Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mad Scientist

 Sunday I spent the afternoon in the studio, dyeing the first lot of scarves.
 My husband has discovered that Sundays in the studio are a wonderful way to read the paper. So he was there, and took photos. I can never remember to take photos once the colors get my heart racing.

I had to re-learn that the first color that "strikes" is it for the first round: You can paint on top of that and change what you see, but if the fiber is full of dye, the added layers just run down the drain. These yellows had all sorts of colors on them, but now look like the sun, making for boring scarves, tho, I admit, a beautiful photo. Doesn't this look like a sunrise?

Today I ironed the ones that passed on the first draft. They look like abstract expressionist paintings.

 The rest got in line for a second round of color. I am going for autumn leaves without printing. Tomorrow, I'll wash and see how I did.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Evolution of an idea

I keep telling my students to look carefully at things that interest them. So, when I found myself alone in a quiet moment, with my sketchbook and a pear, I decided to follow my own advice.
The colored crayons came out next. (Thank you to the teacher who said "Carry art supplies so you don't feel naked.")
I decided to make a stamp. The supplies have been on the "get to this" pile for months. Carving turns out to be a great at-the-kitchen-table activity: meditative and productive at the same time. 

Next day, printing. Suddenly, pears are everywhere:
Some little bottles of paint with nozzles turned out to be great fun for adding movement. When the marks felt too heavy (it was "puff" paint after all) I grabbed another piece of cloth and made a print. The results: a series that goes from zen to rock-and-roll. Here's a half-dozen. Believe me, there's more.
One pear came out extra fat, with an odd stem. A few minutes later, a cat:
Now I have pears all over the studio.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


 I had a hey-old time in the studio today.  This week my class is doing speed-shibori: quick and improvisational. Sunday I set up some samples:
Today I got to undo them and iron the results. Always such a glorious surprise. Did you know that wine bottles work just fine for shibori poles? Here's one sample overpdying silk with CDs as resists:
 And another done on rough linen/synthetic blend with the folded technique (it's the dull-looking bundle in the group above):
Then I made thermofax screens from some new images I rustled up this morning before I walked the dog:
The results are full of potential. Doorways, shadows, grids. Can't wait to get back and work with them further.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fabulous Fabrications

The kitchen is nearly trashed. I've been using it for a studio again this morning.

My class, Fabulous Fabrications, meets tonight in Arlington.  Six wonderful women have signed up. They are  all so talented (tho' some deny it). We made self-portrait collages last week by way of introduction. Today we dive into gelatin printing. 
I overprinted on samples I had on hand. This circular grid made a beautiful effect: 
I love the dialogue that occurs between image and materials when printing. Each print surprises me and suggests another combination of color and technique.

Yesterday in my Alzheimer's class, one resident arrived tearful and breathless. "I need to get home," she kept repeating, "I don't know where I am." But she agreed to paint, and, for that hour, the tears receded. "This feels so good," she kept saying, "Thank you for inviting me. I feel so happy when I do this."