If at first you don’t succeed…

Let’s just get this out of the way; I’m bummed that the Yarn Harlot was in A2 last week and I missed her (A2 is Ann Arbor, MI for the non local folks). In my defense, I was teaching a sock knitting class in Lake Orion. I know Stephanie would consider that a valid excuse šŸ˜‰

It’s been a very busy week but I still managed to put another layer of color on my grape vines pieces. The first one (Cloth 1, as it’s now known), is below.

Grape Vines; Cloth 1 - 3rd layer of color

The colors are a bit intense, not the soft water color look I had originally envisioned. I did this on purpose because I’m assuming I will loose color again. Not as much this time (I hope) as I’m taking measures to avoid it. My first correction was to not dilute my paints so much. I’m sure I had them diluted to the point where I had very little binder left. The manufacturer recommends not diluting more than 50% and I know I was way past that. Here is Cloth 2, it is starting to look a lot like Cloth 1, hummmmm.

Grape Vines, Cloth 2 - 3rd layer of color

The next steps I’m taking to avoid a huge amount of wash-out this go ’round is to let it cure longer between heat setting and washing, like a week before I heat set and a week after! In case you can’t see it, I added the gel-glue resist lines back in. This project is certainly a learning experience. I’m Blogging about it too, that means if I have a dismal failure, it’s a public one. What was I thinking?!?

So, what have I been busy doing all week? I taught a class at my spinning group on printing with silk screens. Don’t ask me why spinners want to silk screen but, there you have it, at least it went well and they seemed to enjoy it. I also did a lesson for my art group that met last night on Abstracting an Image. This was a challenge as I have no formal art training, just what I could pick up in the occasional CC class, fiber workshop (a lot of those!) and through books (a lot of those too) and the Internet. After several days research, I had a pretty good presentation. It was a small showing as we had the first warm and sunny day in 6 months yesterday but, the experience of putting the lesson together taught me so much I certainly can’t complain. I was fascinated by the process and it’s so much less scary for me now. I recently finished an online class of which I have mentioned in my last two posts. This class was an excellent choice for this time in my artistic journey. The instructor had us doing this in the class and she succinctly described the process as “reduce the image to it’s simplest form” and then gave ideas on how to do that. After further investigation and practicing the techniques I picked up in several places, I found the computer and Adobe Photoshop to be the fastest way to accomplish this. I t may seem like cheating and it would feel like it if I was going to use the simplified image as it. But by the time it is interpreted into another medium by hand (fabric or paint), I simply consider it a short cut. I’m sure there are those who would disagree. Too bad, it’s my tool of choice! All I can say is it’s a darn shame I did not have, nor could I find, a photo of grape vines on a stucco wall. No short cuts on this project. Sigh. And because you need a photo after getting through all that text šŸ˜‰ here is a detail shot of Cloth 1. You can clearly see the resist lines now.

Grape Vines; Cloth 1 - 3rd layer of color, detail

Ack, it looks pink!

Deb H

If at first you don’t succeed…

One thought on “If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. Would love to have heard your presentation. I’ve never done much with abstraction, but I have indeed used PhotoShop as a tool. Honestly, every artist with one image to abstract, would use PhotoShop differently to get a different result. Not cheating.

    Here are two things, a block print self-portrait and an intarsia-knitted self-portrait, which I made using PhotoShop as a tool (the block print, purple ink on normal paper, got into a book):




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