Fussy or Sloppy?

When creating a work of art, sometimes it is O.K. to be sloppy.
Drawing or painting freely and quickly can create an unrestrained, joyous feel.
This is spontaneity, or being loose. An artist can be sloppy when the part being made will not show in the final work. Imprecise underpainting can successfully give a overall color tone to a painting or allow glimpses of the underpainted color to show through successive layers of paint.

But a caution, work will look wrong to a viewer if the looseness incorrectly depicts anatomy of an identifiable subject. Beginning artists may avoid drawing complex parts of a figure, like hands or faces, because drawing them well is too difficult or frustrating. Skilled artists may choose to distort or simplify a form for dramatic or emotional effect. It is usually obvious to a viewer whether an omission or simplification is a lack of skill or a deliberate abstraction.

With an art quilt, one can totally cover the back with a piece of cloth as a backing. Stitches on the underside are covered, so thread ends don’t need to be tied, trimmed or buried…that saves time. Because batting is enclosed between the two quilt layers, no one will know or care if it is frugally pieced from scraps.

The fussy part…precise and perfect looks professional. It is worth it to take time and effort on parts of an artwork that show. Catch every stray thread on the front of the quilt, finish edges or frame with care. Sign and label clearly. Here are the sloppy parts hiding inside the neatly finished “Bearded Lady”.

pieced batting

pieced batting

stitching from the back

stitching from the back

Bearded Lady

Bearded Lady


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