eileen doughty

I love the concept of place and so my preferred subject matter is the landscape. My training as a cartographer has been useful in designing my fiber art, since both require understanding how people view and interpret colors, pattern and symbols. Classes in geography, geology, botany, oceanography, and other earth sciences have helped me understand the landscape and make artwork that rings true.

Currently my work focuses on exploring what makes fiber art so unique: texture, freedom of shape of the "canvas" (not limited to a rectangle), and employing three rather than two dimensions. Contemporary fiber art may incorporate mixed media. Any material is fair game in order to make my idea corporeal.

Fiber art appeals to me because my hands are always touching my materials; it is a completely tactile experience. My favorite technique is creating what I call "thread sculpture", where I move a stabilizer material freely beneath my sewing machine's needle (being very careful not to stitch a finger!). Think of it as drawing a picture with the pencil held still and moving the paper; something that takes a lot of practice to do well. The technique is particularly well-suited to creating animals and foliage, allowing for shading and texture. I have a vast collection of threads, which are my “paintbox”. I also use acrylic fabric paint on my cloth for public art projects, so that it has the same longevity as a painting, while keeping the softness and wonderful tactile nature of fabric.


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