Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fat Quarter Studies, Part 1

I've been working on fat quarter studies in preparation for my assignment in the ArtCloth Mastery program.  I have about 8 pieces in process right now.  My plan is to use a similar composition style for all of them, incorporate a variety of resists and do color studies with intensity and complements. 

First, I have to say I am having a blast!  This is a whole new world for me - handpainting directly on the cloth  - no silkscreens or thermofaxes.    My original inspiration came from Helen Frankenthaler.  One of our assignments for the last class was to prepare a presentation on an artist.  Then I studied other artists from the same period.  I felt drawn to make marks on cloth with my own hands (and the use of some tools!) rather than relying on stamps, stencils and silkscreens.

I was talking with a friend (and artist) the other day about her current project.  She has been having a difficult time finding just the right imagery for her project. She has spent hours researching and working with photoshop. I know exactly how she feels, because I've gone through that numerous times. As we talked, I realized how free I feel working on this series because that is not an issue. 

Here are photos of the three pieces that are "finished".  Not in the ready-to-hang sense, but in terms of any dyeing, painting, etc.

Zip I

This is silk broadcloth. It was inspired by Barnett Newman.  His work features vertical lines, which he calls "zips".  He tends to use more solid colors, but I wanted to create a softer look. No resists on this one, other than the masking tape.  But I'm thinking of a redo, using sodium alginate as a resist.

Fault Line

This is a silk/soy blend.  Great fabric available from Thai Silks.  The silk side is satin, the soy side is similar to a broadcloth.  Because of the blend, the colors are different on each side.  I started with a flour paste resist, then mixed up red in four intensities and used a credit card to scrape the color onto the cloth. This one is my favorite so far.

Stability Amidst Chaos

This is silk broadcloth.  I started with soy wax to block off the circles in a vertical line.  Then I used flour paste brushed on in circles to create the texture in the background.  Then several layers of hand painting with blue and orange dye and just a touch of copper leaf.

Five more in the works - I'll post more as I finish them.

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