Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Along the Lines of Jackson Pollock

For this challenge, I was inspired by an American art movement, Abstract Expressionism, and one artist in particular: Jackson Pollock.
I took the information I gathered about Pollock (art history books, biographies, videos of the artist at work) and attempted to translate that sense of ACTION into fiber art.  While making the “Hummingbird” pieces in a previous challenge, I got a glimpse of that expressionist freedom and I felt compelled to push it further – and much MUCH larger.
I used yarns of different thicknesses that reminded me of the dripped-paint lines in Pollock’s work.  But once I started dripping the yarn onto the white canvas background, I stopped thinking about Pollock’s paintings or my own plans, or really much at all.  All I cared about was adding line after line after line, only occasionally wondering where the next scribble of color should go… until the field was nearly covered.
working  Photo Oct 04, 1 17 12 PM  Photo Oct 06, 11 50 28 AM
The results are.. whatever they are.  But what was more important to me was the creative process itself. My approach was a mix of intuition, freestyle gestures and controlled composition.
I LOVE the effect of layers of lines on top of each other, creating a web of scribbles that fill my field of vision. Strands pulled out of a piece of gold foil fabric are mixed in with the yarn, adding little bits of reflected light.  As I stand and look at the gestures and movement of the lines, I can retrace my steps and re-live the wonderful experience of making this piece. This type of work is so unlike me (or my usual style) and yet I feel very deeply, personally connected to it.
Technical details: Whole cloth white cotton background, various yarn, metallic and rayon threads, fusible web, acrylic tulle; hand-guided machine quilting
Finished size 40”H x 52”W


  1. Kate Pollock! Cool. I was wondering how you got such a big size under the machine to stitch?

    1. Thanks! It was a bit difficult to keep it all together. A layer of Mistyfuse under the yarn was helpful, then I added a layer of tulle on top of everything and pinned it together. Then I quilted it with big meandering stitches at first, to hold things in place. Then I quilted it with smaller scribbles. :-)

  2. What a neat experience, Kate! I wondered what you'd created when you replied to my comment earlier in the month. It seems like a really mindful activity. It's great! And neat that you explored Pollock in such great depth along the way!