How about some ideas and inspiration for creating Dynamism and that sense of energy and movement in design work for new textile and fibre art?

And as you already know from reading this blog, looking back is the only way I know, to move forward.  So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.  Come on.

So anyone who doesn’t look at other artists work is missing out – big time.  Each and every artist offers something – even if it’s simply cementing what you like or don’t like.

I’ll begin with some simple tips:

  • go back to the basics of exploring power  – of a line, of a shape, of scale and proportion, of contrast, of repetition and of size.  Experimenting with the simplicity of these tools should be where it all begins, and if you’re having trouble, visualise something that moves – wind, water, a roller coaster, a train, an insect or animal – even a marble, and try to abstractly express that movement.
  • Keep asking yourself ‘how can I express motion or movement?’  And the answer is….by line.  Show motion by pushing, bending and leaning.  Exaggerate these movements.  Here’s my first attempt at creating Dynamism, and I really wish I’d taken it further – use it as a guide, and use the links below for inspiration.






  • let go completely and just let things happen.  Use paint, applied in different ways and in various thicknesses.  Move as you work, drip it, or dribble it.  Turn it on its side to create even more movement as it trickles downwards.  This type of mark-making becomes gestural and can be very powerful. Put on some music and have fun.  In the examples below, I’ve used different methods of applying paint – yet they’re all expressive.  I’ve used watercolour, wide brushes, twigs, dribbled, dripped – and they all add that wonderful, gestural impact.


Design1-CathyJackCouplandStitch on Paper.1.Cathy Jack Coupland





  • research the work of graphic artists and even cartoonists – how do they achieve dynamism in their work?  I love graphic art and am blown away by their ingenuity – it’s usually extremely simple and straight to the point – it has to be.

Now let’s get into some artists and areas of design that use Dynamism to great effect:

These are just a guide to show how Dynamism can be used over a number of design genres from art to fashion to graphic art and typography.  Want some more inspiration?  Research the work of The Futurists and Giacomo Balla, The Vorticists and David Bomberg, along with artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Damien Hirst and Alexander Calder.

Dynamism envelops us – and it’s powerful.  Look at your work now.  Does it need a power-lift of Dynamism?

cathy jack coupland