Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dye-painting, continued

I've continued dye-painting since the weekend retreat at Vera's. One of these pieces produced a surprise!  I didn't notice that it had previously been stamped and screenprinted with Jacquard's Color Magnet at Vera's.  (Light yellow markings on the back were evidence of the Color Magnet application, but I didn't see them when I started painting on the other side).  I'm not sure what I was attempting to do because the dye-painted side was just a mess of brush strokes in two colors (green/blues and amethyst/fuschia).
But once it was dried, the images stamped with Color Magnet were very apparent:
Color Magnet results

Here are a few other pieces I've dye-painted since the weekend retreat.  The first was a monoprint that turned out much too light.  I forgot that I'd washed it and it no longer contained any soda ash, so I mixed up some solution and sprayed it on, but it was too little, too late.  Much of the dye washed out.

Overdyed monoprint
The second was an experiment for an idea that's been percolating in my imagination for awhile and involves dye-painting a whole-cloth piece that's already been quilted.  I wanted to try out the same color palette  to see what it might look like:

Sample for a larger project
More on that project later!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spiral Staircase/Oregon Lighthouse Challenge

We decided on our next challenge when we met in August.

After looking through some of our members' photos, we chose one as the inspiration for our next challenge. It involves designing and constructing an abstract quilt based on Erika's photo of a spiral staircase (inside an Oregon lighthouse).
Erika's spiral staircase photo
To achieve a cohesive look among all of our pieces (since we'd like to exhibit them as a group), we decided  to construct them primarily of neutrals (at least 75% black, white, grey, brown, and/or beige), plus 25% or less of another color(s).  Minimum size will be 84" (total of all outside edges) and isn't due til January 2016.

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Weekend of Dye-Painting

In addition to Fiberexplorations, Deb and I are also members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and attend the Valley-South group in Eugene.  Vera, a fellow SAQA member, hosted six of us last weekend for a chance to play and experiment with dye-painting. Vera lives near Canyonville, about 3-1/2 hrs south of Salem.  Near her ranch, the Stouts Fire was still growing.  Though the flames were moving south and southeast of the ranch, the smoke blanketed Vera's little valley in the mornings.

Smoke from nearby Stouts Fire
View from Vera's house, showing the dyers hiking
down Vera's driveway to her studio (bldg. near middle)
The dye-painting process involves painting with thickened Procion dyes on soda-soaked cotton fabric.  (The soda ash causes the dye colors to bond with the cotton fibers.  By thickening the normally-fluid dyes, you can better control where you want the color to stay.)
My upside-down color-mixing "chart."
(Black lines added when I got home.)

We worked through some of the exercises in Ann Johnston's book Color by Design.  Here are a few of my other results:
Thin colors painted on wet fabric.  Later: added thin lines and brush marks
Thin colors on wet fabric; grid added later via corn dextrin resist.
Low-water immersion dyed background.
When dry:  Green grid added via rubbings. Found object stamped in blue. Black lines painted with liner brush..
What a perfect weekend it was; Vera was the best kind of host, making us all feel welcome and at home.  We worked and played, ate lots of wonderful food, and made new friends.  As a retired veterinarian, Vera kindly provided two cats for us to pet, Clayton and Mousey.  Both slept with me the first night, but Mousey and I truly bonded.  Vera only recently adopted her, and offered to let me take Mousey home!  I would have, but  it would've made Baby jealous.
Vera's sweet girl, Mousey, who almost came home with me!

Baby, waiting for me at home.