Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Week Is About Art Shows

'Creston Valley: Fruit and Berries Series' honoring the amazing capacity of our valley for growing food
This week sees me closing 2 art shows, one at the Library and one at Creston Card and Stationery. Sad as that may be for me, I am delighted to be a part of the Art Show, Core Matters: Farm and Food that will be opening this week at the Creston Chamber of Commerce.
Art Walk this summer was wonderful for me with sales and 3 commissions from people seeing my work around town. Thank you to the organizers Elaine Alfoldy and Eileen Hirota!

A successful show closing. Wonderful to be in a show with friends and hear comments like "Your work shows very well together."
As Art Walk is finished Sept 1, I will be taking down the display at Creston Card and Stationery of my Watercolour Paintings, Textile Art and Artisan Pillows. What a wonderful venue this has been for my textile work.

For a poster of the upcoming show Core Matters: Farm and Food, click HERE . I am looking forward to showcasing my 'Creston Valley: Fruits and Berries Series'. Nine artist will be showing including Elaine and Andy Alfoldy, Karen Arrowsmith, Ute Bachinski, Eileen Gidman, Eileen Hirota, Sandi Kunze, James McDowell, and Carol Schloss.  Below are a sample of my Textile Art Series honoring the amazing growing capacity of our valley.

Red Currants, Peaches, Apples, Pears, and Apricots depicted in hand painted textile.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Painting with Dyes on Rayon, Lawn and Mercerized Cotton

Apple hand painted with dyes onto a fine 'Lawn' cotton fabric.
The fruit and berry series,  were painted with Procion Fiber Reactive Dyes from Dharma Trading mail order which you can find here .  I first mixed the powders into liquid concentrates and painted with them without adding any thickener. It is a little tricky to get used to painting with them, but the colors remain so vibrant that I have been experimenting with technique and different fabrics.
Pears on 'Lawn', Mercerized Cotton, and Rayon
LAWN FABRIC: I have been using the 'Lawn' fabric extensively for textile cards and like it for use with small projects that get ironed onto interfacing for free motion stitching. Lawn fabric accepts the dyes very well and rarely is there any failures. However, because of the looser weave, there is more spreading or bleeding of the dyes when you paint.

Red Currants on Painted onto 'Lawn' fabric
MERCERIZED COTTON: When I paint with thickened dyes, I use the excellent quality Mercerized Cotton from Dharma Trading Co. Go here to for more information. When using the unthickened dye concentrates on this fabric, it also works well and there is less bleed out from your brush strokes. What I don't like about this fabric is it's slight off white colour.
Apple hand painted with dye concentrates onto mercerized cotton.

RAYON: It really is more watercolour like in the way it moves on the fabric. I pressed the rayon onto iron on interfacing after painting and rinsing so that the stretching issue was minimized.
Apricots hand painted onto 'Rayon' fabric. The colours mingled well together.

Another example of dye painted 'Rayon' used with black and white commercial cotton in a quilted piece.
Some of my work is on the 'And Then We Set It On Fire' blog of Friday, Aug 22! They have some great ideas this week about creating texture with fabric and you can check it out here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Splashed Dots: A New Design in Textile

This past week was full of textile art and turkeys. Yes I did say turkeys.
Cherry Quilted Mat by me, Eileen Gidman
new at Creston Card and Stationery for Art Walk
The beautiful cherry mug is by Pridham Studios. Click here for their site.
Off to a new it's new home in Calgary.

Eileen Gidman's Art Walk Display
at Creston Card and Stationery
See it at it's new location in the store (right in front as you walk in)!

14 new Textile Cards: dyed, stitched and ready for sale at Creston Card and Stationery.
 What do you think of my newest design? I am thinking of a whole range of splashed colours with whimsically stitched flowers.

My newest design. Splashed dots with whimsical stitched flowers.

Each card in the series will be it's own unique piece of art work that is suitable to give as a gift card or for framing.

My favorite.

Here is what else is happening in my world this week. These two turkeys have been diligently raising these chicks all summer. It's hard to believe they are nearly the size of chickens now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fish in Textile

How do you tackle a commissioned piece? The following is a description for creating a commissioned 'mini quilt' / 'beer mug rug'.

Things that are relevant for this commission:
1) include a trout as the free motion stitched image
2) the person it is being given to likes blues, greens and orange
3) this art piece is to be a reminder of his summer fishing on Kootenay lake

I found it helpful to first practice sketching several different fish profiles on paper. Having knowledge of the shape you are sewing really does help in avoiding stitches where you don't want them.

Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
'Autumn Waters of Kootenay Lake'

Sew and flip method: After sewing the first strip onto the textile art, turning and pressing, I am marking a line that I want the next strip to abut to. This keeps the strips perpendicular.

Be CAREFUL when trimming off the excess fabric to not clip into the backing fabric.

My friend Lorraine just made this thread catcher for me and I can not believe how MUCH TIME IT SAVES in not having to bend down each time searching for the trash bin on the floor. Thank you Lorraine+++.

The first three strips are sewn on and I know I want the last two strips in the end position so I am auditioning fabrics for in between. Trying two different blues here.

Remember the darks. This darker strip makes the printed strip stand out more.

Although I already selected what I thought would be the binding fabric before starting, so I could put a center strip of the same fabric down between the fish picture and the pieced strips, I still decided to try different fabrics to make sure the choice was right.

I narrowed the binding strip down to two choices. The complement of the this blue binding strip is the golden colour. There is a lot of the golden colour in this piece so I think the blue would be a good choice of binding.

My original choice with it's complementary red-orange. This also looks good with a bit more attention being drawn to the red. What cinches my choice is the pattern of the binding piece. It adds extra textural interest and it looks professional as it matches the center strip. Even though I go with my original choice, it doesn't hurt to have a second look.

A 2 1/4" full width strip of binding material is folded in half and pressed. Yes I know some people don't press here but I find it easier on these smaller quilted projects.

Sewing the binding onto the perimeter, mitering the corners and stopping where I started sewing on the binding.

The 'mini quilt' is folded in half, wrong sides together and the ends of the binding are joined. Hint: Sew really close but avoid catching any fabric between the binding.

Turn the binding to the back and pin in place from the front. I leave pinning the corners until the end. Miter them at the back and pin in place for top stitching.

Top stitch with coordinating thread.

OOPS, I forgot to include the label. A little 'unsewing' to do.

'Cool Waters of Kootenay Lake'
Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
Another choice for the commissioned 'mug rug'.

This sample was glued to a 8 1/2" X 11" folded piece of cardstock to create a card. I use a good quality glue stick otherwise the paper can buckle.
 If you have any additional hints about how you tackle a textile art commission feel free to leave a comment or a photo link. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Watercolour Tutorial: Berries

Do you know the blog '...And Then We Set It On Fire'? You've got to love that title. I am honored to have two photos of my fabric shown on today's post. Click here  to see samples of depicting texture on fabric.
Watercolour Painting: Arrow Creek Saskatoon Berries
by Eileen Gidman
Today I thought I would go into a little more detail with my second attempt at painting Saskatoon berries this year. This session, painted in the studio, was a little more controlled than when I painted the Saskatoon berries on location which you can look at here .

On a walk with my Border Collie, I collected one sprig of Saskatoon berries. Later in the studio I sketched it onto 140 lb cold press, Arches watercolor paper using a light F pencil. I turned the branch twice more and created a composition across the page. When I was satisfied with the sketch, using a pigma .05 black pen I went over the graphite lines with different pressures to create a variety of lines for interest.
A few light washes of colour.
Using a colour tool, I selected the colour scheme for the painting: a string of harmonious colours from blue-purple to a purple-red with a complementary chartreuse.
The background was washed in with a graduated wash going from light on the bottom to darker at the top using  a variety of purples. After that was dry, details were added to the background using a light purple mix applied with a round brush.
Additional layers were added in the background including painting around some leaf shapes (negative painting). To draw your eye through the painting, the colour of certain berries were deepened. Am I satisfied? Another watercolourist once said to me, "It is good to exaggerate your center of interest" so for the next berry picture, I would like to try enlarging the berries.
Just for fun, I have included two photos of textile pieces I have done. One uses the same colour scheme as I did with the saskatoons, and the other just the reverse with the harmonious string of colours in green and the complementary one colour in the purple.
Hand dye painted textile by Eileen Gidman

Hand dye painted textile by Eileen Gidman

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Newly Painted Wall for Patty's Wall Hanging

A project that is carefully thought out and takes time to create can be worth waiting for. Several years ago I asked Patty if she would like to design and create a quilted piece using a piece of my hand (dye) painted fabric. Thankfully she agreed.
Patty had it on her design wall for sometime thinking about what she wanted to create. After some consultation with another talented quilter Cheryl, Patty came up with a design which she used to complete this wall hanging. But the story doesn't end there. Soon after, Patty moved and while she was painting her new home, she painted a wall to accommodate this extraordinary wall hanging. I am so thankful she sent me this photo which I was sure others would like to see. 
If you would like to enter into this type of project with me, send me an email at I would love to hear from you!
'Prickly Pear Cactus' Wall Hanging completed by Patty Bowers
including hand dye painted fabric by myself, Eileen Gidman
Patty Bowers with partially completed wall hanging

Close up of partially completed wall hanging

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Art Walk 2014

Mike Poznikoff of Creston Card and Stationery in front of his store.
This is my venue for Art Walk 2014 in Creston, BC for July and Aug. Thank you Mike for supporting the local artists!  Greeting cards by local artists are also available at the store.

'Grapes': Textile Art; painted by Eileen Gidman
Sample of my art work available at Creston Card and Stationery for Art Walk July & Aug 2014

Display panel for Art Walk. It is located right beside the checkout counter. My art work includes watercolour paintings, artisan pillows, mug rugs and hand painted fabric squares for framing or sewing. If you are in Creston in Aug come and check it out.

Need a present? Like something unique and locally made? These one of a kind textile art 'mug rugs' have been popular this summer. Women and men alike seem to appreciate them. Customers have told me they use them not only for a coffee cup but also a wine glass, reading glasses, cell phones and TV remotes. They are washable and keep in mind, they are easily mailed. Available at Creston Card and Stationery, this month only for $25.
Watercolour Paintings by Eileen Gidman. These are featuring birds and botanicals.