Studio Update: February 2019

We’re going to try something a little different this year — monthly blog posts!  Since art production has slowed due to an increase in the amount of stitching (and larger work), I decided I wanted to write here more often than just when I finish a piece.  So I’m keeping it simple and striving for studio updates every month.  And when I do complete a piece, I’ll add a bonus post!  🙂

I’m working on (Feeling) Woeful at the moment, my first piece this year.  However, I closed out 2019 doing a little experimenting in the studio.  Here’s what I tried:

When I was younger, before the age of so. many. distractions. on the computer, I used to play with the Paint accessory in Microsoft windows.  So I decided I’d recreate that experience with real paint on cotton fabric.  I grabbed some paint brushes, filled a palette with a bit of each color paint, and then began painting.  I used plain white cotton as the canvas.  The result shows above.

I’m not sure yet what I’ll use it for, but I found I really enjoyed the experience of painting.  Going forward, I plan to incorporate paint days into my studio practice, focusing on painting only solid colors – large fabric paintings all in blue, or red, or… – to then use in my (Feeling) series as I gravitate towards solids there.

My second experiment was also a return to the past:

In the early 2000s, I dyed a lot of fabric.  I enjoyed taking plain white cotton, immersing it in buckets of color, and then waiting to see how it all turned out several hours later.  It’s like dyeing Easter Eggs but on a larger scale.

For this experiment, I purchased natural dye material and then adapted the instructions for cold water dye.  The natural dyes called for boiling the fabric, or doing the dyeing in the washing machine.  Neither of those felt right to me – one, I didn’t know if the dyes would remain in the washer and then dye our clothes; two, boiling fabric on the stove meant I could only dye one color at a time and I just don’t have the patience for that.  So I decided if I was going to experiment, I’d go all out and not follow the instructions.  Turned out pretty well, don’t you think?

What I find most intriguing is the fabric appears to be linen in the photo but I assure you it was plain white cotton.  I’m looking forward to using these in a future (Feeling), which will be a departure from my usual vibrant colors.  Some feelings are more muted, and these hand dyed fabrics will be perfectly suited.

Like the fabric painting, I plan to include fabric dyeing days into my studio practice this year.  The nuances of hand dyeing create interesting colors and visual texture to the fabric, which I believe will only enhance my work.

Once we got past the holidays and rolled into 2019, I returned to my (Feeling) work with Woeful.  It’s still a work in progress and is larger than the earlier pieces in this series.  I’ve attached a few progress photos to whet your appetite for the final piece.  Enjoy!

I’ll be back in a month with another Studio Update – or sooner if I finish Woeful.  Thanks for hanging around the studio with me.

What have you been up to?

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