Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Welcome Return of the What-Ifs

After two sluggish days recovering from a flu shot, which I KNEW I didn't want to get (but yielded to the persuasiveness of my well-intentioned physician), I feel healthy and energetic again. It's great to be back working in my studio; that internal burner is heating up again as one what-if after another starts playing through my mind.

For my reentry warm up, I painted the 24" x 48" canvas frame above and laminated my silk composition to canvas to hold it flat. I'll add some machine stitched details to it, and if all goes well, can mount and complete the piece by Saturday.

I also just painted some silk screens, shown above on my work table along with the drying frame, to try out several what-ifs for layering new surfaces with language imagery. One screen has a light gray patterning on it for monoprinting, the other has dark gray marks and drizzles and lines that have a more painterly quality to them. I'm hoping the results will be helpful in developing some new ideas I have for building layers ; I'll print them when I return on Saturday.

Here's another what-if in process that may or may not prove successful -- painting and printing on lutrador. I want to see what happens as I layer and collage a variety of materials, from silk gauze to rice paper and gel medium transfers, to various surfaces. I have felt inspired to experiment more with mixed media collages recently. I had learned a number of collaging techniques from a wonderful area artist, Alice Gold, at the Memorial Art Gallery many years ago. It was rekindled when I taught next to Fran Skiles class at Fabrications last year-- I loved the results and realized how much more I can do with layers on fabric.

One last experiment is underway today that is a variation of the process that I learned from my first screen printing class with Jane Dunnewold.

Here's a fast print on cotton with aquarelle crayons and acrylic medium that Jane demonstrated in that screen printing class long ago. I'm also trying another screen using conte crayon and will trying overprinting this. I'll share the applications of these experiments with you soon, hopefully.

Of course the ideal outcome will be for each of these techniques to be successful as one layer on multi-layered surfaces and expand the types of marks I am able to make on fabric.


  1. I love What-ifs. When I take that approach, it almost always turns out well. It takes the pressure to be perfect off it seems. Its great to know others enjoy that sort of "play" too!

    Not getting a FLU shot! I have a great immune system!

  2. What-iffing is the creative play that frees us from any worry about outcomes and we all need time for that. Glad that you take time to do it too!