All of these beautiful, vibrant wool paintings are felted by Betty Usdan Zwickler of Hollywood, Florida!
Betty shares with us how she discovered felting, “For the past four years I’ve been a member of a fiber art group located in Palm Beach, FL- the Gastrofiberists. All the artists work with mixed fiber and some are chefs and restaurateurs thus the name. We “art” well and eat well! In addition to the weaving techniques of wrapping, knotting and twining, I was introduced in 2011 to needle felting and I’ve been felting ever since.”
Betty shares her most enjoyable aspects of felting, “I was born to a family of textile manufacturers thus have been exposed to all sorts of fabric, yarn and fiber throughout my life. Ten years following my BS Degree from NYU and while raising three children, I studied textile design at Fashion Institute of Technology in NY. The technical skills learned added another dimension to my painting and rekindled my interests in textiles. With my background, it was natural for me to gravitate to the needle felting technique of fiber art. I just love working with various fibers and the plethora of gorgeously colored, hand-dyed roving and yarns.”
Betty shares with us her inspirations and why she makes her paintings, “I am an abstract painter who uses fibers as if it is paint. My interest is generally piqued by an interesting roving or yarn which motivates me to start on a new adventure in needle felting. Once I commence, the work sort of takes on a life of its own. I usually don’t have any preconceived ideas but just ‘go with the flow.'”
“I have worked with many different mediums starting with oil painting as a child and progressing to acrylic and mixed media work. I spent several years exploring wool and stone carving, printmaking, and photography, but currently fiber art is my passion. I knit, weave, felt and create mixed media fiber works using art-papers, found objects, pearls, and crystals.”
Betty shares some encouraging words, “Needle felting is a very simple process which one can readily learn in ten minutes. It can also be a very creative process since one can ‘paint’ with the roving and yarns, employing color passages as one would use paint. Also, one can work with mixed media to make very exciting pieces with limitless imagery and possibilities. Needle felting is a very tactile, repetitive process and very calming!”
Betty’s pieces really are works of art- everything seeming to go together in a sensory way. Each piece looks as if part of the experience of this art style is tactile- like you should be able to reach out and touch the art. They really are stunning!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful pieces with us, Betty! We hope to see more soon!
To see more of Betty’s artwork, check out her website here.