Friday, February 22, 2008

My "True North"

The minute I walk into my studio I always feel energized. I love this space; it never fails to cheer me and support my wildest ideas. I need this space outside my home. This dance back and forth between painting/printing and composing/stitching keeps each process fresh and inviting. The last day I was here, I had mixed and stored dyes and print paste, pinned a piece of prepared cloth to the print table and silkscreened on a layer of resist, so I was able to jump right into trying new variations of ideas for paper and other resists for the next Parables pieces.

The key for jumpstarting my creative process is to make a first choice and act on it, so I mixed some light gray dye paste and randomly screened on some subtle marks. A more deliberate application of some red accents followed. Then I drew and cut out some paper resist letter forms, reducing some and composing them on the surface. Playing with variety in scale and in orientation makes a layered surface more interesting, particularly since I restricted the actual shapes themselves to two letter forms.

Once I felt satisfied with the placement of these elements, I pinned the pieces down and silkscreened over them with prepared screens that had been drying most of the day. I use the monoprinting screen printing method pioneered by Joy Stocksdale and Kerr Grabrowski.

After I applied the dyes, I unpinned and removed the paper resists so I could get a feel for whether I like the effect. So far, the piece feels promising.

I woke up at 5:30 all excited and expectant this morning, feeling like a kid on Christmas day. Today I wash this out, see how the first layer of resist impacts the overall composition and then decide what layers and techniques will complete the surface. I may print with dye, textile paint or just layer over the existing surface with sheers. I may remove some color. Not sure yet. I definitely have to see the work in progress to respond to and develop it further, so I am eager to get back to my studio today to evalute the results. While I do that, I'll also pin a new piece on the print table. I already have variations for the next piece planned now that I've worked on this one. After another day in the studio today, I'll switch back to stitching the Pages piece tomorrow and hopefully will complete it this weekend -- and that it will be successful once I do!

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