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.