Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beginning “Lepidoptera”

Here’s a sketch of a new work in progress. I’m calling it “Lepidoptera,” and it is based on a drawing I made from my photo of a Painted Lady butterfly. (Lepidoptera is the scientific order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. ) After painting in the colors, I scanned my drawing and then copied and rotated the wings until I was pleased with the composition.

After blowing up my drawing to full size (40" square), I used it to trace all the lines onto white cotton fabric. Now I am painting in the colors, using fabric dyes and paints. This may take some time, because I don’t have space in my studio for “wet work,” so I am working on a kitchen counter in between meal preparations. Argh.

I’ve never done a whole cloth, painted piece before, so this is a big experiment. I am also using this piece to wander a bit into abstraction. Most of my work tends to be fairly realistic. I thought it would be a good exercise to start from a photo of a real subject, and then try to make it more abstract, so the focus would be on line and color instead.

I’m hoping to thread-paint and quilt this piece in the next month.