Now with a newly cleaned and freshened studio, I jump back into some work! When I look at this unfinished sketch, it looks a bit sterile.
I think some texture would help. So I apply the spray starch to the stretched silk and let it dry. I cover the cat with a torn paper shape to shield it from the spray.
And since I’ve been working with painted paper lately too, I plan to save the paper for later.
Next I spray it with some dye from a misting bottle. And I like the results.
This spurs me on! I work on another, with lots of torn paper to form a stencil. And the paper itself is interesting.
I’ll save it for later. The dye penetrates the brown paper, and dyes both sides.
I’ve been playing with a new technique for about a month now…applying Magic Sizing to my silk and using it as a resist. Thanks to Karen Sistek, who developed this technique, and to Francine Dufour Jones for sharing information about this process.
Here’s some brief notes about the process I have tried:
I spray the stretched silk with sizing as a first step. It doesn’t take much to coat the silk with a wet coat.
Sometimes the sizing puddles a bit. Then I use a folded paper towel to spread it more evenly across the silk.
At this point I let it dry. It doesn’t take all that long to let it air dry. However, I often get impatient! So, I dry it with a hairdryer if I can’t wait for it to air dry!Now I can begin to add color. This is where it gets exciting. I can use a big sponge brush to add big blocks of color, or block in shapes for the composition I plan to use. My previous experience with silk tells me that with no sizing added, color will spread as far as possible before drying with a broken line on dry silk, or with a diffused cloud effect on wet silk. However, with magic sizing as a resist, color will stay, with blocky edges and no diffusing. This is very freeing!This is such a different effect than what I have previously learned; such new paths to learn now! Here is the first painting I completed using this process. Here it is in progress. This new technique will take much effort to master, and I am just beginning with it. I love it, and can’t wait to see how it will change my work. At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to work more with incorporating drawing into my work, and also work with developing shapes and blocks of color, not just line. This technique allows for exactly that.
Drawing from life, I find more inspiration, and a healthy dose of humility. My skills are not as polished as I would like! Still, I find that it fuels my creativity. I have three paintings going at the moment based on this sketch- and in one of them I have begun to incorporate embroidery stitching for the first time. Here’s the sketch…
My favorite area of this painting is the upper right. I had tried to bring the contrast up with my second layer, and feel that it was successful.
I completed the painting of the autumn leaves. The negative spaces of the wide gutta lines of the boughs, and the blurring of the paint-on-paint near them, pleased me the most in this painting. I will be working with those ideas in my next few paintings…
As paintings get a bit looser, more of my drawing style shows up in the final product. At the moment I am playing with dry brush lines as well as loosely flowing dye. This sketch incorporates more than I have done with dry brushing to date.
Work continues on my painting of autumn leaves. Completing the first steaming, now I stretch it again and add some contrasts and finer lines. It will get another steaming before the end.