Monday, November 21, 2016

Playing with Paint

This past weekend I had an opportunity to drive up to Camrose -- about 45 minutes' drive north -- for a class with my friend and SAQA colleague, Mary Wilton.  Though she began her quilting in the traditional style -- her skills shown in the beautiful quilts she has in her home -- Mary began as a water-colour artist before the quilting, and when she found she could marry the two art forms, she leapt into art quilting, which she has practiced for the last fifteen years or so.

The workshop, "Fibre Art Creations", was held at the Chuck MacLean Arts Centre, home of the Camrose Arts Society which hosted it, and the Fibre Art Network (FAN) exhibit, On the Wind, which currently graces its walls.  I was able to go up Friday afternoon, stay with Mary and her husband, and attend the workshop Friday evening and Saturday.

Though Mary provided all the supplies, I added in some of the white-on-white fabric with which I've been playing, so that I could finesse my approach to it and do some more experimenting.  It was a very intense experience, but what fun -- and what learning!

Mary taught us first how to create a background for a winter scene -- which, of course, can be adapted to other seasons.  Some of my attempts were more successful than others...

I really like this one


This one?  Not so much!
Going to lose that bottom edge, I think!

I made a total of three backgrounds on Friday evening -- the third one I used the next day, after we'd spent the morning creating trees -- birch and "brown" ones, some of which you see in this sample below:

Trees positioned
on Background #3

The key to the trees was to trace them out in washable blue gel glue; let the glue dry completely; paint inside the lines made by the dried glue; wash out the glue; dry the fabric; fuse it to Steam-a-Seam Lite (Wonder Under Lite would be another option, or MistyFuse or your favourite fusible web; cut out the trees and audition them on a background before fusing down.

Then one could go back in with water-colour pencils or water-reactive crayons (we used Neocolor Artist's Crayons) to accent the tree trunks and background as desired.  I did fairly well at this on the brown trunks, not so well on the snow.  I find it hard to have a light enough touch -- and once wet, the colour becomes more intense!

And what about that white-on-white fabric?  I tried a background on which, after the paint dried, I used the blue gel glue to draw the form of an evergreen.  Now that it is more than dry enough, I'll go back in and paint it in order to create another "mini".  (If you look carefully you'll see the faint outline of the tree on the right side of the photo.)


Background painted on white-on-white
fabric; evergreen outlined
 in blue gel glue.

And...I tried tracing trees in blue gel glue on that sort of background.  The white-on-white print made an interesting resist against the paint I put on those trees once the glue was dry:


Trees painted on
white-on-white fabric.

What do I do with this one now?  Well...I need to paint in the background behind those trees.  What I need to do first is paint over just the individual trees with a layer of the washable blue gel glue.  Once it dries, I will be able to paint in the background; the glue will act as a resist to protect the fresh paint from running into the tree trunks.  Once that dries, I'll heat set it, and then wash out the glue...et voila!  Another winter scene to sandwich, quilt and tweak as I see fit!

In between, I'm knitting, knitting, knitting for Christmas...less than five weeks away now...

And though I'm late to the party this week, I'm linking this post to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday, because I still can...and because I think my experimenting with paint fits with her post about giving oneself permission to go off in an new direction, don't you?

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and colleagues.  May you find great blessings in having those you love around you, in creating a hospitable house and home, and in the work of your hands...and may everyone have a great week!

3 comments:

Jenny K. Lyon said...

LOVE the white-on-white one!!

elle said...

ahhh! I like this technique!

Jo Ferguson said...

Interesting technique. I love the trees painted on white-on-white fabric.