Sunday, March 18, 2007

So, finally a day for art making. George was off to a peace rally in LA and I had the day – no work, no computer. What project to work on? I have about five projects up on boards, awaiting “something.” But a glance through my sketchbook sparked interest in another Susan Sorrell-type piece that I’d sketched and named “Island Girl.” As is my pattern, rather than working on an existing piece, I started a new one.

What excitement there is with a new project – so many choices, so many decisions. Because I work from a sketch, I don’t deal with the element of “surprise” (aka what does this canvas want?) – at least not upfront. The surprise happens later when, along the way, the piece offers different “opportunities” and ends up not looking like I’d intended it to look.

I began this piece with painting Lutrador. In my course with Susan, she’d suggested Lutrador or Timtex and I’d chosen the later because it was what I could find at my local shops. Afterwards, I’d ordered Lutrador and hadn’t had a chance to use it, and decided that would be the perfect surface. I used Lumiere and Dye-na-Flow paints, both watered down and straight from the bottle. To blend I sprayed the fabric with water. I also squirted paints directly onto the fabric, including from a bottle of dried up paint which created nice splotches and splatters.

Pleased with the paint (I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed painting the Timtex – this Lutrador receives paint nicely), I decided to draw right onto the fabric, rather than use other fabric to create the face. After drawing the face shape, I selected my backing fabric and sewed the outline, joining the two fabrics. I selected batik for the backing that reminds me of island colors and also has a tie-dyed effect similar to the front. Because I used transparent paints, the backing fabric is somewhat visible, which I like. Then I quilted the two pieces with a variety of squiggly lines. As I haven’t perfected sewing with the feed dogs dropped, I just moved the fabric around as I sewed. I must learn free form sewing!!

I’d selected buttons for the eyes but as I was thinking about the peace rally, I remembered I had a peace charm and decided to add that as one of the eyes (visualize peace). This element of “surprise” took me into the national (international) “dialogue” on peace that was occurring yesterday. As I worked on this piece of art, I meditated on peace. Because I know our meditations can make a difference, I feel as though I was part of the dialogue.

I’ve not worked with silk before. I purchased some small pieces of duplioni silk earlier this week. I dropped yellow paint onto dry purple silk, creating a subtle pattern. I dropped orange paint onto dampened gold silk, which caused the paint to spread and blend. I liked the way the silk received these paints. Of course I wasn’t trying to create an image, just create some interest in the plain color and make it “mine.” I used raw edge appliqué on the silk shapes and so far there is little fraying. I love the way the colorful threads pop on the black silk – I know I will do more with this. Other fabrics include painted muslin and commercial cottons, some hand painted.

It’s not complete – there’s more that wants to be here, and lots of beading. But I wanted to post her today to coincide with the reports of the peace rallies.

Some of the major 4th anniversary events around the country:
March 16: Christian Peace Witness for Iraq in Washington, DC
March 16-19: Declaration of Peace Campaign
March 17: March on the Pentagon
March 17: Rally for Peace in Fayetteville, NC
March 17: Mass Anti-War March in Los Angeles
March 18: NYC March to End the War
March 18: Stop the War Peace Camp, Rally and March in Portland, OR
March 18: US Out of Iraq March in San Francisco
March 19: No Business As Usual March & Rally in Salt Lake City
March 19-23: Veterans Caravan to the Gulf Coast
March 20: Mass Mobilization, March & Rally in Chicago

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Karoda said...

It looks like it was a lot of fun to make!

Nellie Bass Durand said...

She's a beauty! You are well on your way in the journey of making art! Some planning up front is good, you're doing the important thing of keeping your options open by letting the piece guide you.