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Student Example 11:Non-majors and Art minors

Introduction to Art UW-Madison, 2020-2021


Assignment: Mixed Media Surface and Composition (2D-Design)

Students were asked to choose a Gee's Bend quilt that inspired them and apply the formal elements and principles of design we had discussed up to this point to make a mixed-media ‘quilt’. They were also asked to include elements from our discussion on Surface & Composition and the PBS Gee's Bend Quilt Documentary. Students were asked to submit an artist statement describing discrete areas of the surface used, color schemes, how they referenced the quilt pattern chosen, and an example as to why these quilts and artists are relevant to contemporary art, culture, and/or society.

Themes: mixed-media and found objects, collage, color, line, pattern, texture, composition, 2d-design, outsider aesthetic and self-taught craft  

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Housetop With Cross   

Linda Diane Bennett


cotton, synthetic blends, wool



student work




Student Response:

Looking at Housetop With Cross, I was inspired to follow a similar pattern. I loved its simplicity and quietness of colors while still maintaining such a clean look. I chose to add more color and pattern to my composition. I found some card stock in my house that I have used in the past for projects. I liked the idea of doing a gradual change in color across the surface. Bennett had defined lines between colors, and while my quilt has apparent lines also, I find that mine are not as harsh. I started with a green and transitioned into a pink. I found that most of the card stock I used had red on them, so I used a red pattern to do my cross, which I liked more diagonally instead of a true cross. I added the green line to bring together the bottom and outside layer to create consistency. The green and red are complimentary colors that I chose to include, and I also had the analogous colors of green, yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Most of the color I used were hot colors besides the cool green tone. Two discrete areas I used were the center and edge of the ground. My use of line and the pattern help direct the eye to the center of the piece. Having a blend of card stock together, the eye also tends to focus on the fine line between each color as it blends into the next. I think these quilts are relevant to society because on many barns, we still see painted quilts. Quilts can be used to express specific emotions or in memory of a loved one using their old clothing as seen in the Gee’s Bend documentary.