Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bleaching old tshirts to liven them up

I had two older tshirts, plain, and some bleach available, so the inevitable happened and I did a bit of freeform bleaching on them.  Just regular strength household bleach.  There may later be stitching into these designs, I'll see how I like them in action.

As you probably know, when you bleach designs like this, you stop the process as soon as it has done what you want, by rinsing.  Otherwise the bleach is liable not only to spread further and further, but to eat through the fabric here and there, which might not be what you meant.

This is just one of those things you idly do when you're considering a load of laundry and thinking you should be socially conscious and not put the machine on till off-peak hours, considering we're in the midst of a heatwave.  But meanwhile..

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Transparency's the word of the day

While I was at the plein air session yesterday, I got a lot of thinking in, including some design ideas.  And today I realized that I could print out the pix of the wildflowers and of the lichen on the tree, onto fine silk, to create a transparent image.

You can get this silk, mounted on paper, to run through your inkjet printer, from Dharma Trading, my go-to place, and I had a couple of six packs of assorted silks.  So I used the very finest ones, for maximum see through.  Silk charmeuse, chiffon, crepe de chine and organza.
After I did the two natural images I realized this could also be applied to other artwork, so I did a couple of the daylily paper works the same way.  They may end up being framed on top of the original paper, don't know yet.  But it was fun doing this.  Talk about one extreme to the other!  handmade paper from natural fibers, to comparatively high tech printing.

 Here are all four sheets taped to the window, to show you the degree of transparency.

And here are, upper, the lichen image, and lower, the wildflower image.  As you see, in my attempt to show you the transparency, I've created a new image of them plus their background.  I love this confused and dreamy effect.

This is still raw material, the ultimate destination not yet decided.  But in the course of doing this, I realized that the double images  can be printed out in their turn. And then the transformation continues.  Just shows why it's a good idea to do plein air once in a while.  Being out of doors really gets your ideas moving. And why it's good to let the ideas lead the way.

 This is great fun, and you can easily do it, if you get the paper- -mounted silk, which comes in 8x11 usual printing paper size, and remember to insert it the right way up in the printer...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Plein Air has started up again.

This morning, I initiated the first meeting of our plein air group for this year.  It's a Creative Collective adventure, but anyone may come join us to make art out of doors, if you're local.  Email me at my personal yahoo address for location information.  There's shade, and a covered pavilion, and views of trees, grass, parkland, canal water, houses, plenty of interest.  And runners and canoeists if action drawing and painting is your joy, too.

Anyway, I got it underway with a solo performance -- it takes a couple of weeks before people start to schedule it and fit it in and come, so it's good to launch it anyway.

Very hot today, so an hour and a half was about it for this heat avoiding artist, but it was productive and one of the great pleasures of life, as plein air drawing always is.  I brought painting gear too, but ended up just getting my hand and eye back in with a couple of drawings, and pix for future study for design purposes. 

Model maple leaf sitting on the drawing book

My interpretation seen without the model
The view, and, below,  how the eye edits as you draw

How I saw that view   

Picnic table, and below, the abstraction it suggested

When you slow down and just let yourself look and breathe, you see all kinds of interesting phenomena.  Many dragonflies out this morning, three different species, some small butterflies, late dandelions, one of which I sampled, not bad, banks of wildflowers, interesting lichen designs on trees, no end of nature to see and experience. 

 If you can join us or some other group to make art out of doors in the summer, or if you have no group, do it anyway.  You'll be part of a long history of artists making the outdoors in their studio, in a conversation with nature.