TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Sunday, August 10, 2008

IS ART A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION? Fabric Photo Art by Diana Bracy

My name is Diana Bracy and I consider myself a Fabric Artist. Photo Fabric Art is what I call my Art for obvious reasons. It describes that I make Art from ordinary photographs and create it into Wall Art using small pieces of cotton fabric. When you stand close, you see lots of colors that sometimes look like Contemporary painting. When you step back about 5 feet it seems as though the image magically appears!

My artistic education started with how-to books on quilting. I have made numerous quilts from doll house size to extra large king over a 20 year period. When each quilt was completed, I realized that I wanted more color than the traditional quilt look. Soon, I wanted more artsy quilt with colors and that is how I began quilted photography. This method allowed me to take a photo, scan it, print a pattern, select my own colors, cut the fabric and sew it all together. The result was a clear design of a face! This method is called Mosaic Quilted Photography. I fell in love with these quilts and started teaching the classes.

My friend Tammie wrote the book on Quilted Photography and she taught me how to make my mosaic quilts look like a painting. My first one was a picture of my husband, Vincent. The art was so striking; I couldn’t believe that I did that! I also completed a self portrait.

That one is diffused because my picture was not very clear. Well, its 5 years later I cannot stop and I won’t. I have explained to others that I find the process of fusing the little pieces together takes time and patience. From the moment that I sit down to create my art, I get a feeling of tranquility that soothes my soul. Hours later, when I am finished for the day, I feel as though I have had a relaxing therapy session. As I look over my progress, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. It’s therapeutic.

Once I finished with the Photo Art of my husband and me, I decided to make a group of Jazz Artists and then on to famous faces. Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday started this grouping. I have selected fabrics for 10-15 more jazz artists just waiting to be made. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday was coming up, so I made his piece. He was followed by the Kennedy Brother’s because of his relationship with them. Barack Obama’s photo I just had to do. He could be included with the Kennedys and Dr. King as a political grouping.

Obama is a favorite piece:

I belong to a group called Fiber Artists for Obama and I have started collecting quilt blocks from these artists to make a quilt for him. Making a Photo Art piece from his image gave me the most gratifying experience of all. My belief is that we have been waiting a lifetime for him to lead this country in the right direction. He believes that we can all come together as neighbors, cities, counties, and states to help each other to communicate our concerns and tell him how we want to make a better America. It’s, as though, we now have a voice with someone to listen and get the job done. I may not live long enough to see equality for all people, however, I do believe that we are becoming stronger from listening to him and with our help, he can lead the way. Yes, we can have a better America!

So, to explain why my Photo Art can appear to look “raw”, “in your face” and even “dark”, while my Bio picture shows a sweet, happy and proud woman? My subjects are photos that I have collected to make themes or groupings. I tend to lean towards a photo that has impact, like Mick Jagger or action, such as Billie Holiday singing with her mouth open. Mike Tyson and Muhammed Ali’s photos are angled and I cropped them close up to show the power in the faces.

In selecting colors for Marilyn Monroe, I knew that I wanted her lips red and I started there.

When I got to her eyes, it looked gruesome, like her eyes were bleeding. I was not expecting this. My art is in shades and hues and the red was my “black” or darkest color. Her eyes and eyebrows were “dark”, hence my red. I was unsure for a day and loved it the next day! I have been described by my friends as a sweet, kind and proud woman; I believe that. Where does the dark side of me fit in?? Maybe it’s just emerging and showing up in my art!

Just wait until you see Alfred Hitchcock and a photo of the lady in the shower screaming her head off in Psycho!

Diana Bracy is a member of our Fiber Focus network. Visit her links below for more information on her and her work. Leave her a comment here and tell her what you think of her work. I'm very happy to have her as a guest artist and as a member of Fiber Focus!

Etsy Store
Diana’s Weblog
Fiber Arts for Obama
Fiber Focus
World Wide Women Artists


  1. Diana, as you already know, I am quite impressed with your textile mosaics. I just want to add that I also am an Obama supporter. I think he has already proven that he has wonderful leadership quality. It cracks me up that what's his name puts out an ad that shows Obama with 200,000 Europeans following him, and then asks "is he ready to lead" - what an idiot that old, white-haired man is. I think Obama has already caused so many people to shed their lingering prejudices and join the movement of people who believe "we can." It's wonderful. Hopefully, he'll e elected. But whether he's the next president or not, he's already moved the country in a better direction. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of blind, bigoted prejudice out there, so - heaven help us - we may end up with what's his name.

  2. Diana,
    Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I am very impressed,since I am a sometimes blogger and not very good at it.

    Your quilt art is amazing. And , yes I like Obama too.Too bad I live in Canada and can't vote for him.


  3. Absolutely amazing what you can do with fabric .... you go Girl!

  4. Wow Diana, is right. Your work is amazing...wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I feel as if I know you a bit more now. ThatS what's cool about these blogs, the feeling of getting to know someone more. I am just flabbergasted by your portrait quilts.

  5. I've seen Diana's work on etsy and was really pleased to see this article on her. Great article and great art!

  6. Diana -

    Your work is AMAZING!! I have been drawn to it from the first moment I saw it. (You are also amazing but that is another story!)

    Thanks for sharing more about your process.

    I also have great hopes for Obama!!!

    ~ Diane Clancy

  7. These quilts are absolutely amazing! I attended a short intro at Sewing Expo a couple of years ago with Tammy and was taken with the process. You have taken it to a higher level! Keep on doing what you are doing! Linda


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails