Sunday, December 13, 2015

I forgot one!

Before we went up to Seattle I did a couple extra experimental pieces so I could continue to post, but I forgot to post one of them! This is one where I painted a simple geometric design outline and then added watercolor in parts of the design.

It was a simple idea and I was trying out a low-contrast color scheme. The painted outline was a grey, very close in tone and value to the background fabric. As it turned out this was another where I like the back side better than the front.

I think I need to clarify a bit about my experiments. Some of the comments lead me to think I haven't been very clear about what I'm doing and/or hoping to learn. I've been chastised about not reading the directions. Maybe the word "experiment" was not a good choice. For example, I didn't just open up a jar of DeColourant and start playing, with no thought as to how the stuff works, using whatever tools I had around. I have used it before and I have read the directions and understand them. The recommended tool for heating and activating the chemical action really is a heat gun. I didn't just make that up! The directions also recommend that you test the product on different fabrics because it reacts differently on different fabrics and dyes. That is what I am doing. And that is what I am hoping to better understand. That is not to say that I wouldn't try out some unorthodox uses of materials, but not as a stubborn defiance of the "rules" but because sometimes really interesting things do happen. And sometimes they don't, but both outcomes are instructive.

I have tended, over the years, to avoid the whole large area of surface design, mostly because I have found plenty of fabric and materials to work with that I was perfectly happy with and did not have to create from scratch. I also see it as a bit of a distraction from making actual art when one gets so enamored of the making of fabric that that becomes the end in itself. I see people doing that. But lately I am more and more interested in adding my own marks to my work in a more fundamental way. So a month of expermentation seemed like a good way to start. It's a little like taking a class, but I'm my own teacher. I'm enjoying it! I hope you are too.



  1. I'm very much enjoying it. I like your analogy of 'taking a class'. I know I need to get out the box of whatever I bought at Puyallup last time (and the time before, etc.) that was so cool and play with that. It would be a great idea to have a set 'class time' that I keep the appointment with myself. Easy to do if I pay for a class on a date at a time, harder when I come home tired after work and it's just me and the studio. I feel a new year's resolution coming on!

  2. Chastised for not reading the directions? Darn, I'd hate to have those people following me around. Creativity comes from thinking outside the box. Bravo to you. I've been following your blog from the beginning. I appreciate when someone as established in the art community as you are continues to experiment. I don't ever want to think that there's nothing more for me to learn or discover. Lead on, Terry!!

  3. Sort of like me carving numerous blocks in a variety of materials and then many different ink colors to see what the printed paper looks like when finished.

    I like the back of this one better too. Found myself wondering what the outline gray would look like on one of your pieces rather than the black you mostly use.....another experiment!

  4. I am glad to see someone else experimenting. After all, who discovers that one can use XYZ to do MNO that is not listed on the instructions. Not the ones who never do anything but follow the instructions!
    Sandy in the UK who has an ongoing project of stitching with linen and hemp on wax paper. ;-)
    Why not?