Saturday, November 13, 2010


Melanie Testa is one of my favorite artists -- and one of my favorite people. We first met in Houston in 2008 and it was wonderful to see her again last week. Upon her return from the International Quilt Festival this week, she embarked on a personal challenge and invited others to join in. She is making small line drawings on fabric for 30 days.

Here's what Melly says about the project:

I think Line is underrated but beautiful. Line is choppy, straight, broken, dotted, strong, vague, inconsistent, consistent, connected. I would like to see what I come up with, how the project itself affects me.

This sounds like a great challenge. I'm in! I'm not sure where this will take me, but I am particularly interested in developing a new vocabulary of stitches for hand embroidery. Of course, the line can also be a stitch.

Melly is using a ruling pen, acrylic paint and pre-treated fabric and her iPhone as a timer. She plans to spend no more than 15 minutes on each drawing. I am using a stack of Post-It notes, a Sharpie and my iPhone. But, I'll just be listening to podcasts on my iPhone.

My materials are much more pedestrian than Melly's, but the concept is the same. Sometimes when artists challenge each other to try something new, people clam up about rules, supplies, expectations, specifications, etc etc etc. Ug. I'm moving past all that and just thinking about the line.

Here are my lines from day 1. I used a fat sharpie. It was too fat.

I stuck it up on my dry-erase board and I'll continue to think about it. Can you see it?
Here is day 2. I switched to a thin sharpie. I was thinking a bit about Sue Dennis' anthills.

Kristin is making lines too!


Kristin L said...

Ooh, I am so glad you are joining in too! You are so right about many getting hung up on rules. Forget the rules and embrace the intent of the exercise. I think Postits and Sharpies are a super option. And your Dry Erase board is going to look great when it is covered with a rich variety of lines.

Michele said...

What an interesting challenge! I like the idea of the line as a stitch. When I draw before I stitch, I can usually express myself better. Just focusing on the lines without getting hung up on the rules sounds freeing.

Melly Testa said...

I wonder if you could use a rubber cement remover to re;ease the glue, then collage? Or maybe you could glue them all onto a prepared canvas, without worry o the glue and hand sand the bits and unglued pieces off. That would be a fantastic start to something! Maybe I should have used sand paper instead of cloth. You got me thinking about it all.