How to Paint an Airplane, a real one, as a Fiber Artist

United Airlines has a call for entry #HerArtHere which for me is an irresistable challenge. Why? Because female artists are generally underrepresented in the art world and fiber artists even more so. And then on the technical level: How do I transform textile art into the colors and scale that fits a Boeing 757?


Please follow along with this artistic journey:

For the front of the plane, I thought Clara Foltz, the first female lawyer in California.


Here’s a link to how I created the original art quilt: http://www.mariabillings.com/blog-1/creating-an-art-quilt-for-clara-foltz

The transformation to the outside of an airplane is captured in this little video: https://youtu.be/12LyCt8PYKM


Clara always encouraged her audience to build on what others had gained. She was fond of saying: “Others fought for your rights. Use them!”


Above the row of windows is a sketch of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s so iconic for the West Coast that its doesn’t need any introduction. - Just look out the window before landing.


At the tail end is a design of the Bay Bridge (which is described here: https://www.mariabillings.com/blog-1/leaving-treasure-island). Since the original art quilt is in blue tones, the color adjustment was pretty straight forward.

BTW, for the computer part of this design I used Photoshop Elements 2019.


Last, but not least, why did I focus on bridges int the Bay Area? - Well, there are many of them, so visually they inspire me. And then, Bridges create connections. Connecting girls and women is a critical step towards uniting the world. I come back to the suffragette Clara Foltz, who always encouraged her audiences to connect and build on what others had gained. “Others fought for your rights. Use them!” - I think this is today as relevant as it was 100 years ago.


Thank YOU for following this artistic journey. I hope it will encourage you to submit your work. And a big thank you to #UnitedAirlines for sponsoring this call for entry.


P.S. My video for United #HerArtHere which talks about the same topic is here: https://youtu.be/maXj9QA42W4

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© 2012 - 2020 by Maria Billings