Sunday, January 15, 2012

looking up to - a tribute to Kandinsky

First I want to thank Janet for the Look Up theme. It was quite a challenge!

I started playing with ideas of looking up in the sky and took pictures of buildings, birds, trees, city elements. This was followed by a very simple idea that I will keep in mind for another challenge (aha, maybe when it’s my turn to come up with a theme...). 
I decided to explore another meaning, i.e. looking up to someone. The light bulb moment came when I was flipping through the pages of an art book and found some pictures of Kandinsky’s work. I have always loved his paintings from the Bauhaus period. They have often inspired me.

What better way to show my admiration and appreciation for Kandinsky’s work than to make a quilt inspired by his work? Kandinsky’s paintings that I love most are all about circles, squares, triangles and strong lines.

I used a linen for the front of the quilt and started with the quilting (kind of working backwards). Then I applied some of my Stewart Gill sparkling paints with a stencil brush with a flat bottom, fused some fabric circles, appliqued them by machine. With the same paints I painted some squares and quilted lines around them. In another pair of lines I made quirky squares which I painted with black acrylic fabric paint. The quilt was made like I would do with a painting, step by step and by intuition. I finished the quilt with a non mitred facing. My first time and I love the look. 
The most difficult part was to stop working on the quilt at the right moment, to keep it interesting to look at. I’m not sure if I have achieved that, but I decided that I can always add some little elements, when I want to. 

I’m happy with the result, because I have found my old simplistic self again.

When you want to see more pictures please visit my private blog.  
When you want to know more about Kandinsky you can visit this website: and go here.
When you want to know more about the Bauhaus, please click here.



  1. very nice Nicolette - I like the combination of shapes and textures you've achieved. A wonderful interpretation of look up. I'm off to do some more research and looking up your inspiration!

  2. Nicolette, how wonderful! I love the depth that your quilting creates! and I looooove the painting too! I will have to check out Kadinsky!

  3. I had to look up Kandinsky from your post because I was not familiar with his work, and I have to say, you have done a fine job emulating him. The lines and shapes you have chosen draw you into the piece for a closer look. And I see the you incorporated your signature circles too. Wonderful job!

  4. Ah, Nicolette, I have loved Kandinsky from the moment I discovered him. Your piece really does pay him homage!

    Sometimes simplicity really is more- and I think your piece is a great example of that.

  5. I agree with Beverly, and maybe that is why I have trouble with abstract - I am too obsessed with detail!
    You have really captured the aura of Kandinsky and combined it with your own style. The message in your work is very clean and clear.

  6. I'm sorry my comment never got posted yesterday .... I love your piece Nicolette! I have long been a fan of Kandinsky and his work during that period. Your piece is a wonderful tribute to Kandinsky, having really captured the style of his work and you've created such a beautiful composition in his fashion.

  7. You have done what I have thought about doing for years. When visiting art museums or leafing through art books, I occasionally come across a piece that I think could be an inspiration for a fabric piece, however I have never stopped and done it. Congratulations to you!! The simplicity of the piece is its charm.

  8. Nicolette, I'm really struck by the great balance of shapes and colors and lines. And because of the theme, what I thought I was seeing was looking up at a mobile of shapes! So for my take, your definition of looking up added even another twist. This is just delightful to look at.