Sunday, March 29, 2009

What are you passionate about?

Thank you Christine for this award! See Christine's amazing work by clicking on her name on the sidebar. I'm supposed to list 7 things I'm passionate about:
1: I LOVE working with clay, especially sculpture. It's the ultimate in playing in mud.
2: I LOVE working with silk dyes. The dyes on fibers are amazingly beautiful and the way the dyes flow along the fabric is a joy to work with.
3: I LOVE oil painting. Although very time consuming, it is a rewarding medium to work in.
4: I love being surrounded by beauty, or making everything around me beautiful. Unfortunately I have a lot of clutter in my environment right now, but there is color everywhere around me.
5. I love animals, especially cats and dogs.
6. I am passionate about being curious, learning, questioning.
7. Travel. Although I don't do as much anymore, however when I did, I enjoyed meeting people.
Today and yesterday I was able to be productive. Even with the itchy hives, I managed to make "sample" silk paintings for teaching silk. One is a small piece done only with black dye for the "Oops! I only have black dye!" challenge and the other is a piece on the differences between colors mixed with black and not mixed with black.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nothing to post

My computer crashed, I'm struggling with the new one, I've lost my email addys, files, and bookmarks, I broke out in hives, rodents chewed up the wires in my car, oh least it's interesting. And I really can't complain compared to the blizzards, the floods, and all the other stuff going on in the world.

On the other hand, I taught my first class at Chastain Arts Center Tuesday and we had fun. The students did some wonderful paintings and a fun "learn color mixing" scarf. Next week we have a "use only black dye" challenge. And other fun lessons.

All is blooming here in Atlanta (yes, acchooo, too!) and absolutely beautiful (acchoo again!).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's still not too late to sign up for class!

It's not too late to sign up for the silk dye painting class on Tuesdays from 10am-1pm for ten weeks.

You can go to the Chastain Arts Center website or call to sign up at 404 252-2927. Personally, it's easier for me to call than to go on the website.
If you go to their website, click on "Programs and Services."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WIP silk scarf large

This larger scarf is going to take a lot of time. I'll be adding more details as I go along, such as, more gutta resist lines and re-painting certain areas.

Spring scarves

These were fun to dye paint. It's been so beautiful outdoors with the flowers blooming and it put me in the mood to make some Spring-like scarves. The shading of the petals and leaves was especially pleasing to do, and relaxing, too.

Monday, March 16, 2009

From start to finish

The silk scarf starts out white, already hem and is stretched on the frame. The frame is made of PVC pipes from the hardware store. Elbows join the corners of the pipes. Chinese hooks on rubber bands are wrapped around the pipes. The frame is propped onto upside down plastic flower pots to raise it off the table. Old bath towels are placed underneath to catch any drips.

Steps to silk dye painting a scarf - final dye painting

The background is painted in. This process requires timing -- that is, painting rapidly to avoid hard edges and blending the different shades. Sometimes I will put the frame on shorter stilts and wet the towels underneath so that the silk stays wet longer when I do this process.

After the background dye is painted in, corn syrup is dropped onto the wet dye to create the texture. Corn syrup doesn't seem to completely dry, remaining sticky, and therefore the frame needs to be kept in a horizontal position to avoid the corn syrup from moving in another direction. On this scarf I cannot spritz the silk with water, as I sometimes do to move the corn syrup further, because I have the leaf designs. The spritzed water will leave watermarks on the leaf areas. Which is okay if I want that effect, but not on this piece.
The scarf will be removed from its frame and wrapped in several layers of newsprint and the dyes steam set for 3 hours. Then I wash - rinse - wash -rinse a million times to get the excess dye out. The gutta resist will be removed by dunking the silk into Naptha or sent to the dry cleaners. Then washed, rinsed and ironed damp.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Steps to silk dye painting a scarf - continuing

Gutta resist lines are put in and then dyes are dropped in and blended into the areas. With this method, the gutta resist lines will show as the background color. I usually do the adding of dyes in front of the TV since the process is so time consuming.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Steps to silk dye painting a scarf

I cleared off the acrylic painting stuff off the dining table and set it up for silk painting for the new larger frame. First, the background is dyed a light golden copper color shaded from light to dark. I use the paper towel technique, which means I blend using paper towels.

Since I didn't wash the crepe de chine scarf before applying the dye, there were several blotches that showed up. This means "a challenge" and I get to work a design incorporating the blotches.

It may look like I'm scattered and working in too many different mediums, but the thing is, the dye takes a good bit to dry before I can draw with the gutta resist, and when applying layers of acrylic medium onto the canvas collages, those need to dry, too, before I procede. Therefore I work on several different pieces at a time. If I had space, I could work on 3 or more silk frames at a time, but since I don't, I have to utilize the dining table, the coffee table, and so forth. I do have another background dyed piece of silk stretched on a frame, but inspiration hasn't come forth with that one yet, so it waits.

This is why I don't have a social life anymore...

So many works in progress, so many mediums I work in. Is this a good thing? But I can't help myself, I like them all, including clay. Silk painting collages, fiber arts, wearable arts, oil paintings....all waiting for me to finish them. I've run out of room in my house...oh well, at least I'm having a great time creating!

The way I work, I have a general idea and once the background is started or the base is created, I let the piece sit for a while (sometimes 6 months or more!), work on it a little, let it sit some more, more ideas come, work on it a little more, let it sit some more, and more's a slow process but I've never been able to pre-sketch and do a piece from start to finish in one setting. It never comes out interesting that way. I have to let the piece "grow and ferment and age, like good wine and cheese" and let the work tell me what to do next.

Background for an acrylic painting/collage. Boiled wool white jacket with hand dyed wool/silk yarns and hand dyed silk/rayon velvet. Embroidered hand dyed silk fabric landscape.

Silk dyed and stretched on frame waiting for gutta resist lines and more dyeing. Layers and layers of acrylic medium and paints and fiber.
I just built a frame for a larger sized scarf. I literally have no place to put it right now. These pics are only a fraction of wht I'm working on. Better finish some stuff soon!
Off the computer, and back to work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Still layering...

The shape of my pets...

My friend Sheila paints animals to raise funds for the shelter. Check out her site:

Still painting layers and layers of acrylic on this Celadon colored painting. I'm alternating between gel mediums and paints and some silk organza in between.

Meanwhile, I did a quick scarf to get back into practice using gutta.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Still working on this Celadon panel

Layers and layers and layers of acrylics. Somewhere there is a sheet of silk organza under the layers.

Friday, March 6, 2009