Sunday, August 25, 2013

Two People Dye One Piece of Fabric


'Pink, Purple Petunias'
Completed Textile Piece - Dyed fabric over-painted with thickened dyes.
Our neighbour asked me this week, "Where do you get your inspiration?"  As artists we are often asked this question. I think people are genuinely interested in the creative process an artist embarks upon. I know I am intrigued when I see a textile piece or a painting that grabs my attention. In this post, I will try to give a glimpse into my process.
This summer, I traded some fabric with another textile artist half way across Canada. Jackie in Ontario, http://jabotquilt.blogspot.ca/ sent me one of her beautifully hand dyed pieces of fabric. I love it. Do you see the bits of light yellow dancing through it?

This is how the design process starts, at least with this piece. I set the fabric on the back of my couch and several times over a period of days, I sat opposite and stared at it, turning it all four ways. I was sewing clothing last week so my thoughts turned to bias binding for trimming a blouse. Also, I had recently been sewing pillows so I thought about making one of my textured pillows. I saw flowers around those bits of yellow, "Could I cut out flowers and applique them onto something?" I walked upstairs with the fabric to iron out the wrinkles from travelling through Canada Post and as I set it on the ironing board, I looked out the window and the 'aha moment' happened. There were the exact colours in  a row of petunias.


 "Could I over-paint it using thickened dyes? There is quite a bit of white so light greens could be added and the pink and purple when over-dyed with green would show a variety of greens.......at least I think they would." I firmly believe you have to risk a little to move ahead with what you do creatively so I decided to go for it.

In The Studio
 I took a few photos with my I Pad for reference. A wonderful tool for an artist, allowing the use of their own reference photos without having to print them.
A Few Flowers Sketched In and the First Drop of Dye Added

Green Thickened Dye Being Painted

Details to the Flowers Being Added

The Painting is Done and is Ready for Curing
*note the when washed, the piece will be slightly lighter so be sure to apply the darks, darker than you think.
 So that was a bit of what I, as an artist, thought about when creating my part of this piece. Not that the other ideas and many others wouldn't have worked as well or perhaps better with this fabric but each artist puts themselves into their work and so this is the direction I chose. Is your creative process similar?

5 comments:

Jackie said...

Oh my goodness, and why are you not entering into the NJS? That is unbelievable! I am going to show the link to a couple board members.

Gloria said...

Wow! What a transformation! That is sooo beautiful!

Win Dinn said...

This is just gorgeous, Eileen, and it's hard to imagine anything else the fabric could have been - you nailed it!

HollyM said...

It's really beautiful! And I enjoyed seeing your process. I often approach things in a similar manner, even laying it out across the back of furniture and constantly looking and thinking. I too use the I pad for reference photos. But of course your dyeing and painting skills out do mine! I love it!

Laura Leeder said...

Fantastic post Eileen. The piece turned out beautifully, thanks for sharing your process!