The Art of Fabric Collage

Local fabric artist Jeanine Malaney has written a book on her special technique of painting with fabric entitled “The Art of Fabric Collage.”

The book comprises seven chapters, with a plethora of illustrations. Topics include Introduction and Inspiration, Design and Composition, Sewing to Stabilize, Sewing for Dimension, Finishing Touches, Care and Framing and a Step by Step Summary.

Jeanine says, “My inspiration comes from a lifelong fascination with the landscape of the American West, its wildlife and legends, cowboy and Indian lore.” Her style is representational, rediscovering the serenity of the traditional classics, yet with a contemporary flare being big and bold and emphasizing the play of light. She is represented by Wild Spirit Gallery and her online gallery at

Her technique of “Painting with Fabric” will allow you to paint a picture with fabric! It’s not a typo ... it is not painting on fabric, though she does utilize paints minimally for shading or highlighting; rather, this is creating a “painting” with the medium of fabric instead of paint.

The technique is basically fabric collage, enhanced with sewing techniques (raw-edge appliqué and free-motion quilting). Jeanine will cut fabric pieces and compose a collage by gluing and rearranging pieces on a background fabric she calls her canvas. After collage, she may add shading and detail features with fabric paint. She then secures the image with clear or smoke monofilament thread. After squaring up she may add fabric borders, then layer with backing and batting. With a quilting process Jeanine can then increase texture and highlight features creating a three-dimensional effect. She produces her own continuous binding to match or compliment borders. Each unique piece is titled, signed and framed.

Jeanine continues, “I want to create fine art that emotionally touches others in a positive way. It is my goal that my art be a venue for peace, calmness and spiritual renewal in a hectic world.”

Jeanine also works in watercolors and oils. Her greatest joy is donating art to support community causes. Her professional memberships include National Watercolor Society, Colorado Watercolor Society, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Durango Arts Center and the National Association of Professional and Executive Women. Jeanine and husband Dale have five children and four grandchildren, plus an adopted family. They are both retired engineers from Lockheed-Martin and moved to Pagosa in late 2004.

“For me, what brings me joy to paint, what I feel a lot of emotion about,” Jeanine adds, “are scenes which calm, comfort, renew or inspire. I see God’s majesty in nature and I focus on mountains, lakes, streams and trails, wildlife, endangered species, red rock formations in the southwest deserts and even cactus like the quirky prickly pear or giant saguaro. I am attracted to old fences, horses, cowboys, Indian lore, ranches, old churches, trains. Another of my hobbies is studying cosmic and quantum physics, so I am exploring ways to represent these topics in my art.”

Photography Club

The Photography Club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the Club year from September through May from 6-8 p.m. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend the first meeting at no charge. Any and all are invited to join for annual dues of $20 for individuals and $30 for family membership.

For more information, contact club vice president Barbara Conkey at or call 731-6877.

Winter gallery hours

The PSAC Gallery in Town Park is now on its winter schedule.

The gallery is open Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. Although the gallery will not be staffed on a regular basis, voice mail and e-mail will be checked regularly, so please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. You may e-mail us at or leave a message at 264-5020. Also be sure to visit our Web site at for additional information.

Holiday gift

The 2009 Pagosa Country Calendars are available at the Town Park Gallery. The calendars sell for $8.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $7.95 plus tax for PSAC members. There are also quantity discounts: 10-24 for $6.95 each and 25-plus for $5.95 each. These calendars make ideal holiday and Christmas gifts!

2009 workshop calendar

Watch the Artsline for information regarding the new 2009 Workshop Calendar. All of the workshop classes are held in the Arts and Crafts Room of the community center.

PSAC workshops

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sponsors and manages workshops in the Arts and Crafts Room at the community center. From the outset, the Arts Council has been a partner and supporter of the center.

We started the workshops in 2002 and they have grown substantially since that time. Workshops provide those who want to teach a venue to do so and, at the same time, give our residents a place to learn something new whether it is watercolor, acrylic, oil, drawing, photography or the like. The space also provides a home for the Photo Club, Watercolor Club and a meeting location for various clubs.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, call the Town Park Gallery at 264-5020 for a workshop application form or download the form from our Web site, I

If you are a resident and have ideas and suggestions for a class or workshop we haven’t offered, please let us hear from you. The Arts Council’s mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147, or e-mail

To date, all our workshops have been held during the day. Would evenings work better for you? Would you prefer a series of classes? If you would like to see the Arts Council offer workshops in either of these formats, call PSAC at 264-5020, leave your name and number and we’ll touch base with you.

Workshop calendar

Watch the Artsline column for information regarding the 2009 Workshop Calendar. All workshop classes are held in the Arts and Crafts Room of the community center.

Plein Air Painters

Plein Air Painters meet the third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. at a predetermined location. Painters who work in any media are welcome. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share, tips, ideas and resources. If the weather is bad we meet at 10 a.m. at the community center in the Arts and Crafts Room. Keep in mind that turpentine based painting materials cannot be used in the community center. Please contact Jean Shah, for more information, at 264-0188, or e-mail  

New members and volunteers

Started in 1988 the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, a non-profit organization, was conceived and developed to, in part, promote the awareness of the vast array of local artistic talent, provide educational and cultural activities in the community, sponsor exhibits and workshops by local and regional artists, and encourage and support continued appreciation and preservation of the aesthetic beauty of Pagosa Springs.

If becoming involved with such a dynamic organization excites you, we hope that you will consider becoming a member or, perhaps, volunteer. If you have questions or would like more information regarding membership, call the PSAC office at 264-5020.

2009 PSAC Sponsored Events Include:

Gallery Exhibits in Town Park, May-November.

Art Workshops and Classes in the Arts and Craft Room of the community center.

Annual PSAC Membership Meeting.

Photo courtesy PSAC
”Ah, Denali,” is a work by local fabric artist Jeanine Malaney. She has written a book on her special technique of painting with fabric entitled “The Art of Fabric Collage.” The technique is basically fabric collage, enhanced with sewing techniques (raw-edge appliqué and free-motion quilting). After collage, Malaney may add shading and detail features with fabric paint.

Photo courtesy PSAC
This work by Jeanine Malaney, including an image of Pagosa Peak, was featured in the 2006 Arts Council calendar. Malaney uses only 100-percent cotton since it handles and behaves uniformly.  Batiks are ideal for Malaney’s “fabric collage” art form. They can be shaped into mountains, rocks, forest background, etc. Some fabrics can be used on the reverse side for a quieter effect, such as for a reflection in water.

Photo courtesy PSAC
Jeanine Malaney created “Mt. Rainier Tranquility”with her unique “fabric collage” style. She has written a book, “The Art of Fabric Collage,” She has written a book on her special technique of painting with fabric.