Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Painted Fabric- Lessons Learned, So Far

My first painted fabric experience, the blue dots, went very well and I was VERY pleased with the result. But I had not washed the fabric first as Sonji suggested and I used the fabric dry not damp, Sonji suggested damp. So on my second and third attempts the fabric was washed and damp before I began painting.

The left panel is in green and yellow stripes. Pale and not very interesting. The right hand panel in orange tones is simply awful. Washed out, without definition and too pale for anything I work with. I was very discouraged so I worked on the Blue Eye while I thought about painting fabric again. What would I do differently? How would I learn from these two experiments in a technique I had never tried before.

I went back into the orange first. It was already a mess so I couldn't actually make it worse--so no pressure on me. It sort of looks "bubbly" now. You may not be able to see it in the photo but the bubbles move from background to foreground nicely. And I can see a use for the fabric, which is the purpose of painting fabric. The white may be too much but the surface was still murky. Next time I will try and leave white fabric spaces when I use the yellow/orange family to add *sparkle* like I do when I watercolor. The surface is heavy and does not have a soft "hand" anymore. There will be no hand work on this unless I use plyers to pull the needle through.

The green and yellow stripe was painted on again--dry fabric and undiluted paint straight from the bottle. The fabric was then sprayed with water until it was uniformly wet. Very nice things happened as the paint began to migrate across the wet surface. I also like the places where the undiluted paint dried before the wetting--the streaks of yellow close to the top and bottom edges. There are areas of this which will work very successfully in a landscape type piece.

So, if at first you don't succeed--paint over it. I also would look around for companion fabrics in the commercial side of your stash closet---which in my case is all commercial. After I found some things that I might use with the orange, I knew what I had to do to it in the overpainting to make it useable. In fact, last night before I fell asleep I "saw" the finished piece. Weird how my mind works. It will still be too traditional to be "art" but it could be a good background for something in months or years to come.

I will continue on this painting journey. I have lots to learn. And it feels so good and *right* to have a paint brush in my hand. The time may have come to surrender to painting, finally. I have fought this my entire life. Always knowing that painting will take over and I will have no other interest but the process. Bungie jumping is a near perfect example of how this feels to me. So here we go. Quilting be damned.

1 comment:

Rayna said...

Aha! This is why I work in layers.
I am constantly going back into fabric. Sometimes it becomes fabulous, and other times - yeccch - I shoulda left it alone.
Love what you did with the orange circles.