Thursday, January 31, 2013

Penticton, Quilt Canada Squares

Dye painted 6 1/2" Squares
I'm getting ready for Quilt Canada, Penticton - 3 new pairs painted. The 6 1/2" squares, sold in pairs' were popular with quilters so I am starting on some new ones for Quilt Canada, which will be in Penticton, BC, Canada in May 2013. Painting each one individually takes a quite awhile so I must start early. These items will also be posted on my website for sale. If you are looking for a particular theme let me know as I am always looking for ideas to paint.
Sew these squares with traditional piecing or simply frame. Shoppers were also buying them  for presents and quilt challenges with each member getting a square.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Free Motion Stitching on Painted Fabric

'Prickly Pear'
 hand painted textile by Eileen Gidman
Unexpected things happened as this piece developed. Adding the fucshia and gold blocks into the border and allowing some clipped threads to extended into the painting were unplanned.
The Prickly Pear picture was painted with dyes onto cotton fabric. Free motion stitching was done in black thread around the cactus to provide a three dimensional effect. For the thorns I left some of the black threads long. As I was clipping threads I thought "Hey that looks like thorns!"
Thread sketching was also done around the saguaro cactus, the shrubs, the mountains and the clouds in order to tack the front painting, the 'warm and natural' batting and the backing together.  This allowed for added details such as ravines in the mountains to be stitched in.
Three of the prickly pear fruit were chosen as a focal point and they were thread painted in three hues of pink rayon thread. Also, small black beads were added to the fruit to draw attention to that area.
Often the pieces I paint are simply framed but I am thrilled with the way this turned out with the pieced border.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Four Bird Paintings in One

 Watercolour: 'Birds in Red, Yellow and Blue'
Colour was as much a part of choosing which birds went in this piece as the type of bird. A triad of the primary colours red, blue and yellow were choosen. Blue being the dominant colour, shades of yellow in 2 of the paintings and a touch of red in the woodpecker.
Creston, British Columbia is known as 'Valley of the Swans' and the landscape is of the 'Creston Flats'.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Painting the Black and White of Birds

Watercolour 'Woodpecker'
The Hairy, Downy, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Pileated, and Red-Shafted Flicker Woodpeckers reside in the forest where I live and when they are sighted you can't help stopping to watch them. At least I can't. The Red-bellied Woodpecker depicted in this watercolour painting resides in the eastern United States. His red head is irresistible!
When painting the back and wings, I mixed a dark black using the red and viridian. With this rich mix, paying attention to the patterning going around the bird, brush in the black, leaving the white of the paper in between. It doesn't hurt to lightly sketch in the pattern first as it is easy to get lost.
Using softer brush strokes on other parts of the bird provides a contrast to the hard edges of the black and white area. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Adding Borders to Textile Art

Adding borders to hand (dye) painted fabric
Te trad Colour Scheme
Can you believe that each 'flying goose' (one triangle on the dark rectangle) is made by sewing one seam! It's as if magic happens when you unfold it. This technique was taught to me by the 'Lumberyard Teachers' Patty Bower and Cheryl Coffman. Thank you!!! Just the right technique for a sewer with limited time.
Choosing the colours for the borders took some thought. When painting the fabric piece I choose a tetrad colour scheme: Spring Green with Fuchsia and Blue with Orange Yellow (note previous post for the reasons I choose those colours).
I wanted the focus of the Prickly Pear piece to be it's fuchsia fruit so I knew my colour choices for the border needed to always be aware of that. Therefore I choose the fuchsia's complement the spring green to use in the border. Having a little amount of a complementary colour draws attention to itself. No, those greens in the border are not pure spring green but they are both tones of spring green. A tone has the addition of grey. One border fabric colour has more white in it and the other more black in it.
My challenge fabric (fabric given to me to be included in a quilted piece)was the topaz (a shade of orange yellow). I considered it and the fuchsia as narrow inner borders but liked the idea of including the colours into the pieced border as interpretive extensions of the cactus and desert. I had also considered using the fuchsia and topaz exclusively as the piece border however that would likely have placed the spring green of the cactus in a place of importance and I really wanted to highlight the fuchsia.
Colour choice can be intuitive but colour theory can help you to make your choices and help you to feel confident about the colour choices you make.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Largest Dye painting

Dye painted Portrait Project Piece: approx 26" X 33"
This is the largest dye painted cotton piece that I have ever attempted and in this photo only the blue of the sky remains to be done. Thickened dyes were used as the painting medium and white cotton fabric is what it was painted on. Both are available at Dharma Trading mail order. 
After this piece is cured and washed, I anticipate adding some fabric pieces and sketch stitching in black thread.
This piece is being created for the Portrait Textile Art show at the Langham gallery in Kaslo, BC this summer.  Still a long ways to go to completion but I am so happy to have it started.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Group Challenge

Tetraid Colour Scheme with Challenge Fabric
Painting with Thickened Fibre Reactive Dyes
Textile Dye Painted Piece ready for Curing and Rinsing
Challenge Fabrics. Textile Groups are often given a particular fabric to complete a project with. Note my challenge fabric beside the colour cards in the first photo. I loved the fabric I was given so never anticipated what 'challenges' I would encounter.
Why didn't I choose something to paint that contained the topaz, challenge fabric colour? When I was complaining, my friend Fayetta, just looked at me and said "That is just who you are" basically saying that an artist paints what they want to paint, period!
So I thought to myself, "Just figure out a colour scheme that will work". After trying several colour schemes that would include the topaz (yellow orange) colour as well as the prickly pear cactus colours, I finally found that the tetrad colour scheme could work. Tetrads are lovely but not commonly used. This tetrad is basically two sets of complementary colours, orange-yellow with blue and spring green with fuschia. To avoid the garish nature of complements, it is important to have some colours the main ones and the others as accents.
Rinsing will be the next step, then borders with the challenge fabric, and then free-motion sketching to bring out the details. Still a ways to go......

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Portraits Project in Textile

Fabric Arts: The Portraits Project
Months ago, I was invited to participate in a Fabric Arts, Portraits Show to be held in Kaslo, BC in the summer of 2013. Instructions included creating a self portrait in textile with a size maximum of 36 " in width. Although I didn't actually physically begin until two days ago, there has been a lot of thinking done about the project.
As hiking has always been an important part of my life I started looking through my hiking photos. One photo from last fall had great colours and an interesting composition.
Today I finished enlarging it by drawing a grid on the 8 1/2" X 11" photo and sketching it onto a large paper approximately 36" wide and proportionally the same height as the photo. I darkened the lines with felt pen so that I could see them through cloth and transfered the image onto cotton fabric by sketching in the major lines with thickened black dye.
I have ideas for where I am headed, but I'm hesitant to share them as you know how ideas can change. Look for updates of the project in future posts.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Workshop Lessons: Graduated Wash Technique

Watercolour - 'Creston Cherries'

Looking for luminosity in your backgrounds? Consider beginning with a graduated wash.
The only difference in this technique from the last post is here the watercolour paper was wet to begin the process. A light pink wash was added to the whole paper with a bit more intensity of colour at the top of the paper.
After drying completely a light sketch was place on top of the light pink wash. The cherries were glazed in successive layers allowing drying time between layers. Because the background pink colour was light, using green to paint the leaves did not result in a muddy colour but rather a toned down green. All leaves were not painted green in order to limit the amount of complementary colour. The red, a mix of the red and green, was used to depict the colours of the leaves farther back and a dark value of the red was chosen to bring out the highlights of the cherries and some stems.
Consider trying your own graduated wash as a background or even part of a background.