Tag Archives: Fabric design

Rockwell Kent

My first glimpse of Rockwell Kent’s art was on a dinner plate: Salamina. My family had a set, and they were my favorite dishes when I was a child.

Kent (1882-1971) was a famous artist and book illustrator, adventurer and political activist. He was well known for his illustrations of Moby Dick.

His prints pack a punch with their strong imagery and high contrast,

..and attention to anatomy.Last week I was looking through a book of his art and was surprised to learn that he also designed fabric! Here are some of his fabric designs.

A Moby Dick Scarf,

and repeating designs for yardage.

The book showed the textile designs in black and white, and described the colors used.  I found a few color examples of his prints on-line.

I like that Kent’s art was part of people’s lives in the form of ceramics, textiles, book illustrations and paintings.

Please click on this link to a biography of Rockwell Kent at the National Gallery of Art if you would like to know more about him.




Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, my family spent part of each summer at a little cabin called the izbushka. The cabin was part of Russian Village, (also known as Churaevka)  a small community of Russian expatriates in Connecticut.rojankovsky goldilocksThis illustration by Feodor Rojankovsky (from Goldilocks) gives the feel of the izbushka. Rojankovsky was also a visitor to the village, although I never met him.

Maybe because of those early experiences at Churaevka I have always loved Russian illustration, light and dark.

Yuri Vasnetsov

Yuri Vasnetsov

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

Vasilisa by Ivan Bilibin

Last year I designed a new line of fabric for In the Beginning called Kalinka; the fabric is out now. Kalinka is the name of a Russian song and it means little snowfall.  I’ve also read that it refers to a sour red berry. The fabric is for winter so it includes snowflakes, a lot of white (and red berries) . Here is the main panel:itb kalinka panelIn the designs I referred back to Russian folk tales like the Firebird and Kolobok, the story of a small bun that doesn’t want to be eaten. This ceramic fox and bun posed for me.kolobokPaschkis kalinka foxI also looked at the leaves and berries in Russian lacquer ware for inspiration.Russian lacquerwareThis is my painting for an all-over fabric design, which I called Kalinka Meadow.Paschkis kalinka meadowHere’s how it looks as fabric with a cranberry colored background:itb kalinka meadowOf course Kalinka needed a Matrushka. Here is my painting, and the resulting fabric with additional border stripes :

Paschkis matrushka bluePaschkis matrushkaIn Kalinka I barely dipped my toe into the rich river of Russian stories and imagery. I want to go back and paint more.

rojankovsky goodbye


p.s. If you would like to buy this fabric, you can go to Gathering Fabric, Pacific Fabric, your local shop or buy it on line at Hancock’s of Paducah.