.

Am I still an art quilter? My work still looks like quilts but sometimes it isn't a quilt! My intention is to do only one original quilt for each piece in a series. For people who want to invest in beautiful one of a kind art this will be a great opportunity. People wanting a modern look may prefer a large metal print rather than the fabric. And finally for those on a budget the smaller prints on metallic paper are beautiful too.

Fabric quilt in the background and a framed 8" x 12" metallic paper print of "1964 VW bug with Winter Birch" in the foreground.

Fabric quilt in the background and a framed 8" x 12" metallic paper print of "1964 VW bug with Winter Birch" in the foreground.

This may be a defining moment in my career as an artist. It may be a launching point for something I have not yet imagined. Probably a little of both... stay tuned to find out with me. 

Mallory in a snow storm... day or night which do you like best?

Mallory in a snow storm... day or night which do you like best?

Karma Art: I am starting a new series of Equine Art.

I created a commissions page and moved the form that had been in this post to there.

Three ways I use photography to get what I want

I love going to the fabric store and selecting the best colors that go together just the way I want. However, lately in order to achieve the look in my art that I desire, I have choose to design my own textiles. Now I am using my photography to get what I want out of my fabrics.

The first way I use photography is by taking a photo that interests me- giving consideration to texture, depth, color, and subject. Then I have it printed on fabric and "paint" it with thread. I have made several of these Photographic Thread Paintings lately.

The second ways I use photography in my art is as a background with a 3D flower in front. I find a texture of wood, stone, or other element, photograph it, print it on fabric, then quilt it. Sometimes I alter the image on the computer like I did with the grass and sky below.

The third way I use photographs to get the fabric I want is by taking images (mostly of nature) that contain interesting colors or patterns and I alter them extensively on the computer. I often use Photoshop, Sumopaint, and occasionally Fotosketcher. All of the patterns you see in the photo below were created from my photography.

Of course telling you exactly how I create the designs would take pages and be quite technical, but here is one example: First, I took this photo of a morning glory. Then created three dimensional spheres with it, changed the sphere's color hues, and rotated them. I created a background from two other photos of flower petals, then put the whole thing together!

Here is another textile design created from the same morning glory photo.

As you can see, a tremendous amount of work goes into designing all of the patterns that end up in one detailed flower design. 

I am looking forward to showing all of my new designs at my solo exhibit opening August 5th 2016 in Southampton, MA. Please check out the details, share on facebook, and hopefully attend in person!

Happy art and love, Dawn