A Ramble through Shadows, by June Underwood

Shadows don’t play a very large part in quilted art.

In looking over SAQA’s Portfolio 14 (a fairly representational collection of quilted art work by professional artists), I find little in the way of shadows. Value ranges and darks/whites used to establish foreground/background are everywhere, but shadows as an important part of the conception, even when the SAQA work is representational in nature, don’t much appear. A 2003 quilted piece that I did, which shows a leafless tree shadow on bricks, might provide personal insights, but it is more pattern than shadow.

phillyshadowwap.jpg Underwood, Philly Shadow, quilted silk.

I am interested in the question of shadow because I have been adding oil painting to my repertoire of art media. Oil painting, at least since the Renaissance and Rembrandt, has claimed shadows as an important piece of technique and meaning. And prints also have claims on shadows, as in this Edward Hopper work.

I, on the other hand, haven’t paid much attention to shadows. The twentieth century’s fluorescent tube lighting erases a lot of shadows that candles and torches and even incandescent lights used to provide. Street lights and security lights keep cities safe, but also less full of mystery.

I have personal excuses, too, for being shadow-challenged: I live in the Pacific Northwest, where clouds diffuse the light and shadows are wimpy; I use a digital camera for reference work, and color digital photos tend to lighten up shadows. (Or maybe it’s just that my digital photos go for information rather than drama.)

shadows1.jpg Underwood, February 2008, Portland Oregon

And then, there’s my temperament. I am by nature a late sleeper, so I miss the drama of early morning shadows except when forced by circumstance (i.e. a workshop on landscape painting or catching an early flight) to see them. And I tend to go brain dead after 4 PM, so remembering that I want the long evening shadow experience is difficult for me.

But perhaps more important than any of these excuses is that much of my informal training and attraction in art has been in modern and contemporary modes of visualization where shadows (as differentiated from “value”) are of little importance or interest: abstract paintings tend to focus on the canvas-qua-canvas, not as a “window” to the external world. Quilt art, probably because of the traditions out of which it has been built as well as its modern forebearers, tends to also focus on the (textured) surface. Even quilting stitches tend to evoke line and texture rather than as building shadow.

owlandpussycatw.jpg Underwood, very early pieced piece

Notan which “focuses on the interaction between positive and negative space” has had a resurgence of interest among quilters in the last 10 or 15 years, but it is based on stark values, contour, and silhouette rather than shadow.* While the Notan principle that “all elements of a work must be given equal consideration” is a truism, even in landscape and portraiture, this principle when it is added to the concepts of Notan tends to flatten the surface, because proportion and perspective can be lost in the emphasis on the interchangeability of background and foreground.

notanlarryprescottmadisonmiddleschool.jpg
from Madison Middle School, Larry Prescott, teacher, as found in Princeton On-line

Ideas about shadows in western European history are ubiquitous. In an interview in Cabinet magazine, Victor Stoichita, the author of a Short History of Shadow, talks about two ancient ideas of shadows: one is what he terms the “sadistic concept” of Plato’s allegory of the cave. Plato postulates that men (sic) are chained by the neck so they can see only the play of shadows on the back walls of the cave in which they are trapped. They never see reality nor have “true” knowledge, and if they did, they would be blinded, so willy-nilly, trapped, they know only shadows. Shadow in this sense is definitively negative. The Greeks also envisioned men’s souls as shadows, so Hades is filled with “shades” — darkness with no substance. But Pliny, as Stoichita tells us, recounts a whole other vision of shadow: the myth of the woman who traces the contours of her lover’s shadow on the wall and thus invents painting. A very positive view.**

josephwrightcorinthianmaid1782_1784.jpg Joseph Wright, The Corinthian Maid, 1782 – ’84, The National Gallery of Art , Paul Mellon Collection

Piaget, that studier of child development, found that children don’t recognize shadow as a function of an external process, that is, caused by light and its direction, until they are 8 or so. Prior to that they imagine their shadow to both emanating from inside themselves and/or something requisitioned from other shadows. Remember the poem, “I had a little shadow that went in and out with me…”?

And a gothic horror conceit, the selling of one’s shadow to the devil and then losing one’s identity and desperately needing to have it returned (Stealing the Soul of Peter Schlemihl, by Adelbert Von Chamisso, 1814) has its rerun in Peter Pan, who not only lost his shadow but can’t bear to grow up. Somehow the recognition that one’s shadow is external and not a function of one’s own identity might connected to growth and maturation.

A sobering thought, particularly when attached to the lack of shadow in contemporary painting. Could it be that a certain narcissistic arrested sense of development is attached to our use of value without an external light source?

On the other hand, and as a forerunner to David Hockney et al, Otto Neurath (born 1882), in an article by George Pendle in Cabinet Magazine, is quoted as saying “Orthodox perspective [of which shadowing is an important element] is anti-symbolic and puts the onlooker into a privileged position….I wanted to be free to look from where ever I chose.” Neurath was the primary deviser of the silhouette-codes that tell us that deer are crossing the highway, that June probably should use the little room with the skirted figure on the door, and that the larger the icon on the graph, the larger the number it represents (production of chickens being the example used).

As Pendle puts it, “It was as if a long-forgotten part of the human brain had suddenly been switched on. Within months of Neurath’s first isotype exhibition, the world was awakened to the power of visuals to transfer information. Newspapers across the globe were soon inventing isotypes of their own and beginning to illustrate their pages with them. Like stones buffeted and rounded in the sea, Neurath’s original isotypes were becoming ever simpler, and thus ever more recognizable. Indeed, the isotypes that we see today on lavatory doors are so uncomplicated in their depiction of “male” and “female” that they seem just one step removed from being totally abstract.”

Someone has postulated that growing up requires an abstracting ability, such as is entailed in understanding shadow as caused from without: abstraction has power to see into the reality beyond egocentrism. And what Pendle calls “isotypes” — silhouetted icons, are an extension of understanding our shadows as external to ourselves. But to come full circle —

Kara Walker’s iconographic silhouettes are unshadowed except by the shadows in our souls, the stains that slavery and our inhuman pasts have caused.

karawalker.jpg

Kara Walker, Endless Conundrum: An African Anonymous Adventurer, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

So there you are: shadows as symbolic of our ignorance, shadows as the inspiration for the creation of the art of painting, shadows as holding our souls and as being vital to our mature identity, and shadows, turned to isotypes, as ways to inform us that rock slides are prevalent, that we can walk across the street in relative safety, and that horrific human activities can be depicted as flat shadows, silhouettes and still be full of nuance.

Some cheerful thoughts occur to me as I explore shadow and its absence in much of contemporary art: one thought is that shadows can be evoked that are separated from our experience of the original shape: shadows from trash, for example, or shadows cast by tiny figures set into flood lights that are projected onto a white wall, enlarging the original silhouettes beyond recognition.

Another cheerful thought is that our extensive exposure to non-shadowed photos and designs and art works makes the shaded, shadowed forms far more expressive and unique than they might have been in the 19th century. This really cheers me up because I’m hoping one of my next leaps forward will be in working the shadows in my own art.

trashshadow.jpg Underwood, February 2008, Portland Oregon

This scene is totally in shadow except the ground and, I would argue, the shadow itself.

*for more info about Notan see also Lee Wallat and Notan: the Dark-LIght Principle of Design, by Dorr Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield

** Cabinet is worth exploring, even online. Each issue has a specific named theme, with essays on a variety of art topics such as weather, flight, property, average, sea, insecurity, fruits, and, obviously, shadows.. The essays are not, generally speaking, full of artspeak, but they do have a depth and insight that illuminates our field of endeavor.

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27 Responses to “A Ramble through Shadows, by June Underwood”


  1. 1 lookingforbeauty October 30, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks Robin,
    My comments always turn up as “lookingforbeauty” but I have a second post devoted entirely to art commentary and related stuff at
    artiseternal.wordpress.com
    I hope you will take a look there as well.

    K

  2. 2 Robin N October 29, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Since I am working in shadows with a current drawing series, I happened to fall on your post after doing a Google search.
    I am going to have another cup of coffee and reread it, but on first run through it has given me some ideas to think about.

  3. 3 lookingforbeauty October 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Very interesting article. You’ve brought so many different references to the subject.
    In quilting, one is mostly occupied with pattern and shape, so shadow takes a back seat. Even when one becomes figurative, as in applique work, shadows are not important.
    In figurative painting, especially if one is trying to represent objects in a realistic manner, shadows attach the object to whatever it’s sitting on; and shadow perform the task of making an illusion of depth or form. Shadows can also assist with making the negative shapes of an image much more interesting because they cut up a sometimes otherwise blank area – the background.
    Your picture of the pathway with long shadows from the trees, above, would make a wonderful modern (non-traditional) quilt. It’s a lovely photo – the colours are good together and the balance of light to dark is also very good. The shapes both positive and negative are large so would be easier to deal with in fabric.

    I was interested in your observations about the trash bin photo. Until you pointed it out, I hadn’t realized that the major goings-on in the painting were all in shadow and only the trash bin was in full sunlight with it’s strong and much more obvious shadow.
    Thanks for a good read.
    K

  4. 4 June February 26, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Karen,

    Thanks for the quote. I’m pondering my own vision of shadows. The light and shadow here in Portland is so inconclusive, so muddled, that pondering it becomes an exercise in staring and squinting (which makes pondering hard). The diffusion of light because of the clouds and moist atmosphere means that the shadows are barely obvious. Or maybe I just don’t see them. So your quote is all the more meaningful.

    I also liked “alphabet of light”, especially as connected to the tracing of the “foothills already gained.” Evocative. I don’t know Gregory Maguire’s work — I perhaps should check it out.

  5. 5 Karen February 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    “The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.”

    I read this line over the weekend and can’t stop thinking about it. I like it in context, near the beginning of a novel by Gregory Maguire, but think it has applicability beyond.

    The narrator viewed surrounding topography. “My eye traces the foothills already gained, considers the alphabet of light that spells its unreadable words on the surface of the river.” Then “My eye also moves along the past…” and, finally, “The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.”

  6. 6 eileen February 13, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    One more bit of shadow trivia. The full moon will pass through the earth’s shadow on February 20, for a total eclipse. The moon turns dusky red because that is the color of the earth’s shadow. Here’s a link for more info: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/13feb_lunareclipse.htm?list177422
    The article says that sometimes a flash of turquoise may be seen around the red on the moon. Complementary colors?

  7. 7 june February 12, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    But of course, I have to add something else. Del Thomas sent me a quote from today’s Word a Day:

    “Evil is like a shadow – it has no real substance of its own, it is simply a
    lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight
    it, stamp on it, by railing against it, or any other form of emotional or
    physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must
    shine light on it.”

    -Shakti Gawain, teacher and author (1948- )

    Now that’s a non-western point of view, methinks, or at least a non-Platonic one.

  8. 8 june February 12, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Karen, Kate, and Eileen,

    I’m running out of time for full replies, but Eileen, I did feel a bit faint when I read that shadows have their own perspectives, differing from that of the objects they represent. I have enough trouble drawing trash cans as they geometrically depict themselves in the real world; the thought of dealing with a representational complex shadow makes me want to go back to traditional quilt patterns.

    Thanks for all the find ideas, links, and comments from everyone.

  9. 9 june February 12, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Olga,

    I am hitting myself up alongside the head not to have remembered Gombrich. At least one of the authors I cite refers to him, and I still missed it. His work is a classic and he is one of the eminent writers in art history.

    The Cornelia Parker work is interesting in that it combines concept and personal history (often highly text oriented) with the materials that form the shadows. I didn’t read the entire Tate text, but was interested in what I did read and will go back.

    A number of people, including Dijanne Cevaal and a blogger whose name I couldn’t discover, both mentioned the way art can make shadows which are integral to the art. Dijanne’s lace, which you can perhaps easily imagine, is presented so as to invoke shadows on the wall. And of course, she is remembering, working with memory (ie shadows), in her art. Here’s a link to one of the blog entries she has about lace: http://seriouslytextile.blogspot.com/

    Luanne Rimel is using photographs (and making shadow her subject at times) so her representational images already incorporate shadows. Still, making “shadow” her subject pushes it into interesting territory, particularly as it’s attached to textiles.

    In writing this post, I actually deleted a sentence to the effect that the shadows of the quilting is a whole ‘nother subject, which I had no time to include. But if you want to take it on…..

    thanks for the comments and the links

  10. 10 june February 12, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Terry,

    I actually thought about your work when I was writing this post, but didn’t take the time to include its nuances (or maybe I was afraid to….).

    I liked the Colleen Wise work and see why you would. They exhibit a wonderful kind of clean graphic design with, you put it best, the irony of the shadow; it’s clearly unusual, particularly since the designs are quite along the lines of traditional (or contemporary) quilting designs. But they add, as you say, that unexpected twist, bring the design into a different realm.

    Thanks for the url.

  11. 11 eileen February 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Shadows – an intriguing subject for any art medium. Shadows are what make things look ‘real’ and three-dimensional; give an indication of volume and shape. Shadows are not black but have subtle hints of color, often a complementary color. Those are a few tips I’ve picked up in art classes in the last couple of years. I wonder if June saw little evidence of shadows in quilted art because of the relative paucity of classical art training in our ranks?

    Or is it because our culture has us sitting inside so much, in our virtual/computer worlds (or zipping around in our enclosed vehicles staring at asphalt), and our experience outside is more limited than those painters in the good ol’ days. We just don’t look around as much as people used to. Observing has to be taught.

    I started out in my landscape quilted art by avoiding shadows as just being too difficult or (cough) unnecessary. What foolishness! The hardest thing I’ve run into since then is figuring out the geometry of cast shadows in a large landscape, with the sun or moon within view. The tree shadows are not parallel, but when the trees are distant from the viewer, the angles become less pronounced. I never quite figured it out. An example in particular in the top detail image here: http://www.doughtydesigns.com/galleries/imaginary/PrairieRoots.php
    The shadows tell the viewer the trees are far away *and* downhill.

    June’s photo of tree shadows on the stone walk reminds me of shibori.

  12. 12 Kate Themel February 12, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Great article, June. Your understanding of art history creates a well rounded & full exploration of the topic of shadows.
    To add a personal anecdote: I created a landscape quilt on commission, based on a photo on location. The client was interested in a special tree that she sees every day on her morning walk. The photo’s composition was pretty much a “bull’s eye” to the tree with not much else holding interest, so I moved the tree off-center and added a long shadow beneath it to balance out the visual weight. I didn’t think too much about it other than making the scene a little more dramatic, but as it turned out, that shadow made all the difference.
    The client loved the piece, and 9 out of 10 times when people see it they make a comment about the shadow & how it makes them feel part of the scene. One little swatch of black fabric & the design was transformed!

  13. 13 Karen February 12, 2008 at 3:57 am

    June – Until later, when I have more time to post, take a look at this woodcut print. http://hanga.com/viewimage.cfm?ID=2899
    The First Day of Spring by Shiro Kasamatsu, 1964
    It speaks strongly to me today – big snow storm is coming and I’m wishing for the light (and temperatures) of spring.

    > I find the traditional Japanese art to feel light, un-weighted — I wonder if my western eyes see that because the shadows are so minimal.

    I agree with you for the most part. But I have found many prints that hold my interest well. A quick look last night confirmed that shadows often play a big part in the ones I prefer. Probably my ‘western eyes’ finding the ones that seem real. I can share a lengthy list of links if others are interested.

  14. 14 Olga February 12, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I also have always enjoyed the stories involving dramatic loss of identity or soul when missing one’s shadow such as that of the opera Die Frau ohne Schatten.

    E.H. Gombrich wrote a fascinating book: Shadows: The Depiction of Cast Shadows in Western Art.

    Sculpture that uses shadow as part of its essence, such as Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter http://www.tate.org.uk/colddarkmatter/ , or in which it occurs by natural happy accident, can be dramatically entrancing especially as this confers so much movement to the piece.
    I find that I am very drawn to photographs with shadows in. Flat art such as photography and painting can make beautiful use of shadow, but I think this is more of a challenge in textiles. However, Luanne Rimel’s work is an exceptional counter to that thought! http://luannerimel.com/shadow.aspx That and doubtless a few other exceptions apart (and in any case the textile is a flat or flat-ish surface I think in most of the exception cases such as Lia Cook’s weavings), quilts are a particular challenge because of the miniature shadow-creating effect of the quilting stitch itself.

    Or – one could say that quilting gains its essential effect from the shadows created by the signature stitching -?

  15. 15 terry grant February 11, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I nearly always include some level of shadow in my quilts. The shadow creates, for me, the irony of flat fabric, mechanical pattern, that have somehow found their way into the real world.

    Colleen Wise has been using shadows in her quilts for some time. Her shadow technique is what makes her work distinctive and I find it interesting that no one else has really done it in the same way. It’s a simple idea, really, but adds an unexpected element to what one expects to be flat pattern. http://www.colleenwise.com/main_gallery.htm

  16. 16 june February 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    By the way, we are looking for another regular writer to contribute to Ragged Cloth Cafe. If any of you out there have interesting ideas or materials to research and/or share, we’d love to have you join us. The writers post once a month, on a regular basis. Topics, as you may have noticed, are wide-ranging, although they must deal with art in some fashion. Let me know if this sounds interesting — june at juneunderwood dot com.

  17. 17 june February 11, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Sheila,

    I enjoy looking at the way steps jog shadows sideways. As a kid I used see what happened when I moved a stick around in front of my front porch steps. But I never used the patterns in a quilt. Interesting thought, particularly as also flipped around, like tiling on the computer.

    As for the cave — nah, you’d miss the snow. Right?

  18. 18 Sheila February 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    June, as I read this post and the one on Southeast Main, I was immediately reminded of a photo of Jer’s, Step Shadows, from 2006. I even asked his permission to use it as design inspiration (yet to happen). The shadow cast from an upright on steps caught my fancy because they looked like legs of some strange creature. But I had ideas about how the zigzag of the dark shadow interplayed with the angles of the steps, and had thoughts of repeating the image flipped different directions to create even more pattern.

    Perhaps I would have done well in the cave?

  19. 19 June February 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Catherine,

    “Cloth about cloth” is delicious, seemingly a play on “oil (paint) about cloth,” which, of course, has been long a part of European painting tradition.

    I am unfamiliar with wayang specifically, although shadow plays have a long and honorable history. And I didn’t know GArza’s work — I’ll check it out.

    Thanks for checking in.

  20. 20 June February 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Teri and Joanna,

    Thanks for the comments. On today’s southeastmain blog (my homelife blog) I have a photograph of shadows going up a series of steps — not unlike shadows on rocks. They do very quirky things.

    The pleasant truth about rocks, though, is that faking the shadows isn’t too difficult , provided you remember to have a light source. Or, you can just pretend you are in Portland and register the light as diffuse. I am very much into painting rocks, with or without shadows, but of course, they are much more interesting with.

    Thanks for checking in.

  21. 21 June February 11, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Karen,

    I’m a fan of early morning, too — it’s just that it interrupts my sleep (add snort here).

    I am wondering if it is possible to do the complexity of shadows that snow involves within un-gessoed, unstretched cloth. When I think of various models — Ruth McDonald’s sophisticated use of commercials, for example, I am hard-pressed to imagine them as depicting snow with its multitudinous shadows. Can anyone think of someone or some quilted artwork which uses pieced methods to evoke the complexity of snow?

    So, re your work — abstracting the shadows on snow makes good sense, and works well within the materials we choose as our medium.

    A friend of mine says that the Japanese presentation of shadows is fairly minimal; that they didn’t traditionally think of shadows as being substantive and so dismissed them as unimportant. As we know, our western sense of perspective doesn’t appear in Japanese art in the same way at all, so it wouldn’t surprise me if shades and shadows differed also. At the same time, I also wonder if working with ink on silk (one of the dominate modes of traditional Japanese art) might have had the same effect on Japanese artists as on quilting artists — it’s hard to get the same complexity of shadowing on soft textiles.

    I find the traditional Japanese art to feel light, un-weighted — I wonder if my western eyes see that because the shadows are so minimal.

    Ah, so many wonders — so few hard facts…..

  22. 22 June February 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Alison,

    You are absolutely correct that most quilt artists are working in abstraction, whether they recognize it or not. Sometimes they hover around an idea of representational depiction, but the nature of cloth itself tends to push them into abstraction.

    But as you note, photographic reproductions on cloth as well as the use of layers (like sheers), adds complexity to the shadows and thus pulls the art closer to the visible nature of shadows. In looking at Portfolio 14, it was the photographic pieces that seemed most likely to contain complex shadows; I suspect that the layered ones do also, but the nature of photographing the art paradoxically wipes out the complexity of layering.

    Thanks for checking in.

  23. 23 raggedcloth February 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    A huge amount of food for thought! I’ll be coming back to this post again and again.

    The idea of shadows painted onto the surface of a quilt (which is, of course, a three-dimensional object generating its own shadows) reminded me of the weaver Lia Cook and her “cloth about cloth” (can’t recall where I saw that phrase) – woven pictures of bunched and rippling cloth.

    The construction of shadows as images in their own right apart from the objects that cast them made me think of wayang (Indonesian shadow puppet plays). There’s a great simplifying power in such shadows, as in some silhouettes. To Kara Walker’s cut-paper silhouettes (deliberately stereotyped and horrifying) I’d add Carmen Lomas Garza’s, (both light and dark in mood and also deliberately nostalgic). I once walked through a very dramatic installation of these at the Oakland Museum: temporary walls composed of black cut-paper panels suspended edge-to-edge from the ceiling.

    I’ve barely begun exploring the ideas in this post; thanks again.

  24. 24 Joanna February 11, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Really great post June. I think light and shadow is often overlooked in fiber creations but it adds so much depth and possibilities.

  25. 25 teri February 11, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Very interesting. I have always been interested in light/shadow but haven’t used it in my quilts until I did my loon. His shadow is painted on the piece. While in Nova Scotia over Christmas I was enjoying the light/shadow effects of the rocks (we have LOTS of rocks in Nova Scotia- the province is actually one big rock pile). We didn’t have too many days of sun while I was there but I will be taking many photos this summer and using the shadows in my new series….Your post couldn’t have been more timely.

    teri

  26. 26 Karen February 11, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Interesting post, June, and a timely one for me. Unlike you, I am a true fan of the early morning, it’s light, and the exaggerated shadows it produces. I’ve taken hundreds of photos through all the seasons with shadows as the reason for taking them. And, just yesterday, I added to my extensive collection of photos of good shadows on winter snow, taking advantage of the somewhat rare opportunity of a clear, sunny day for with wonderful midday shadows and fresh, undisturbed snow.

    Often my photos are taken as inspiration for, as yet unmade, quilts. In the last couple weeks, I’ve finally taken the first steps toward using them, abstracting the images more and more, with the help of Photosphop Elements, while maintaining the most minimal sense of place. My first experiment was a success (in my terms) in that people recognized something familiar but were not exactly clear at first what they were viewing. In this case, ambiguity of scale let their minds travel to several places, near and far, before deciding what they saw. I’m currently working this image into fabric.

    I seem to have completed one of those circles of life and developed a connection to the grandfather I never knew. As I worked with a number of photos this weekend, I found myself developing a good sense of where I am heading, which photos will work well, and getting satisfying results more quickly. One photo from an early summer morning gave me quite a surprise. It reminded me of a favorite watercolor painting that hangs on my wall and which hung in my childhood home. The painting shows a grove of trees on a small rise in New York City’s Central Park. The shadows are just lovely, and the style alludes to Japanese woodcuts. (My appreciation of woodcuts may be yet another part that family circle.)

    So, thank you for your posting. Good reading and food for thought at the end of an exciting weekend.

  27. 27 alison February 11, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Considering the connection between abstract shapes and shadows through isotypes (Neurath) it would seem most quiltmakers, traditional and artquilters, are actually working in abstraction, whether they realise that or not. I do think there is a growing conscious attention to concepts of shadow in modern quilt art through printed digitally manipulated photographic images used in various ways, often interesting layers.

    Of course I am not studying painting as June is, and it is only through this post that I have been made aware of the seriousness with which ‘Shadow’ has been studied from many diverse angles. Coming from Aus where clear skies and strong light prevail, I do have a strong awareness of shadows, but have mostly thought about it in terms of patterns and shaped generated behind the object. I am very much a product of the modern era in which I have lived, and easily accept flatness in representational art.

    Thanks for this thought provoking topic.


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