Five Questions for Textile Painter Hollis Chatelain

We asked returning fiber art instructor Hollis Chatelain for her take on our short five question interview series. Hollis’s April 23-29, 2017 workshop focuses on dye painting your images and then bringing them to life with quilting.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
HC: Either from my dreams or my life experiences.

Q: What are you most proud of in regards to your art?
HC: Emotion is super important in my art because I believe that art should touch us emotionally. I’m always very humbled and touched when someone reacts emotionally to my art, and it makes me feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do. This is also what I try to teach to my students because I feel it can be done through color and composition.

Q: What are your biggest challenges to creating art and how do you deal with them?
HC: My personal challenge is finding enough time to make my art, but I don’t think that is what you’re asking for. In creating, I always challenge myself to figure out how to put the emotion that I want to come across to the viewer in the piece. How can I get them to react to the art!

Q: What advice has influenced you?
HC: Scale matters! This is just one thing that I think about all the time, but I have my work critiqued by professionals in the fine art world 4x/year so I’m always learning new things during these critiques.

Q: Is there something you are currently working on, or excited about starting that you can tell us about?
HC: I have been making a series of smaller pieces where I paint part of a face and finish the rest of it in only thread. This gives a mysterious and beautiful effect that I really like.

Hollis’s April 23-29 “Painting with Thread” workshop with us still has a few spots available. Give us a call at (518) 966-5219 to reserve your spot!
You can find more details about Hollis’s work on her website and also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dye Painting with Hollis Chatelain

“Super – Best I have ever had! Learned so much.”

Hollis Chatelain returned to teach another exciting workshop at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops. The workshop covered painting images on white cloth based on photos brought in by each student. The class learned how to use the procion dyes, blending colors, layering, and special effects.

Hollis brought several of her inspiring pieces to hang around the studio.

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This is one of Hollis’ amazing works made with demin fabrics.

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Patti M., one of the students made this fantastic “chocolates” pin cushion for Hollis.

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Hollis showed the students how to use tracing paper to plan their stitches for their whole cloth paintings.

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Hollis spent lots of time with each participant, guiding and assisting, and also answering questions about finishing some of their previously started projects. (Below is a piece that a student started in the Charlotte Warr Andersen workshop last year.)

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Everyone made several dye paintings and on the third day of the workshop, the group gathered for a critique / discussion of their paintings.

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It was a workshop enjoyed by all. We are already looking forward to when Hollis returns in 2017 to teach another workshop!

An interview with Hollis Chatelain: Fiber Artist

Hollis Chatelain’s popular workshop, Dye-Paint Your Images & Bring Them to Life with Quilting, teaches innovative ways to combine painting and Fiber Arts techniques for a superb hybrid of textured and layered colors and images. This Workshop runs from April 19 to 25, 2015 at the Hudson River Valley Fiber Arts Workshops.


Hollis recently spent some time giving us some intriguing background information on her teaching and creative process.


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How long have you been teaching and what got you started teaching? I have been teaching since the 80’s (in Switzerland). I started teaching patchwork in Africa in the 90’s because some of my friends were interested in learning how to make quilts and found that I really liked it.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

Meeting the students and seeing their creativity and confidence blossom.

What would you tell your prospective students are three best reasons for taking a workshop? 1. To learn something new and maybe fall in love with what you learned. 2. To broaden your horizons and challenge yourself. 3. To increase your knowledge in the basics of art which will increase your confidence and encourage you to take risks.

What are you currently working on in your own art? I am working on a blue jean piece called “Swamp Women” which is partially abstract.

Where is your art currently being exhibited? A new show is just about to open at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego. The show is called “Expressions in Equality” and it is an invitational show. I have a piece in that show called “Girls Are Strong” and it is about the Equal Rights Amendment. The show runs from January 17th, 2015 – April 4th, 2015.

Do you sell your work in any online gallery? My personal

What is your favorite art quote? It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and never have it than have an opportunity and not be prepared.

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Describe your studio. I have a 2 room studio that is on two levels. There are glass pocket doors and three stairs separating the rooms. I paint in the upper studio and quilt in the lower studio. There are many plants in my studio because I love plants. It is a warm inviting place and I love it!

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Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products. My Bernina 1230, my 800+ colors of thread, my Procion dyes, my paintbrushes, my Prismacolor pencils.

Dye Painting on Fabric with Hollis Chatelain

Hollis Chatelain, one of the featured artists in the movie, “Stitched”, is here teaching a 5-day workshop on her process of using dye paints to paint on fabric.

Yesterday I had the good fortune to catch a revealing of the paintings created by the students in the workshop. Here is a sampling of the marvelous work that everyone is doing — and most people in the class have never done anything like this before!