Monday, January 18, 2010

Pink Orchids in progress



With less than three weeks to go, I am starting the last of my pieces for Fiber Art Options’ group show, “Orchids: Sensuality Stitched” (see the previous post). Cutting it close? Yep, but I often do. I must like the adrenaline rush. The photo above shows the piece in progress, in the painting stage.



I’ve been getting some questions about the process I use for these. They are wholecloth painted pieces. I start with Pimatex PFD (a tightly woven cotton fabric by Robert Kaufman that is Prepared For Dyeing). I trace my design onto the fabric and tape it down, very taut, to my kitchen counters. They are really old, ugly yellow laminate. It is probably a good thing that we can’t afford to replace them, because I use them this way a lot, since I don’t have space in my studio for wet work. The paint comes right off with SoftScrub when I am done.

The photo above shows how I work. That’s the original photo (shown below) taped up to the microwave. The kitchen is not terribly functional at this point, so I try to find a good block of time, a few days, where I can invest a decent amount of time on this one project. I can still prepare simple meals on the other counters, or we can eat fast food for a bit. I’ve probably put in about five hours of painting so far.

I don’t mix too many colors at one time, because I’m pretty much constantly interrupted by the kids, or the plumber (who was here this morning and left us with an audacious estimate to fix a water line problem) or the telephone, or the ten million other things I am juggling. When I have to, I put plastic wrap over the paint, wash my brushes and let it wait until the next ten minutes that come open.



I’m excited about this one. The colors are delectable.

14 comments:

  1. This so beautiful, I am curious what sort of paints are you using?

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  2. These are Jacquard Textile color. I've used different things on the other painted pieces I've done... Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics, Stewart Gill, Setacolor... They all have different properties, and some leave the fabric softer than others.

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  3. I love this! What do you draw with? Do you use a resist?

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  4. Thanks, Laura! I sketch it lightly with pencil on the white fabric, then paint. I don't use a resist.

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  5. Thank you for sharing and answering inquiring minds. :O) Your work is gorgeous!

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  6. I absolutely love your work and thanks so much for showing us the work in progress and the behind the scenes view! I especially love the kitchen studio! That photo gives lots of perspective, size and otherwise!

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  7. I am not an artist and am truly in awe as I see how you translate the photo onto fabric. You are so wonderfully talented. Thank you for sharing your work.

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  8. I love the pink shades in this piece, it is going to be stunning. I also liked seeing how you laid out your fabric. I was looking at tsukineko ink markers and paints from email I got, they look like they might be easy to use for small projects. Need to see what our craft store carries, been awhile since I looked in those departments.

    Debbie

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  9. Debbie, you should check out my friend Nancy Cook's work. She has been using the Tsukineko inks in her most recent work, with spectacular results. You can see it here:
    http://www.nancygcook.com/portfolio_seedplay.htm

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  10. 人必須心懷希望,才會活的快樂,日子才過得充實,有意義,有朝氣,有信心。........................................

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  11. I loved seeing your process, Susan, I can see you in your kitchen, painting away. Three weeks? You'll make it, you're a hard core lady, I have faith! hehe

    Go, you!

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  12. I enjoyed seeing how you work especially working around family and life. I have two very young children and it is hard to find anything more than 20 minutes to focus on something. I often eat lunch at home just so I can have a few minutes to bead on my latest quilt.

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  13. Amy,
    I know exactly what you mean. It is very challenging to be an artist working from home when you have young children. Mine are 9 and 13 now, so it is easier, but I had many years when I only had five-minute intervals to myself to work. Even working this way, it is amazing how much you can accomplish if you just stick with it, and plod away!

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