Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stoking the Embers

I taught experimental textile painting to a full class this week at the Memorial Art Gallery's Creative Workshop. We met for three afternoon sessions in a row, which turned out to be just the right amount of time to explore some new techniques and not tire any of us out too much. David, above, has taken drawing classes in school and came to the class to experiment with color and painting techniques. He was one of three teenagers in the class; they were terrific additions to the group and tried everything.
Terry is newly retired and loves layering colors and patterns on fabric. She took classes from me five years ago when I was teaching at my studio - yikes, what a reminder of how fast the years fly by. She brought in some great small works with multiple layers that were really intriguing. A fellow layerist!

This is the area we set up for wax resist. These quilting hoops that Isabel is using worked great as an aid for stretching fabrics before applying soy wax with brushes and tjanting tools. I already knew Isabel was a talented weaver, but didn't realize until this class what a wonderful eye she has for color.

Debbie experimented with a variety of techniques the first two days and then became totally absorbed in painting a lovely floral arrangement the final day.

Here is Mattie working back into this softly blended, dried surface with small brushes and thicker paints to flesh out the details. These circular shapes are really starting to develop depth and interest.
Charmaine on the left and Barb in the background also created numerous lovely samples with a variety of color combinations and techniques. Charmaine created several pieces like the one on the table by pleating fabric and waxing with a kitchen tool over the folded edges. The pattern fragments when you open the fabric; an idea that has multiple variations. Barb, in the background, uses a stretcher frame that can adjust to different size fabrics. Neat little hooks attach to the frame with rubber bands that grab the fabrics to secure them.

Dawn loves expressionist painting and gestural calligraphy as much as I do. She has a delicate, restrained hand and a very minimalist approach.

Somehow I missed getting Liz, Serena and Elena in camera range -- or else they were just really good at dodging me! One thing I was definitely aware of by the time the class ended is how excited I am now to return to my own studio and start working again. Today I unloaded all the supplies I had taken to class, got everything in my studio pretty well back in order and feel ready to really get back to work tomorrow. Even left myself a list of to-dos so I can dive right in from the moment I walk in the door.

I've also been working with Holly Knott for the past several weeks to redesign my website. My work has evolved over the past three years and I want the new site to reflect that. Hopefully it will only take a week or two longer to complete it and then you'll get a chance to look at it and decide what you think. I'm making a lot of changes to the content as well, since I plan to focus on applying for more solo exhibitions.

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