Sunday, June 13, 2021

How Life and Art Mesh

Lupines grow in the road ditches in the Kootenays at this time of year. A trip to the west arm of Kootenay lake last week, where they are prolific, had me thinking about the purplish-blue colour throughout the week. Today I got to create something based on that interest. Sometimes it takes a little while for the creative ideas to percolate. 

Completed lined textile bag. A piece of my hand painted fabric was selected for the front.

A sketch done on location really helps me to focus on the shapes within the plant.

An early morning photo when the light was just right.

A box of scraps of hand-dyed and hand dye-painted fabrics get saved in this box. Can I find a piece of lupine painted fabric?

Yes, here it is. Painting on textiles is something I do often and I had this scrap of lupines and other flowers painted on canvas. Fibre reactive dyes paint very well on the natural fibre of the canvas.

This painted fabric could be made into a multitude of things but how does an artist decide in which direction to go? Well for me, it is often influenced by what is going on in my life at the moment and recently I was sewing fabric gift bags. After sewing over 10 of them, using different sizes and techniques, I felt ready to try this special one. 


The four pieces cut for the outside of the bag and for the lining. An hour or so of sewing has it completed.  A couple more samples follow.

A hand-painted hummingbird on cotton, paired with a lining made a great little drawstring bag. 

I had the pieced quilt square from a colour theory course I taught and with the addition of fabric on the top and bottom, it gave an added interest to the back of the bag. 

You may not have hand-painted fabric in your 'stash' but perhaps you have some hand-dyed fabrics. This indigo dyed shibori piece was done years ago but isn't it great paired with a little bit of commercial fabric. 

Let me know if you have some other ideas for your dye painted fabric scraps. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Painting Local Scenery onto Fabric

Five Commissioned Textile Art Bags

Kootenay Lake Scene Hand Painted on Textile

Do you have a favourite scene you wish was on fabric so that you could sew with it?  One lady did. She commissioned me to create these 'Textile Art Bags' for her. Each one is hand painted so it becomes it's own unique art piece.

Creating a Sketch the Desired Size

After creating a sketch based on the customer's photo, I used artist carbon paper to transfer the main lines of the sketch. The sketch and photo were referred to for colour mixing of the dyes and for painting. 

After curing the dye painted fabric it is rinsed and becomes colourfast for using in sewing projects or for framing. 

Textile Art Cards

With this piece, the scene is loosely painted focusing on the mingling of the colours and the fading of the blue for the mountains as they recede. Details are free-motion stitched. Customer's were asking for artwork with the location written on it, so I included that with stitching. 

So many people canoe, kayak, and boat on our mountain lakes in the Kootenays and the serenity of that is what I was thinking of with this piece.

When you come through the mountains into the valley where I live, it opens up into this wide flat valley bottom.

Wildflowers, mountain lakes and log cabins speak to me!

Kootenay Lake has it's own little lighthouse at Pilot Bay. This piece is painted on rayon. I like to use it when want to paint watercolour like backgrounds. This piece was cured and painted twice. The darker colours were added the second time to create the mountains, foreground, lake and lighthouse shadows.