Thursday, July 30, 2009

Metaphoric Schucked Oysters Pile - & A Pearl or Two!

If you've ever shucked an oyster hoping for a pearl, you can appreciate how many oysters it takes to find one, IF you ever do. Hence the cultured pearl. Oyster servitude. So I tend to make my own pearls, metaphorically speaking of course.

After outpatient surgery to correct varicose veins in one leg on Tuesday, I was back at work in my studio these past two days. I have to wear a thigh high compression stocking and not do aerobics for three days, but otherwise, this is an amazingly non-invasive procedure. Thank you, medical world, for evolving.

By the end of the day yesterday I had worked long and hard -- hence the oyster shucking metaphor -- and didn't feel I had made a lot of progress.

I had mixed up a butter cream beige opaque paint with Pro-Brite textile paints and worked with ideas for layering over parts of the fuchsia paints with a very thin glaze. I kept ending up with thicker layers, no matter what I tried. My samples were caked with creamy layers of letters, screen prints, stamps, lines and blobs.

Then I had an ah-ha. Pro Brite paints take a long time to cure and permanently bond with fabric. This was barely dry and none of it was heat set, so I took it to the sink, hit it with a sprayer and started scrubbing parts of the printed on designs. It seemed that I could scrub as much or as little of the pattern away as I desired.

What remained created interesting suggestions of aging. Nice pearl! Today I applied the paint very judiciously on this piece from last week and STOPPED. I also tried turning it a quarter turn and orienting it horizontally instead of vertically. Interesting. I can add more textural paint tomorrow if I decide any area of this surface needs it. If I add too much and want to tone it down, I have a new technique to do so.

I also painted some burnt sienna over this fuchsia sample and discovered it does turn the fuchsia pink to a rust color. Yay, another teeny pearl.

Another pearl emerged as I used samples to explore ideas for the addition of letters to the surface of these two pieces. I tried cutting out fabric for fusing elements, painting with a wider brush and painting on the textural surface with a fine line applicator.

Slow work, this sampling. Tomorrow I want to try adding more yellow ochre to the paint; it's still looking a bit too white.

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