CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Creating Motion with Stillness

patti

Patti

Patti Valentine Zimmer has been an artist for as long as she can remember. As a child she toured the world, as her father was in the military.  Patti was born in Italy and  the family spent time in Japan before they ended up in Puerto Rico when Dad retired.

Patti always loved to draw, but she was also drawn to fiber and fabric. She can remember touring a Japanese silk company with her grade school class and being given a cocoon and a sample skein of silk to take home.

As a young woman, she enrolled in a weaving program at an art academy in Holland. Her language was sketchy and she had to know the parts of the loom and tools in Dutch before they would admit her. She managed to learn enough Dutch to be accepted. The school then assigned one teacher to her to demonstrate everything she needed to know to get through the program.

A few years later she was married, raising a family and living in Rhode Island. She was also weaving rugs and blankets on commission- which she did for the next twenty three years!

Patti was looking for another artistic outlet which came as an invitation to illustrate a children’s book. Patti chose to use a paper cutting technique to fulfill this assignment.

koi pond

koi pond

orange 2

orange 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper cutting requires many steps.  Patti  explains it as “an elaborate form of drawing. Everything depends on a great drawing.  The actual cutting is very tedious but for me this is a form of meditation.

After the drawing, comes inking the design and painting what will be the front.  Next is the cutting out on the back of the painting with very sharp blades.  Sometimes I add tissue or rice paper and other elements to the design to come to the final art piece.”

Patti was enamored with the technique and played with it for several years. They problem was that it was not economically viable and she needed to find a way to make it so. In the meantime, she developed her faux painting technique, had a license as a painting contractor and did work as an interior painter. She also did murals.

orange colorway

orange colorway

plate with jellies

plate with jellies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her son introduced her to Photo Shop and her children gifted her with a computer. This was a tool she needed and her creativity went wild!

Patti could scan her cut paper art pieces into the program. She could change the colors. She could move the elements . She could rearrange the motifs. She could repeat them or layer them. The possibilities were endless!

sarapita

sarapita

sarapita

sarapita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most importantly, she could have her designs printed on fabric and the fabric could be transformed to wearable art.

“Drawing is like breathing for me. The years I spent in Japan as a child have been one of the largest influences on my style. If you marry Asian Art with Art Nouveau you have what I love.”

To see more of Patti’s work, go to greenlotusfabricdesign.com

 

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