Martha Gilbert

Ellicott City, Maryland, United States

I work with fabric because I love it. I love its infinite color and pattern, its feel, its smell, its versatility. It speaks to me in many ways - the variety of values, depths of design, challenge of creativity. Fabric has limitless potential in terms of shape, texture, and dimensionality. Using thread as an added layer multiplies exponentially the possibilities for creating a satisfying piece of work, not to mention layers of paint, dye, inks, beads and other embellishments.

Most of my pieces explore shape and color layered on background. Sometimes the shapes are the background. Sometimes the shapes are realistic, and sometimes they are stylized, such as the spiral rose shape, which, I might add, I saw on a tee shirt in a bagel shop one day. Inspiration comes from unexpected sources! I am always looking at the patterns around me: branches of a tree against the sky, wallpaper in a restaurant, cracks in the sidewalk, tire treads, even the holes in a leaf made by a Japanese beetle.

Sometimes I start with a plan, and other times the fabric "tells" me what it wants. A sketch, however crude, may get me started, but the sketch serves more as a reminder than a blueprint. At times the "sketch" may consist of words or phrases to remind me of my concept. Often my finished pieces bear no resemblance whatsoever to the sketch. The important thing is to get started playing with the elements that inspire me: color, shape, texture.

Daylily © 2005 Martha Gilbert
16"h x 16"w
Hibiscus © 2005 Martha Gilbert
24"h x 24"w
Cocoon #2 © 2004 Martha Gilbert
Cocoon #2
29"h x 20.5"w
Cocoon #3 © 2004 Martha Gilbert
Cocoon #3
26"h x 17.5"w

For pricing and further information about the quilts on this page, email the artist.

To see more of this artist's work, visit Martha Gilberts's Website.