Oh Deer, Look What’s Become of Me! Judy Coates Perez 2009 54" x 42"
As I admired a series of medieval hunting paintings depicting deer in forest and pastoral settings I thought about how styles have changed over the years. From the flat two dimensional painted tapestry-like scenes with serious looking deer, to the wide eyed plastic and glass figurines so popular in the 1960’s.
Contrasting traditional and modern themes, I chose to juxtapose a kitschy deer with a medieval hunting scene, painting it in a more contemporary style.
Quilts have also changed over the years from traditional patchwork and applique designs, to abstract or representational imagery, using alternative construction techniques and mediums such as paint to color fabric. Some may not believe traditional quilts and and art quilts belong in the same venue, but like deer from different eras there can be a mutual admiration of the different styles.
techniques: whole cloth painted with textile paints, trapunto, machine quilted
Oh Deer, Look What’s Become of Me! detail
The Three of Swords Judy Coates Perez 2010 36" x 48"
meaning: heartbreak, loneliness, betrayal
The surface of my cool blue calm exterior splits open, revealing hot pain filled raw wounds represented by exposed batting, the guts of the quilt. I work through the grief and pain and transform it to something beautiful, slowly healing the heartache with each stitch.
This quilt was created for the exhibit: Beneath the Surface
The Three of Swords detail
Black and Bloom All Over Judy Coates Perez 2011 36" x 48"
The year following the end of my marriage had some dark and difficult times (represented by black thorny weeds) but also in the space between there was growth, blossoming, renewal, light and life.
Whole cloth painted cotton sheeting with Daler Rowney FW Acrylic inks, textile paints, hand carved stamps, stencils with shiva paint stiks, printed tea bags adhered with gel medium, free motion quilted
This quilt was created for the exhibit: Between the Spaces
Black and Bloom All Over detail
8 of Cups Judy Coates Perez 2012 24"x 60"
While going through a particularly difficult time, I obsessively read Tarot cards in an effort to gain perspective on the situation. Many of the same cards appeared over and over, clearly there was a message I needed to hear in order to move forward with my life. These cards became the impetus for this piece of work.
Whole cloth painted with acrylic inks, textile paint, gold paint pen, copic marker with tarot images printed on abaca paper
This quilt was created for the exhibit: Rituals
8 of Cups detail Judy Coates Perez
8 of Cups detail Judy Coates Perez
Moon Garden Judy Coates Perez 2008 69” x 56”
Designed to be viewed at night, a moon garden is seen in black and white. A mysterious time when inconspicuous images emerge from areas that once appeared empty.
This is a machine quilted, whole cloth painted quilt.
Moon Garden detail
Moon Garden back showing the stitching, click for larger image
Arbol de Vida (Spanish- Tree of Life) Judy Coates Perez 2007 58” x 58”
My second quilt incorporating the tree of life theme pays homage to the beautiful folk art of Mexico. It is inspired by the colorfully painted wooden sculptures of Oaxaca.
This is a machine quilted whole cloth painted quilt starting with white fabric. (the black is painted) textile paints, rick rack
Arbol de Vida detail Judy Coates Perez
Agave Judy Coates Perez 2006 56" x 47"
This quilt was inspired by one particular agave plant that grew near my home in Los Angeles. It seemed to capture the setting light in a way that made it glow with a regal luminance.
Hand dyed cotton, machine appliqued, machine quilted.
Primordial Sea Judy Coates Perez 2005 89” x 62”
While living in Texas fossils fascinated my children, and we spent many happy days in the creek beds of Austin searching for evidence that North America was once under the sea. This quilt is what I like to imagine a Primordial Sea, abundant in jewel toned marine life would look like.
Primordial Sea detail Judy Coates Perez
Hand dyed silk painted with textile paints, machine quilted
There’s A Place Called Mars... Judy Coates Perez 2004 37” x 62”
Looking at Mars mission photos, I was struck by the contrast between scenes of a rocky, lifeless planet and the rich, fanciful portrayals of Mars in popular culture. I prefer a fanciful Mars. A place, where flora and fauna from the pages of Ernst Haekel’s book, “Artforms in Nature”, fill a Ray Bradbury inspired world and a 50’s Sci-Fi alien femme fatal watches a song, sung by my sister in Girl scout camp to the melody of “The Snake Charmers Tune”, weave it’s way though the landscape.
There’s A Place Called Mars... detail Judy Coates Perez
This is a machine quilted whole cloth painted quilt. I used textile paints, chromacoal powders, tsukineko inks, foil and beads.
Tree of Life Judy Coates Perez 2003 53” x 61”
I was drawn to creating an image of the Tree of Life, which is a creation myth from many different cultures. The universality of this symbol was important to me as well as the idea that the location of Eden is in present day Iraq. I wanted my quilt to have the quality of a multicultural folktale using symbols from nature and various religious traditions. It is a whole cloth painted quilt, using Jaquard and Lumiere textile paints and Tsukineko inks for the faces, hands and feet.
Tree of Life detail Judy Coates Perez
Graven Images Judy Coates Perez 2002 50” x 79”
I was inspired to make “Graven Images” while visiting cemeteries in New England, following up on some ancestral research. I found the symbols and images carved into the various stones fascinating in design, symbolism and historical context.
Wanting to recreate the look of stone in cloth, I hand dyed fabric in shades of gray using various techniques to emulate stone. I enlarged my photos of the stones and traced the designs using tracing paper. I put my fabric over the line drawings on a light box and traced the designs with pencil. The images were free motion quilted onto fabric and batting sandwiches creating dimensional images as though carving them into the fabric with needle and thread. Colored pencil was added to the recessed areas to create more depth. After the panels were quilted I trimmed and arranged them filling in any holes with small strips of quilted carved stone details and pieced them together.
Graven Images detail Judy Coates Perez
The most haunting aspect of making this quilt was that after working on it, on and off for two years quilting the various panels, I spent 3 straight days finishing it and piecing it together, I began putting the binding on it the morning of September 11, 2001. I found this synchronicity to be so unsettling; I didn't feel comfortable showing the quilt for a year.