Virginia Greaves creates fascinating and detailed textile “paintings.” Enjoy her portfolio and see more from this talented artist by visiting her website.
Perhaps the hardest thing for any of us to do in this lifetime is to begin. It is the moment at which fear of change grips us, holds our hand, and holds us back. But it is leaning forward into that moment of change that creates great things.
I was not classically trained. I watched my mother spend hours with a canvas, perfecting her technique and exploring her craft. It was years before I understood that practicing an art was a way of living — that self-expression was a lifestyle.
I studied color in my own way, learning how the eye can be influenced by value and how color wheels could be used to create more visually exciting pieces. I have spent several years on a series of portraits, studying the faces of people and even sometimes their pets. My medium is textiles, and the added challenge of creating realism using non-traditional methods is my daily enticement.
Although a monochromatic series with my own hand-dyed fabric was my beginning, I have advanced into realism using commercially printed fabric. Unable to mix paint on a palette, I search fabric stores for the perfect fabric with the correct color and value.
There is a secret joy when I can use a print with hidden meaning for a piece — like the brown fabric with leaping deer and rabbits — used in the piece of a rabbit — hidden in her fur to be found by the curious observer. Although my pieces are best admired from a viewing distance of a couple of feet, I enjoy providing special surprises for those that desire a closer inspection.
I love when my work is compared to a painting — as my goal is a textile painting. I add all of the elements of color and value just as a painter would do — and then I layer on the additional sculptural context of quilting lines.
Textiles appeal to the primal center of our brains. We’ve been surrounded in fabric since birth and it’s our unconscious desire to touch things made with fabric. It has a warmth to it that other mediums do not. If I can tap into that unconsciousness and juxtapose it with something completely ordered and opposite to how the viewer otherwise categorizes it, I feel that I have been successful.