I am always searching for new imagery to add to cloth. I have some favorite images that I use often, but there is always the need to keep my work fresh and new. Several years ago I took Jane Dunnewold's Personal Imagery workshop. It was a wonderful experience that provided many design ideas for creating images. Her book, Finding Your Own Visual Language, co-authored with Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan, includes many of the exercises from the workshop.
I kept every image I created in the workshop and periodically repeat the exercises to create new designs. Right now, I'm working on creating imagery for a new series, inspired by the poem "Ten thousand flowers", which I wrote about in my last blog. As I work through the design process, I'll be sharing with you some of the techniques I used and show pictures of the results. The process is fun and serendipitous because the images created are often just a jumping off point. Images can be manipulated on the computer or recreated using different media, all in the search for that perfect design.
The image above was created by applying cooked oatmeal to a piece of white fabric (one of my favorite resists!). Then I painted on black dye, let it batch, washed off the oatmeal and scanned it into my computer. That is a great image as is, but it can also be manipulated in a variety of ways on the computer. I use the software PhotoPlus by Serif. I'm still learning to use the software to it's full potential, so the images below show just a few of the possibilities.
These images would all be great as a photo emulsion or thermofax screen to use as a textural element. Or parts of the image could be singled out, enlarged and manipulated some more.