Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Next Stage.

I had fun sorting out the most likely threads that I will use on this piece of work. But the real decision is whether to hand or machine stitch. I don't want the stitching to dominate, so it will need to be subtle, so I'm favouring hand stitching at the moment, the other consideration is that I want to work on it while I'm away from home, and although I can take my sewing machine with me, I'd rather not be bothered! I've left the blank piece on the right of the 'cracked mud' silk just for ease of handling, but it will be trimmed back when the stitching is finished.

Friday, 14 July 2017

New Versions.

 After deciding on the dyed plain silk fabric yesterday, I've changed my mind and think that I'll go with the 'cracked mud' stamped silk.  The colour is a little more green and the stamped lines make the whole thing a bit more complex.
 Even spacing between the water patterned fabrics or uneven? These particular pieces are printed silk, so that they lie flatter on the background and have the subtle sheen of the silk.
                                                         More interesting still perhaps.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Waste not Want not.

 With a number of old unsold framed artworks sitting  in a cupboard for years, I decided to reuse one of them for this new piece. The colour of the frame is almost right as is the matboard surround. Here above I've used the over dyed piece of silk with the marks of the original unsuccessful dyeing showing to good advantage. I may decide to print the water patterns on silk too at a later date.
                                              Hmmmm, maybe too many water patterns.
I've used another piece of dyed silk here and have patterned it with the  water pattern stamps that I carved a few days ago.  I didn't want the patterning to be too obvious, but it's actually too subtle here and almost invisible. I need to try another colour rather then the Teal that I used here.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

More Dye.

 This is the re-dyeing of yesterday's silk pieces with proper silk dyes. The one above wasn't dark enough originally, so I hope this dries a good strong colour. It looks quite interesting with the previous marks still showing. It's still wet here and pinned out onto a frame for painting.
 This time I used diluted fabric paint in a couple of different browns. I'm not sure why it went into streaks as it has, but I'm quite happy with the results, particularly as I'll only be using bits of the whole piece of silk.
Here I've over dyed the brown marked silk with blue silk dyes. It looks a bit like a storm in the mountains to me. The white line coming down from the top is a thread of silk that got stuck to the fabric when it was painted with dye. It looks like a rather tame bolt of lightening!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Spot of Dyeing.

 I wanted to dye some silk in a plain brownish and also a turquoise colour, with maybe some patterning discernible. Being somewhat lazy, rather than using silk dyes I used some other old dyes that I had sitting around and it might even be that the fabric wasn't silk anyway!
 Here the orange brown is incubating with some salt sprinkled over it. The colour is much lighter than I wanted, but I can always over dye it.
                The turquoise is also paler than I wanted, and I haven't added any salt to this one.
 You can see the darker colour migrating to the peaks of the fabric and some patterning is visible around the salt grains.
                              Not much variation in colour with the turquoise sample at this early stage.
 I had to wash the salt out of the brown sample and lost some of the colour, but even so I did get some interesting patterning, but the background is almost white, not what I wanted at all.
The turquoise fabric is very disappointing, very pale and not a very interesting degree of patterning.
I think that I need to overdye both of these samples with a 'proper' silk dye, hoping that the fabric is indeed silk!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

New Stamps.

Using one of the pieces of fabric printed with one of my water photos as an inspiration, I have carved four new stamps for possible use in the 'Ebb & Flow' imagery. I'm quite happy with the three horizontal bars, but the small stamp on it's own is a little bit out of scale. Still,the combinations and different orientations of the three stamps should give quite a good series of images.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Moving Along............a Bit.

 Since I couldn't work out quite where I was heading, and I knew that I wanted to use the cracked mud stamp that I had so laboriously carved, I printed on both of the pieces of fabrics that I'm considering using. Here I'm starting to print on the large piece of previous rusted and dyed cotton.
      It's a bit hard to see in this photo, but the entire surface is now covered in 'cracked mud'.
 I did decide to go ahead and stamp the silk, even though it didn't appear to be quite right initially.
           Some of the fabric printed panels against the stamped silk. Definitely a possibility.
I've folded the strips of printed fabric into narrower pieces, and I think that although the pattern is diminished, it might be better with the smaller scale of the silk.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Another Idea.

 After deciding that the mud coloured background was too much of a contrast to the water images, I tried the paper mock-ups against an old piece of dyed and backed silk that I have had siting around for a couple of decades. I definitely prefer the lower contrast, but if I print the cracked mud stamp over the silk, it's getting into the realm of surrealism colour-wise!
 This is on another old piece of fabric, cotton this time that started out yellow, was rust dyed with various old bits of rusty metal (see the circular tin lid?) and then over dyed in green. There may be a bit of reddish dye used too, although I can't really remember. It might be a little too green, but much more interesting with the rust marks. I will have to avoid the circular piece though I think.
I wonder if I should dye the cotton a very pale turquoise, just to tone the green down a bit. I'll try the cracked mud stamp out on another similar fabric and see how it looks, maybe in the orangeish colour rather than the dark brown that I used on the Lutradur.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Where to Next?

 I printed out the various water patterns onto paper, so that I could cut them up and move them around rather than using the expensive commercially treated fabric versions. First, I cut them all narrower and shorter, placing them on a plain painted background of Lutradur. I do intend printing this piece with my cracked mud stamp eventually, but it's early stages yet. Seven different patterns is definitely too many.
                     Hmmm, six is better, but nothing about the work grabs me just yet.
                         Definitely better over the cracked mud print, but still nothing is working.
                                            Cutting the patterns into puddle shapes is better.
                      Overlapping the cracked mud sheets and extending onto the plain piece.
A staggered layout is more appealing, but I still don't like it at all. I think that the contrast between the cracked mud and the water is too high perhaps......................back to the drawing board I think.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Most Unusual!

 Being so close to the city we don't usually have frost, well at least not for many decades, but after a particularly cold night last night, we had frost.

 
                        The frost on Pin Oak leaves is very 'foreign' looking, but rather pretty.
                   
 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Testing, Testing, Testing.

 To continue with my cracked mud and water project I wanted to use some of my own photos of various patterns that I had observed on water. However, I first had to determine which material took the print best, so I started out printing on silk fabric that I ironed onto some freezer paper. The colours were very pale and the edges of the paper curled up during printing and almost jammed in the printer. You can see some black ink on the lower right hand corner. Not the best outcome really.
 This time I printed on some Lutradur that had been sealed with gel matt medium. Better, but still not what I was looking for. The colours are brighter than on the silk, but not bright enough.
 Now some comparison with silk, Lutradur and some commercially treated fabric designed to use in a domestic printer. The middle sample is the fabric.
 
 It would appear that the treated fabric gives the best result for my purposes. Here are 2 more water patterns with one of the earlier ones.
Now I have 6 different water patterns printed onto fabric to play with against the background of the cracked mud. I might need to make another one however to continue the orange colour that is in the lowest piece here and will show in the cracked mud background. The actual samples are much more green than they show here, sort of a turquoise colour rather than pale blue.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Cracked Mud.

 Having removed more of the 'cracks' in the mud that I thought made the image too busy, I decided to go ahead and make a print on the painted Lutradur that I intended using for the final art work.
The piece of carving block is quite big, 21 cm x 15 cm, so I only needed to make 2 prints to fill up the A4 size piece of Lutradur. I reversed the orientation of the block for the second print and overall I was very pleased with the result. I bit too many scrapes of the carving tool showing, but I can easily remove them before the very final piece.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The June Flower Completed.

       I've added some white highlights to the petals as well as the final touches to the central area. I tried out some of the green beads that I had, but either they were too small, too large or not quite the right colour, and I didn't want to go out and buy yet more beads, so  I'll make do with these green fabric cut-outs.
                                           Backing on and the edges sealed with satin stitch.
                                                            The original Passion flower.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Flower for June.

 This is the start of the flower for June, a bright pink Passion Flower. It isn't the edible variety of Passionfruit, although it does have small green fruit which never seem to change colour before they drop off the vine.
               A bit hard to decided which petals go under which and to layer them correctly.
 Although the actual flower doesn't have a dark blue centre, it appears that way because of the dark spiky bits around the centre. Some darker dark paint shadows here adds a bit more, but I think I'll need to add some lighter touches to some of the petals too.
                   Some of the central details added, the distinctive white pistil and some anthers.
 I don't think that the yellow is quite dark enough and I haven't as yet decided whether to use beads or more fabric applique to the ends of the stamens.