January 16, 2020

Join Judy Coates Perez from October 18-24 in her five-day workshop to print your own personal fabric line, then use it to make an improvisationally pieced modern quilt top! Explore a multitude of ways to apply color to fabric using acrylics inks with broad brush strokes, salt, pleating and shibori techniques. Learn the art of hand printing fabric and applying pattern.

Judy is an International award-winning mixed-media textile artist and author, who travels globally to teach painting and mixed-media techniques and lecture about her creative process and sources of inspiration. She received my BFA in graphic design from The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, but found her true passion when she began working with textiles.

In advance of her workshop, we asked Judy a few questions about her work and approach to teaching workshops.

Q: How did you first begin creating art with the medium(s) you’ll be using in your workshop?

JCP: About 10 years ago, I began experimenting on fabric with acrylic inks, because I was curious about how they would behave when used on fabric given they are very thin and runny, and are also an acrylic based paint. Acrylic inks are generally used for calligraphy and illustration on paper and other porous media, but I saw immense potential in using a paint medium that could possibly behave like a dye, but without the toxicity or chemistry involved, or harm for the environment that dyeing can cause when living in an area prone to drought, because dyeing fabric uses a lot of water in the rinsing and washing out stages.

I love the instant gratification of acrylic inks, there’s no batching, rinsing or washing out needed. Once the fabric is dry, it’s permanent.

I also found that acrylic inks work well with stamps, and are fantastic when used in combination with Japanese shibori resist techniques for creating gorgeous pattern and texture.

I like to use thermofax screens to print designs on fabric in my Tea & Ephemera and Prayer Flags class, so it was only a matter of time before I started to explore printing on the textured fabrics I was making with acrylic inks. I love the ability to use a variety techniques to create unique fabrics filled with pattern and texture that I can use in patchwork and applique. There’s endless possibility to create beautiful fabrics in such an easy way.

Q: What is your most unexpected source of inspiration?

JCP: I don’t think I have any unexpected source of inspiration, I see potential all around me and would have hard time qualifying anything as ‘unexpected’, but there are probably some people who would be surprised by some of the things I’ve used in my work over the years.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them?

JCP: Time. There’s never enough time. Because I am financially self supporting with my art and teaching there is always business related tasks that need to be done that take away precious time from creating.

Q: How has teaching impacted your personal art practice?

JCP: I think my art practice has had far more impact on my teaching than the other way around. My work is always evolving and changing, and when I go off in a new direction I get very excited about it and want to share it with my students. My classes are generally technique driven with exploration highly encouraged, my goal is for students to create unique work with their own voice and vision.

Q: What’s one tip you have or trick you use for keeping your studio space organized?

JCP: Organized? HA HA Ha ha ha ha ha ha….