Tuesday, December 28, 2010

January in San Antonio?

How about a 3 day retreat in sunny, warm San Antonio this January?  There are still a few spaces left in the Irresistible Texture workshop I am teaching at ArtCloth Studios on January 21-23.

Join us as we spend three days exploring water-based resists. This workshop is perfect for those who have been intrigued by the idea of resists, but weren't quite sure how to go about using them. Or maybe you have tried, with unsatisfactory results. You will have an opportunity to use resists made from everyday pantry items, as well as some commercially available resists. I'll also share 8 different techniques with which to apply them, so there is sure to be something for both the novice and the experienced. See the possibilities for yourself - from fresco-like texture to crisp, clear detailed images. Email me if you have any questions or would like to sign up.

Jacquard water based resist

Potato dextrin

Elmer's gel glue


Flour paste, soy wax

Flour paste

Soy wax

Flour paste, soy wax

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is It Just Me?

Does anyone else feel that December has slipped by?  I had such high hopes for the month.  I was finished with my workshops for the year and most of my major deadlines were behind me.  I was looking forward to a full, unencumbered month to concentrate on my latest project.  Now I find myself with a week and a half left, wondering where the month went.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  (Me?? Never!!)

It's hard to shake off my past - after so many years in the corporate world, the idea that doing is more important than being is hard to change. For all the time I spent working on my projects this month, I also spent a lot of time enjoying my family, admiring the new wildflower garden, watching the birds at our bird feeder, playing with the kitties, and making gifts for the holidays. I've been reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth each morning, and was struck this morning by the idea presented in the last chapter.  It is not as important what you do, but how you do it.  The simplest things take on meaning when done with full attention and awareness. Maybe I did "accomplish" a lot after all.  I managed to find balance in a month that can be stressful and full of anxiety.

Whatever you have in store this week, may you also find balance between being and doing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Prayer Flags

photo by broken sphere

I've been fascinated by prayer flags from the moment I first learned of them. Typically associated with Tibet,  these flags are hung outside and carry prayers - for protection, health, good fortune, compassion.  Each flag is printed with a combination of text and symbols. The text may be a mantra, a sutra (excerpt from a sacred Buddhist text) or a prayer.

photo by babasteve 

photo by markus koljonen

The aspect that really intriques me is the idea that as the flag becomes weathered, small pieces of the flag are carried off by the wind, spreading the prayers throughout the world. The prayers are also thought to purify and cleanse the air that blows through them. People often hang multiple flags and it is common to see both new and old flags hanging side by side. What a wonderful representation of the cycles of life, young and old side by side.  An acceptance of the natural life cycle, that as something dies and decomposes, it is providing benefit and sustenance for another being.

I have created several prayer flags this year.  My interpretation is quite different from the traditional version. The first had no text, only symbols I created to represent my prayers for the world.  The second set has no symbols, only text.  They both carry prayers for peace, joy, love, compassion and health.

This flag was made from hand-dyed linen that was then brayer printed.  A small bit of metal leaf was added to each piece.

These flags are made from silk/cotton voile.  I used the technique from Vibrant Color, I added powdered dyes to soy wax and applied that to the fabric, then handpainted over it. The prayers are screened in metal leaf.
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