Sometimes an artist needs a friend who steps in and says, “OK STOP! It’s done now!” Sometimes I can keep working a piece for ages. For now, I think I’ll be my own friend and say “It’s done.” (for now at least)
I think perhaps I’m working in a series as this is the second with this theme (you can see kisses and hugs here) and another one is actually on the design wall waiting for my attention.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the full process. It began with my hand dyed cloth, and some ink doodles from my sketchbook. I made marks with this super cool japanese brush pen then played around with them just a bit in photoshop.
These images are available in my thermofax shop by the way. I grouped and rearranged them a bit for this piece. I like to play with grouping and layering images of different sizes. Then I created Thermofax Screens to print with.
The first layer of printing was done with Cascade Dishwashing Gel – thick enough to use like paint with enough bleach to discharge the dye. It’s not so strong that you have to hurry with your printing though. Remember it wear gloves and use good ventilation when you do this on your own! Bleach isn’t a chemical you want to mess with.
The next layer is another fun photoshopped image. I screen printed it with Profab Textile paints, a mix of white, red and a touch of yellow. I like to keep the background prints in an analogous color scheme if I know I’m going to add a focal point color with lots of contrast and pop.
This layer is two different screens, a full sized X and a full sized Spiral. I printed each screen in solid opaque white Profab Textile Paint then after washing the screens out printed the same images, just barely offset, with opaque yellow. The white really gives the yellow a huge bit of POP, don’t you think? I used some transparent orange paint to brush in a few shadows, opposite of where the white peeks out. If you keep your directions consistent as if a light source was coming from the top of the frame in this case, the highlights and shadows tie you a feeling of depth.
I think the main composition of the cloth itself was done at this point so I layered and quilted the thing. I chose a thread color to blend with the cloth and stitched it to emphasize the lines that were already existent in the composition. If you look closely you can see that I stitched around a few of the background spirals to emphasize them, but most I stitched right through with my softly straight lines. The geometry of this piece isn’t very rigid.
This was a great “to go” project for the next few months. It was just small enough to fold up and take with me to meetings or on the road. I don’t think I can exactly verbalize why I chose to add the grid of x’s. I had considered emphasizing the smaller spirals with beads but I didn’t have the right colors (a peachy pink that wouldn’t be too flashy) in my stash. I think I just wanted a hand project to work on and I love further emphasizing the 1/3 – 2/3 compositional structure. A contrasting thread color further brings out the XOX but the small scale of the embroidered pattern and the repetition of the X keeps it from becoming a dominant element.
I had finished it off and thought it done until I put it up on the wall to photograph. Then I felt the embroidered grid was a little unbalanced, and I wanted some more hand work to do while watching an episode of Sherlock late one night. I LOVE that show! I rarely, rarely, rarely watch TV so it’s nice to find a series on Netflix that will keep me interested but I can get through in a year. Yup – it will take me more than a year to find time to watch all 8 or 9 episodes.
So what do YOU think?
A few more stitches?
If the right color bead happen along should I add them?
It will probably go out to a show for now as I’ve finally got some cloth dyed so I can keep working on the first set of XOX print that are still patiently waiting on my design wall. If I feel like it later I can add more to this piece… but for now finished is a word I’m loving. And if you’ve stuck with it and read all the way down to the end of this post – I’m impressed! I really don’t mean to get so long winded, really I don’t.
As a treat for you – I’ve discounted these three screens (X, Sprial-bog, and Brush Strokes) for you in my thermofax shop for at least a week – or until I remember to change the prices back. Enjoy!