Sunday, December 20, 2020

Working on modifying the dye painting.

 I had shown a couple of my dye painted pieces to my fibre art support group--The Fibre Art Divas.  They had several suggestions for modifying a couple of them, so today I attempted it.  This time I used acrylic paint combined with textile medium.  Any sort of thickened dye was too thick to work well with a fine paint brush and the result too weak to make any difference.

For the yellow-based piece, they agreed that the main problem was a lack of focal point.  Someone suggested adding a bird.  Well, if one bird would make a difference then five would be that much better.  Right?  The first is the original piece and the second the altered one.

I'm much happier with the altered version.

Tomorrow I'll show the altered Blue piece.  Still some work to do on that one.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Trying a new technique

 I notice that it's exactly and month since I posted.  I wonder if this is a symptom of the type of change that Covid 19 has brought to our lives. I've heard so many other fibre artists, and more traditional artists, saying that they are really struggling with finding their creativity during the last few months.  I know I certainly have.  But, suddenly, one morning the dam broke and several pieces came together.  More recently, I purchased a set videos from Design Matters tv, on using thickened dye to paint on fabric. I've certainly heard of this, as several friends have spoken of doing it, but I had never found any reason to try--until now.  So I accumulated the supplies, and prepared to get to work,  But, as the thickener used in the videos was not available in Canada ( not that I could find), and no information came with what I had purchased, I wanted more detailed information on how much Sodium Alginate to add to the water to use with the dye. I finally remembered the two books I have by Jane Dunnewold, "Complex Cloth" and "Art Cloth".  There was much more info to be found there, and over the past 3 days, I've played with the technique, making 6 different pieces of fabric in two colour ways.  I didn't vary from the actual technique demonstrated in the videos, but I did come away with several ideas for doing other things, and have now had to order even more supplies.  Here are my pieces.  The smaller ones are about 22" by 26", and the larger ones are about 26" by 36".  I have a few ideas about how they could be used, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm just going to have fun playing

Friday, October 30, 2020

Well, back in business

 Blogger has been re-organizing its site, but I think I've finally figured out how to use it again.  After a long drought, the studio is again busy.  The "fish" piece that started with an EPP'd background is finally finished.  It was started in March and has been sitting on the design wall ever since, but a flurry of activity got it done about a week ago.  I quickly learned that my FMQ'g has suffered over the past  few years, through neglect, and I really need to re- train myself to use it.  I've always taught my students that the only way to get good at it is through practice, practice practice.  Too bad I forgot that lesson myself.


The next piece has been pieced,  and sandwiched.  Yesterday I had  to go out to find a new can of spray baste, and today I hope to get down to quilting it.  This one too, requires FMQ'g within the area of the ferns, but the rest will just be matchstick quilting done vertically.  I'm pretty sure that it will be trimmed a little narrower on each side before it gets bound.  Since I haven't yet actually sprayed it, I didn't want to move it to take the picture, so you see it on the table .

The ferns were sun printed last spring, but since the fabric was painted not dyed, I had trouble matching the colour for fabric to use
for  piecing.  This impacted greatly on how I designed the piece, so I reverted to a fairly basic strip design.  The area  of the ferns will be FMQ'd, probably with a background in micro-stippling, done with 100 wt Kimono silk.  the rest of it will just be matchstick with matching grey cotton.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Finally back to the sketchbook

 Finally I've found the time to get back to my sketch books.  Firstly I tried a another collage, this time wanting to create something that I could use to practice using an acrylic glazing technique.  I don't think I quite made it, but here it is, such as it is.  I still haven't added the acrylic glaze, but I don't think a paler colour will add much to the finished look.

This is an older piece that I added some smaller circles to.  I believe they add to the design.  The darker corners have also been added.  They are from the same collaged painted paper towel as the larger area at the middle of the bottom.

Then I played a bit with a couple of the Thermofax screens I bought from Brandy Mazlowski.  The backgrounds had been painted some time ago.  I'm much happier with the second picture, but still feel that something is missing.  I'll go back to it again later.

Then I started dealing with some of the flowers and leaves that I've had in my flower press for the last few weeks.  The first picture shows some Alberta Roses that have bee firmly glued down with gel medium, but I have no idea what the flowers in the middle one are.  All of these pages require more work, but I have to wait until the gel medium dries before tackling that.

Finally, this is also natural leaves dried and glued down with gel medium, but I've been able to do a little more with the pages.  Firstly I used a Thremofax screen and gold Lumiere paint to put down the fainter image.  Them I made the stems with Inktense pencil and wet it, so that the gel medium wouldn't liquify it.  The leaves are from the mature American Elm that towers over my house and yard.  At one point they were a gorgeous gold colour, something that rarely occurs.  So I dried them hoping that the colour would remain true, but, of course, it didn't.  These, too, were glued down with gel medium.  Once that was dry I used a little gold oil pastel in the corners of the border, and then a mixture of  acrylic glazing medium and  Quinacridone Gold fluid acrylic, to add a little colour to the background.  I don't think it shows well in the picture. Again I'm not sure whether this needs a little more or not.  I'll have to think about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Going back to the beginning

 My plan, whenever I face creative block, is to do something, even if it's just to fondle fabric.  I also tidy and clean the studio, which also leads me to fondle the things I find.  Well, I found several stitched samples that I've put in my sketch book, when working on a major piece.  The pieces are long gone, ant the samples really don't serve any useful purpose, so I've re-purposed them.

This first one was a machine quilted  piece of fabric to which tiny dots had been added with metallic fabric paint.  I added the silver beads, and mounted it on one of several pre-cut mats I had bought years ago and never used.  I then packaged it in a Crystal Clear bag.  Since the bag was sealed I hadn't wanted to open it, as that might have meant that I would have to find another bag, and I don't have many left.  Sorry for the glare, but I took the photo through the bag, as I did with all of the pictures.

This was similar process, but I had to block the quilted remnant  before I started stitching on the beads.  I used two hand made beads. I painted Tyvek  with metallic paint in different colours on each side, then rolled it up, and hit it with a heat gun.  I'm very pleased with the final effect.

For this piece I used all commercial beads, but varied the shapes and sizes.  For all of the pieces, I tried to have the colour of the mat, work with the beaded design.

This is different.  It is also a much older sample. The background is dried flowers held in place with tulle, which has been stitched down around them.  Then I made a similar flower using hand stitched, free standing, "stump work"

This whole effort has pleased me, and I hope to place these pieces in a gift shop for sale.  All of the components came from my stash, so I consider them to have been 'found objects', and therefore having no supply cost.  Always a bonus in my mind.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Not really accomplishing much

 I don't know if it is a remnant of the sloth that developed during the Covid lock down, or if I'm still experiencing the side effects of the virus( of some sort) that I suffered with in late March, but I just can't seem to settle to anything creative right now.  I found some Tula Pink videos about EPP, and thoroughly enjoyed them, even learning a bit.  I sure didn't think there was anything about EPP that I didn't know, but I was wrong.                So, I've been working on that whenever I can.  It was originally something to work on during those rare periods when I watch tv, but there has been a little more tv watching recently, and I'm accomplishing a fair bit.  I have almost finished the fourth "square" from the Flossie Teacakes book, and have ordered a kit from Tula Pink, that consists of a pattern and includes all of the papers needed to make the pattern.  The piece, titled "Nova", will finish at about 46" square.  Now, her fabric designs can be pretty bizarre, and I can't afford to buy too much of her fabric, but I'm going to take a look at what might be available in a local quilt store, but also know that I would be more advised to wait until the pattern arrives before getting too much. Darn it!  I wonder if I might be able to use some of my Kaffe Fassett fabric?  Hm-m-m?  I'll have to think about that.

Yesterday, I was privileged to be able to participate in a 3 hour video workshop with Lyric Kinard.  I have followed her for a few years, and she has been one of my "gurus" for a long time, so this was a special occasion for me.  It was very much a theoretical class, so there is little I can actually show you, but I have several pages of notes in my scrap book.  Textile and Fibre Arts Manitoba, who sponsored the workshop, are working on a couple more, so I'll look forward to what may come up.  I had wondered what an internet workshop might be like but it ran quite smoothly and  I was very impressed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Hand stitching

 While the sketchbook stuff is taking most of my studio time, when relaxing I tend to do hand work.  This often takes the form of English Paper Piecing(EPP). Lately I've been working on a pattern from the Flossie Teacakes book on EPP.  This uses only a 60 degree diamond, but relies on colour to form the design.  I've completed only one block, which, rather than being actual squares, takes the shape of a hexagon, albeit a large one--about 16 1/2" across the widest part.

The green and pink will be consistent within the blocks.  They are both Kona cotton solids, Laurel and Sangria respectively. The patterned pieces are batik, and there will be 6 different batiks used, with each block using the same batik.  I'm hoping that having 6 different batiks will mean that no two adjacent blocks will be the same colour.  Unfortunately, two of the batiks came from my scrap bin, and may not provide enough pieces to achieve that.  We'll have to see.  I'm hoping that this will keep me busy for most of the next year.