Sunday, September 30, 2018

October 2018
Mary Tyler
   It is important early in a creative life to determine the most comfortable approach, for you, to making art.  Some of us need a concrete goal to work toward.  Plans, sketches, color swatches, need to be laid out in an orderly way. Some of us have a theme that defines our work, social justice, personal history, nature, etc.  Then there are those of us who work from the premise of "what if"? I fall into this last group.  I really admire my friends who are organized in their work or who have a burning passion to express, but by the time I get the studies done and the plans drawn up I'm finished with the piece and ready to start something else. I like being on the edge and lying awake at night trying to figure out how in the world I'm going to resolve that problem of making a piece come together. Coming to the realization of what is necessary for each person to successfully create their visions is a long, difficult, road.
Here are some of my what if moments.
What if you clamp black cotton fabric and discharge it, then dye it using the low water immersion method, then clamp and dye it again:
Example 1

What if I could use some of the paste paper techniques I learned when I was making books, on fabric using a flour paste resist. Stretch soda ash soaked and dried dyed cotton on an outdoor work surface, spread the flour paste, before the paste dries drag a grouting tool in circles to create a pattern:
Example 2

What if I stretch out black cotton, put on a flour paste layer, let dry. Crinkle then spread Chlorox Bleach Gel over it. Wait until fabric is discharged , then dump  it in ChlorStop or hydrogen peroxide/water mix. Rinse very well, wash and then over dye.
Example 3

What if I used crystallized bleach on dyed fabric? Stretch out the cotton fabric, sprinkle with Chlorox Bleach Crystals, spray water with a garden hose and a handheld sprayer, wait until discharged, then put the cloth into ChlorStop or hydrogen peroxide/water solution. then overdye.
Example 4

What if I could ice dye without the ice? Sprinkle work surface with powdered dye, carefully stretch dyed soda soaked and dried fabric over it, staple down fabric, spray with garden hose, rub dye into fabric
Example 5

Some of these things work better then others.  I didn't show the flour paste resist length where I wrote a Shakespeare sonnet into the paste before it dried. Mainly because it didn't work. The letters got lost in the crackle.  Some things are more work then they're worth.I did, however, cut letters from contact paper and stick them down to the fabric before adding the flour paste. Then I removed the letters and brushed on the dye.  That worked very well. So it's a direction for the next series of what if questions.
Example 6

Monday, September 3, 2018

What is Art?

My recent travels to Slovenia and Croatia reminded me that art is all in the eye of the beholder. Graffiti, sports and political stickers can make for captivating art. Wikipedia defines graffiti as "drawings or writings that have been scribbled, scratched or painted typically illicitly, on a wall or other surface often within public view." Here are some examples of what I found: