Abstraction or Realism?

 Please click on the title to read the full post.

Hi Everyone! A big welcome to all the new readers!

This week’s topic: Abstraction or Realism?  I just read a great blog post by Elizabeth Barton, one of my teachers. She wrote about working abstractly in the art quilt form.  Have you ever wanted to make an abstract art quilt?  I know I have, but at first found it daunting, humbling and downright hard!!!

You see, I had always started with some kind of a picture as a jumping off point.  Several years back I took Elizabeth Barton’s online class  Abstract Art for Quiltmakers.  She gave us several ways to start an abstract work of art.  We looked at excellent abstract art from other media, made by men and women.  We discussed what was working and what wasn’t, and how to tell why it was or wasn’t working.  I found it invaluable.  

Here is a quote from her recent blog post that gives her reasoning:

As artists we’re all trying to communicate, but we want to communicated something new, fresh,  a different take on things…I think that’s one of the (many) reasons abstract art became so popular. It was and is different , it’s new, it gives us ways to  look at things  that haven’t been done before….and that’s very attractive.  You’ve all heard the cliche “same old same old”..usually intoned in a very boring manner!!  Well who want to makes boring art?   As I looked around a small art show yesterday, I felt I had seen every image before, everything looked So stale.

I also noticed perfectly awkward (now there’s a nice oxymoron for you!) compositions that just screamed at me!! well I suppose that was a striking experience – but not one I wanted!   The colors also looked stale and flat…low saturation colors placed in low contrast situations are not going to look new and fresh.

I made these little studies from sketches I developed in that class:

Coming About
Coming About

These were made in the Geometric Abstract style, using shapes and colors.

I learned a great deal from her class.  Now I can make an abstract piece about anything.  I’m still working realistically of course, but now I have a choice 🙂

For more info on her newest class,  More Abstract Art for Quiltmakers, go to

 www.academyofquilting.com   .  It starts this Friday.

So, you see, it’s really Abstraction and Realism. You don’t have to only work one way or the other.  It is easier to simply copy a picture, but isn’t it more freeing to have the tools to do both?  Tell me what you think…


Study with me in Houston!


Here’s what I will be teaching:

Wed. Nov 2:  Color Play for Quilters #329 All Day

Thurs. Nov. 3:  Posh, Pet Portraits #422  All Day  Filling fast!!

Fri. Nov. 4: Friday Sampler- Marrying Machine quilting with Felting, AM #555 Filling Fast!!

Mini Mods ,PM #579

Sat. Nov 4:  Fancy Needle Felted Tulip #712, All Day

To enroll online go to: http://www.quilts.com/quilt-festival-houston-classes.html

Would you like to work with me one on one?

One of my private clients, Susan, has had her quilt, “Nature Takes Back Her Own”, accepted into the prestigious Houston IQA World of Beauty Show.

NatureTakesBackHerOwn 72

As part of our work together, I coached her on the making of this quilt.  She was able to realize her vision to design, make and get her art quilt into one of the best shows in the world!  How about you, are you ready???

Look into my 6 month Private Coaching Masterclass!

 I have extended my private coaching program, from 3 months to 6 months.  I believe the transformation my students are looking for must take place over a longer period of time to have a lasting impact.

I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 17+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top.



Here’s what one guild VP had to say recently:

I’m usually Johnny on the Spot but missed the boat last week re these BIG THANKS.  Loved your presentation. Heard very positive and supportive remarks from the guests…thank you again for the well-defined and creative presentation.  Look forward to seeing you again. 


Here’s a link to my contract with current lecture and class rates:  Contract


Don’t forget to get yours:  Quilting Arts TV has the new 1500 Series available for download-  YES this is the one I am in (squee!!) Click HERE to get yours.


Susan and I on set

My Pinterest: You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.

About RoxaneRoxane-Web-Images-007

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist, teacher, and author, with two girls, who are both growing up too fast!  She recently appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has taught at the Houston quilt show.  She is also a BERNINA ambassador. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to http://roxanelessa.com.

Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)


Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr