Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Carving a heron stamp

Carving a Heron Stamp for Textile Design
Stamping fabric is a great way to use thickened dyes to create your own fabric. Carving your own stamps rather than using purchased stamps keeps your fabric original. One of the greatest stamps I ever saw, my friend Gail made from the end of a wine cork which had been slightly torn from the wine opener.
Here I am carving a heron stamp into a lino block. First, an image is sketched onto the block and then it is carved with wood carving tools. Those tools are sharp and having lessons from my friend Joyce, an amazing carver, has helped me to know what tools to use, how to carve and how to be safety conscious.
This lino block was purchased at an art store which may also carry a rubber like product that comes in sheets for carving. For very basic stamps, the rubber is a good choice of material for carving. More detail can be carved into a lino block though and I like the sturdiness of the material. It may take me a little while to complete this heron stamp but when I do, I will post how it works with the thickened dyes.
Buttons with texture, glued to the end of a thread spool work as stamps. Plastic doilies glued to blocks of wood work. Look around for your own things to make into stamps and let me know if you find something particularly good. Happy fabric stamping!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


'Waves' Hand painted fat quarter
With a fresh batch of fibre reactive dyes and 10 yards of fabric to dye, I got started in the dye studio after a few weeks off. I started painting 8 fat quarts with various fabric designs. The hand painting was done with thickened dye, some with liquid dye concentrates, and some with both. Several will require a second layer after this first one cures.
Fabric with a water motif is difficult to come by so I thought I would try a wavy sea. It almost makes one motion-sick to look at it so I guess I got the wavy part right.

Friday, November 16, 2012

'Scarlet Study'

'Scarlet Study'
Have I said before I like painting on location? Well let me tell you again, I LOVE painting on location. I believe it helps me to capture the emotions associated with what I am painting. Of course that is very personal to me but hopefully the viewer can also feel something of what I am trying to say. Red blossoms command attention, don't they?
If you are interested in the technical aspect of this painting, a large challenge was to avoid equal amounts of the red and green complements which could be too garish. The pods originally were burnt orange - too close to red. Changing them to green allowed the red blooms to be the painting's sparkle.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rusty Buildings for Painting

Rusty Metal Storage Units
A person could search long and hard for such an artful arrangement of old buildings. The first Storage Units? I finally took the time to photograph them for a watercolour study of painting rusty metal. I think the green painted shed adds contrast to the others. The challenge might be to keep it from being the focal point.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Newspaper Article re Art Career

Creston Valley Advance Article
This week's Creston Valley Advance newspaper 'Meet you Maker' article is about Eileen Gidman's art career. Her watercolour 'Clothesline Series' was featured with 5 photos. http://www.crestonvalleyadvance.ca/
Like Eileen Gidman's Artist Facebook page at