Saturday, February 13, 2021

Finishing Plein Air Paintings in the Studio

We are having cold weather for about a week and it seemed a good time to finish some paintings that were about 80 % completed on location. I have photos somewhere but decided to work from the paintings only and rely on my memory of the day. 


'The Three Clydesdales'

Watercolour by Eileen Gidman


Of course the Clydesdales captured my interest at Kootenay Meadows Dairy that day I was painting on location. But also the distant fall colours in contrast with the blue spruce trees were stunning. This was my second attempt to try and capture those colours. The other painting I've decided not to finish. Not all paintings turn out and that is to be expected. Purposefully, I left the Skimmerhorns less detailed even though their vertical height is impressive in itself.


'Pleach Plum in Bloom'

Watercolour by Eileen Gidman

This painting was done on a spring day at a paint out session with 3 other artists. My friend invited us to her yard to enjoy the almost wild, peach-plum tree in bloom. Where the figures are, there was another artist painting but I decided to change it to two figures walking their dog, heading right passed that stunning tree. Gosh we live in a beautiful valley.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Card Fits in Weathered Wood Frame

Framed Textile Card


Today I was so surprised to see how a friend had framed one of my textile cards in a weathered wood frame. I love it! It fits in their bathroom along with a weathered wood shelf. Such a great idea. 

The textile cards I make fit in a 5 X 7" frame opening. Along with being placed in a frame, the textile can also be used in sewing projects such as in the last post about small tote bags. 


Thread Sketching on Saturday


Today I am free motion stitching the hand painted 'colourful' dogs that were created this summer. The 'pooches' were painted onto rayon. Can you see the sketches of legs, eyes, and ears that I look, at to guide, me as I stitch.  

Samples of a New Series in the Making

'Playful'




'Perfect'




'Proud'




'Precious'

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Textile Art of Small Tote Bags

 Textile Art on Small Tote Bags

Light small tote bags with a little art on them make a nice gift and are easy to send in the mail. The art work is painted with dyes and highlighted with free motion thread sketching,  Purchased batik fabrics which have a high thread count are used to make the body of the bag for sturdiness. The bags are washable.


'The Hikers' 
by Eileen Gidman
Approximately 9 X 11"


'Girl Walking Dog'


'Mountain Lake'


'Quail'


I found this batik at Creston Card and Stationery Store It's not in colours I'd seen before and I think it will look great with some of my hand painted textiles. 


There is a new selection of small tote bags for sale at the 1022 Canyon Street Gift Store in Creston, BC. There is a wide selection of local artisan's work at the store and it is definitely worth checking out especially when you are looking for a gift. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Sketching at the Dog Park Leads to ....


How does the practice of sketching at the dog park end up as finished art work? 

When I am sketching the dogs from life, I try to capture a bit of each dog's personality. In the top right I tried to convey the prancing nature of a Sheltie.  The Border Collie below him always seem to be flying through the air so that is what I focused on with him.

Dogs Stitched on Painted Fabric:


In my handpainted textiles I sometimes like to add a little dog. These images are so tiny and challenging to do on a sewing machine that only the essential elements are included. Those quick sketches at the dog park are perfect for that. 


I am still stitching this piece and although I've painted the two dogs with the dyes a little stitching will enhance the details of the dogs. 

Dogs Painted onto Fabric:

A New Series Begins

This summer I started envisioning a colourful dog series to try and express all those different personalities. Here I are my first attempts of painting them onto cotton fabric with dyes. After a curing and rinsing process the pieces are ready for some stitched details. 


The dog in the middle was inspired by my friend Jill's poodle. In a whole panel of dogs, this is the one that is most commented on. Is it the curly fur or that cute face? 


Free Motion Sketching of Details



Textile Card by Eileen Gidman 
frameable original art


Dogs Painted in Watercolour:

In my watercolour dog series, I do work from photos but in trying to capture each dog's personality I still find it is still beneficial to practice drawing from life. You can see that series here on my website:  'Life With My Human' 

So keep on sketching!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Outdoor Sketching in November


Wonderful weather this November allowed me to get outside sketching a few times. I sketched directly in ink and I painted the sketches soon after returning home, while the scene was still fresh in my memory. Yes, I occasionally work  from photos but  my heart sings when I am painting or sketching on location so I try to do it often. As you can imagine animals are a challenge as they are always moving this way and that. If you want to try it, you might consider working on several sketches of an animal or bird at once. The positions are often repeated so just keep working from one to another as they present themselves. 


This summer we had a wonderful quail sighting in Creston near Crusher Road. First out popped a colourful male and while we were admiring him out of the thick brush came the hen. Up close she was so beautifully patterned. Somehow they looked like they were decked out in their Sunday best, hats included, heading out on an outing. These quail were seen in a parking lot on one of our travels.


The scenery was easy to draw while the figure and the dog were challenging because of course they were moving!



More challenges of moving figures. I was fascinated by the movement of their shoes. 



A bit of a + composition here and with an almost hidden chickadee.


I had so much fun drawing these mallards. They have some many interesting positions.


The figures were placed first on this sketch. Did he have a red toque? I can't remember but I liked the blue, yellow and red colour scheme so he got a red hat. There is nothing wrong with editing your scene as you sketch or paint. After all you are putting your spin on things.


More ducks. Sketching really makes you look at details. 


I am not as fond of the thicker pen line in this sketch. It was a 0.5 whereas the other sketches were done with a 0.1 Pigma Micron pen. No the fence wasn't that ramshackle but I do like it. 


A Brea Reese: 50 piece, 105lb, 5 X 7" watercolor paper pad has turned out to be great for these quick sketches. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Collaborating with local Textile Artist, Mary Johnston


Collaborating with Another Artist

Lavender Sachets by Mary Johnston
Textile art by Eileen Gidman

Collaborating with other artists is especially satisfying for me. I so enjoy seeing what things others come up with. It is often something I have never even thought about which was the case with these lavender sachets. With the local images (textile art by Eileen Gidman) and home grown lavender these sachets make great gifts for people who visit the valley. Mary Johnston, a textile artist herself, created these lovely, one of a kind sachets.

Back Side of Lavender Sachets created by Mary Johnston

The window is a net material and the bag is filled with Mary Johnston's locally grown lavender. 

Local Landscapes of Creston, BC

A Selection of the Creston Grain Elevators


The grain elevators are a major part of the Creston Valley landscape and they are to be restored in the future. All of these images are based on those elevators but as you can see they need not look alike. I am particularly fond of the one below. The sunset was painted first, cured, then again the textile was prepared for dyeing and the elevators were painted on top using light, medium and dark tones.


So as not to distract from the watercolour like background, the stitching details were kept fairly simple.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Painting with Dyes for Textile Art Cards

Bear cub in the wildflowers

Coral! What a delightful colour. As I mix my colours from the 3 primary dyes, (fuchsia, turquoise and lemon yellow) repeating a colour can be challenging. Nonetheless I found myself mixing various shade of it often in the marathon of textile painting I've been doing. 
This piece will include some stitching details before it is made into a card.

You can find my textile cards for sale in Creston, BC at Creston Card and Stationery  or at Cresteramics (and Gift Store) Contact me at eileengidman@gmail.com if you are looking for something specific. They are a gift, as well as a card as they are signed and fit in a 5 X 7" frame or mat. 


This is how I start on a piece of soda ash soaked and dried, natural fiber fabric. In this case it is an excellent quality mercerized cotton. Note the mixed dyes on the far end of the table. 



Painting with thickened dyes using a watercolour brush. Even though the bike and bear images will be cut apart into 5 X 7" size, I sometimes paint a few skies together.



The foam plates are used over and over and make good palettes for the dye colours I mix.



If I am wanting some detail in the images, I paint them first, cure them overnight and then paint in the backgrounds. 


For this style, I paint on a fine lawn cotton. Although I can't get as much detail as with the mercerized cotton, this fabric is most like painting on watercolour paper. I might paint with the dyes without thickening them and allow the dispersion of the pigment as with the clouds in this piece.