Here is a larger picture of it and my description follows with the next shot-
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here is a larger picture of it and my description follows with the next shot-
Friday, February 22, 2008
About the dyes added to the paint- I have found that adding Procion MX powdered dyes to fabric paint (and also to latex house paint and even to poster paint) makes for some interesting effects. I don't add any salt or soda ash; I just add the powder and it tints the paint. The best part (which could also be the worst part in some cases) is that when the paint is applied and another layer of any other color is put on top of that, the dyes bleed through. On this shell piece, that's what I wanted to have happen. It looks like dirty marks on the beige but it was really beautiful and even though I ened up having to cover up the beige as it wasn't working for me, it took quite a few coats of the gray to stop the dye from bleeding through. It's hard to see the sand added to the paint as the grains are very fine but it adds some interest.
This piece is growing on me. I was disappointed with it at first but am liking it more and more as I study it from about 6' back.
The purple door to my dye studio that you see at the top of the page was originally green so I got some beige latex house paint that I tinted with fuchsia and sky blue dye powder until it was the perfect color. I'm not one to leave things alone. I always think I can make it better by adding this or taking that away. Hard to stop the wheels from turning, if you know what I mean. One thing about my art making- if I don't have what I need I make it. Rarely do I buy supplies. A friend just introduced me to a spot out in the country that has bamboo growing by a soggy creek bank that are a good 20' high. He cut some poles down for the silk flags I made for him to take to Burning Man. Perfect for the rods I will need for some larger wall hangings and the price is right! More on that later.
Happy dyeing. Happy painting!
After fussing with the back ground a LOT I decided beige wasn't doing it for me. I wanted it to be more dramatic and for the shell to stand out more so I started mixing some white and black paint ON the fabric. That looked better but it was very close to being over worked. Danger! Walk away! Which is what I did so I could let that dry and think about what was to come next.
The next day I came back ready to work out my problem. The best part of this piece is the translucent section of the shell so I won't touch that. Machine stitching will help.
I started machine stitching the detail portions of the shell in a dark gray and dark grayish brown thread. Better! It is time to let this one be. I sewed on the backing and am done. In reality the background gray is a lot smoother but the salt still stands out as texture. Hard to photograph but it's there.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The first picture is the enlarged drawing on the fabric I will use. Taking a picture and expanding it 10x is not hard for me to do. Some people need to use a projector which is fine. Some people take the picture to a printing company that can make the "cartoon" enlarged and ready for a light table. If you can draw it out yourself so be it.
Here is the fabric on the stretcher bars and held in place with silk clips. I love these things! Poking holes in fabric gives me the creeps; like nails on a chalkboard, especially when pinning down silk. These clips leave no mark and I like using them so much that I bought 5 bags of them. Dharma has them if you want to place your order. Good investment. I prop up my corners using upside down yogurt containers to make the whole thing higher. Even though it is on my high, slanted drafting table I still like my work closer to my face so I don't get a pain in my back or need to wear my glasses.
In this picture I am applying the first coat of fabric paint. Because I apply so many layers, I like to start with fairly bold, deep color and then lay down thinner layers of color as I go along.
About 10 minutes later this is how it looks....
Friday, February 15, 2008
Here it is finished. I'm not so sure about the seat and may go for something a bit more conservative later. Have to live with it for awhile. You need to see the other furniture it sits with to get the full idea.
The other smaller chairs have curved backs as well and there is a lot of green in the house. I like funky stuff so maybe it will grow on me as time goes by, you think?
Looking from the front windows and couch into the living room. I need to sit in it and ponder if it will be staying green.
Details- it took 4 coats of paint that had to be heat set with an iron at the end. The chair that I considered buying instead of this one cost $176.00 and wasn't as comfortable. I think I am liking this one better and better the more I think about it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Yesterday I began to paint a stuffed chair I bought at the thrift store to replace the other chair I bought at the same thrift store that our dog ate. Bad dog. Here is a picture of the Bad Dog. That's Steve weeding. Aren't those the best pictures ever???
I will post a "before" picture of the hideous chair with such potential when the scanner comes back to life.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
So here we have the first pass. I used Jacquard fabric paints and applied them very fast and very thick so it will take awhile to dry. Can you tell it is the USA? Doesn't it look oily? Notice that I didn't include Canada? I thought about it- red and white with a maple leaf but then decided the full force of the statement would land on our shoulders (as usual) and the "wild elephant to the south" would take the hit. ( I actually read that quote in a Canadian newspaper when visiting Lime Green Myrna two summers ago. Imagine that.) So tomorrow I will do the next part and take a picture because it lasts longer. haha.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Here is a picture of a silk painting I did for a bank of windows facing Main Street in Woodland, CA. It is habotai silk- 18 feet long and 5 feet high. I said I would have it finished in 6 weeks. 12 weeks later I was half way through the process.
Why do I love making big art? Why are some people terrified of making big art? Why do some artists make little tiny pieces and keep it all under control and others like to let it fly and have a hard time "bringing it in"? These questions have been rolling around in my head for a week or so.
I used to make "itty bitty art". In college one of the professors who had the most influence on my work came up behind me as I was at the eisel painting and he said, "The government should hire you to design postage stamps." Little did I know then how much money an artist gets when one of their designs IS selected for a stamp...I should have asked him, "Show me where I sign up for that!!!" Anyway...he then took the brush out of my hand and began slashing at my painting with great globs of paint, forcing me to rethink and redo and rehash and remodel everything I had held as correct up to that point in time. It was fairly traumatic however it was critical timing. Where was I to go next? Here were my options: 1) never make any more art, 2) paint over his mess and return to my way of doing art, 3) purpose myself to try his way and see if it held any merit/validity and if it could make me a better or happier artist.
So...my questions for you today are: do you like to work big? If not why not? If you do, why? What would it take to get you to try something really big?
Back to my story from college. Which option do you think I chose?
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