Colorful Language

Ali Givens

In my new fabric collages for Colorful Language I have continued to experiment working from a small to large format. First I design a small collage that serves as a sketch for my larger pieces. I find that it’s much easier and more fun to figure out the composition on a small scale. My friend/painter Lolette Guthrie reminded me recently that designs that work well small usually translate well into larger pieces. My favorite challenge for this show was enlarging a very small collage, “The Yellow Chair,” into “Modigliani and My Yellow Chair,” which is almost 7 feet by 4 feet. It took many layers of fabric and touches of paint to get all of the angles right in the small version, which was about the size of a piece of notebook paper. The challenge then for the big piece, “Modigliani and My Yellow Chair” was sewing something so large which physically can be difficult to handle and can sometimes require an extra pair of hands (usually my sister’s or my daughter’s).

 (little one)Ali's small one
I feel happy that the fabric collages both large and small capture the feeling of a simple, intimate space–my apartment.
(big one)
Ali's big one
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