No Paint Necessary: Abstract Creations Are Thread and Fabric

If talking about quilting instantly conjures up images of old retired women gossiping in a circle over their needlepoint, it’s time for you to check out artist Sandra Lauterbach and expand your mind.

While most traditional artists use the tried and true mediums of acrylic or oil paint, Lauterbach’s paint is fabric and her brush is thread. She works primarily on a sewing machine, but she also uses heat and paint to alter the fabrics.

Her portfolio boasts an impressive collection of works both abstract and representational. Both feature a variety of vibrant-colored fabrics and a range of different stitching techniques and designs. (Her designs would definitely have your local quilting club craning their necks.)

By far the most intriguing portion of her art is her abstract work, which will be on exhibit this June in Los Angeles. Her use of color and shape combine to create stunning abstract pieces, able to compete with the painted work of Picasso. What makes her work so much more impressive is the medium.

The use of a sewing machine instead of paint is very closely tied to Lauterbach’s history. Her family owned a textile business, which spawned her love for fabric. Lauterbach also uses the sewing machine symbolically, as a way to challenge gender norms.

“Through textiles, I remember, challenge, and define the role of women.  I feel strongly influenced by the pioneering spirit of my grandmother and my mother who defied the conventional notion of a woman’s place in society by becoming physicians in the early 1900s and 1940s. Their struggles and resilience are the canvas of my work,” she says in her artist statement.

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