Painting in Fabric

October 31 – November 24, 2013

Hanford St Gallery presents four fabric artists for the month of November.  Each brings a unique vision and highly evolved technique that will expand your understanding of what can be accomplished in the medium.

    Serlin - Havasu Creek, 2002, 42X42Merle Axelrad

Sacramento artist Merle Axelrad works with fabric to produce landscapes of stunning color and texture. Working from composite photographs and sketches, she spends hundreds of hours on each individual image, transforming what has been regarded as a traditional craft into a serious art form, through the application of a technique she’s perfected over many years.

“I create landscapes made from thousands of tiny pieces of fabric.  Fragments of woven color and texture are carefully arranged, layered, pinned and sewn together.  In my fabric collages, I distill a place to its essence, and to this end each piece of fabric is carefully selected to make an individual contribution.” 


Living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area Schulze paints, prints images directly onto cloth, uses glue transfer processes and collage techniques. Her main theme is often surreal compositions combining found and personal images, contrasting beautiful colors with eccentric surfaces. In her artwork the element of surprise in theme and execution has been noted by many critics.

“I love the idea of quilt. The layering, the fact that it can be reversible, that you can plug into this great and varied history of bed covering and with a little push you can enter a new world of walls, ceilings, or installations. It is the best of all worlds for me.”

AB.6.4539Alice Beasley

Alice has been making fabric paintings in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1988.

“From the beginning, my goal has been to use fabric as a medium of expression. I incorporate the same light, shadow and realistic perspective used by artists in other mediums, but without the use of paint, dyes or surface treatments.”

She uses the ordinary quilter’s tools of commercial fabric and thread to make portraits and vibrant still life compositions. Rather than relying upon templates or photo projections, she prefers to work directly, building a composition in the same manner as a painter working on a canvas. All pieces are cut free-hand from fabric with scissors or rotary cutter, fused and machine appliquéd.

Prismatic Pool fullSandra Poteet  

 Her “schrunched” fabric pieces are dramatically textured abstracts or abstracted scenery, with blocks of color reminiscent of paint applied heavily with a palette knife. Most of the fabrics used are scraps or re-purposed utility items and clothing, bunched and folded into shape and then machine stitched down in wandering fashion.

Other works begin with inks and paints – splashed, poured, strewn or brushed –  onto batting (the usually invisible middle support in traditional and art quilting). The resultant images, or suggestions of images, are built upon with layers of sheers, netting and other fabrics. Small sewn details invite closer inspection in a hunt for secrets.

 “I am inspired and challenged by appreciation of the fine arts, photography, fine crafts, and the environment around me.  My methods continue to evolve with one constant: I love the medium of fabric with its essential textural presence.”

Sandra came to fabric art in 2002. She lives and works in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area.

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