Melanie Testa’s art and creative approach are a celebration of nature, humanity, birds, and plants and how each of these interacts with the other. She loves nothing more than to sit and draw, apply dye to cloth, collage and sew. She advises to give yourself permission and make art in blissful abandon. You do not make mistakes; you create opportunities to find creative solutions. Draw. Draw some more. Use all of the supplies you buy and then buy more. Have fun. She recently released a book, Inspired to Quilt, Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery and taped a DVD Workshop called Print, Collage, Quilt, both of which will help you in your own creative journey.
Melanie Testa greets Mark’s door knock at her Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn apartment. Melanie utilizes her fine arts background to mono print cotton and silk organza and stitches this collage quilt all together giving a painterly effect to her masterpieces. She stresses that if you want to learn to paint or draw you can. It’s a learned skill. Melanie once took her sewing machine to a studio drawing session because she wanted to learn to draw with her machine. Her apartment is typical “New York small” and it is amazing how she has carved out her studio and storage space. Tight quarters force creative answers. For instance Melanie’s work surface for printing is just 2’ x 4’ so for a large project she prints smaller sections and then pieces them together giving yet another surface design to the quilt. She has completed the first in a series of 20 common birds whose numbers are declining alarmingly.
Then watch part 3 as Melanie demonstrates her quilt fabric print making with mono printing techniques.