Monday, July 28, 2014

A Deconstructed Silk Screen Play Date

Beth is majorly in love with deconstructed silk screen.  I am less so.  She likes the spontaneity of it and I dislike the lose of control.  But we had a play date this week where we both did deconstructed silk screen.  We set up our screens very differently.  I am sure Beth will post about her work on her blog so I am just telling you about mine.

I set up 4 of my screens with thickened dye squirted in lines.

The last screen I applied the navy blue thickened dye in thicker lines by pouring it on the screen.

Unfortunately I stacked the screens one on top of the other to dry and the top screen in the stack was the navy blue which dripped on all the screens, as you can see in the top picture.  Then, to make matters worse, when the dye was mostly dry, I set the screens upright to finish drying.  Yeah, they were not as dry as I thought and all of them ran.  See below.

Oh well.  Not the  plan but they still  printed.  I used thickened dye paste with dye and soda ash added to deconstruct the screens.  Most of the fabric I over-printed for more complexity but I loved the graphic nature of the last piece and only printed it once.

Here are pictures of the 4 pieces of fabric I printed. The first two are yard long pieces and the second two are fat 1/2 yards.  All were dyed before since I don't really care for white showing through deconstructed prints.  There are detail shots after each whole piece.





Do you have a favorite fabric?

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Went to Beth's for a play date yesterday.  As usual, I left something behind.  This time it was a pile of hand dyed fabric.  Beth sent me an email titled "Hostages" containing the above picture and this text: 

"You know what to do!

Beth, I have gone to the quilt police and they are on their way to your home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mark Rothko

Remember my prints that were in the student art show?  Here is the link.   My inspiration was Mark Rothko.  He is my current most favorite artist.  I like his later work as a leader in the Abstract Expressionism movement and am in love with color field painting.  When I won the print division I received a book of his work.  I was thrilled.  But I had never seen a Mark Rothko in real life until this summer.

I went home to Indiana for the family reunion.  We just wandered our way to Indiana and then back home to Maine.  We didn't plan any stops in advance of each morning when we'd choose how far to drive and book a hotel room to stay at the end of the day.  At one of the rest stops in Upper New York, I picked up a brochure for an art museum associated with the PrattMWP College of Art and Design.  It wasn't far and it boasted modern art, my favorite style, so we stopped to visit it.

Wow!  Jackson Pollock, Norman Lewis, Dali, Picasso, Frankenthaler, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Rothenberg, to name a few of the artists, and a Rothko.  A ROTHKO!!  I saw it out of the corner of my eye when I entered the gallery.  I thought it was a Rothko but didn't look close.  I slowly cruised the gallery studying each picture and inching my way to the picture I hoped was a Rothko.  Finally I arrived and let myself take a good look at the picture.  Yes!  It was a Rothko.  I sat on the bench in front of it and enjoyed it for a very long time.  Little copies just don't do the multi-layered colors in his large paintings justice.  Here is a Rothko for  you to enjoy till you can see one in person.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Batik play date with Beth, Ellen, and Abby

On July 5th my daughter, Ellen, and her daughter, Abby, joined me at Beth's house for a play date.  Ellen lives in Ohio but was visiting with her in-laws who live in New Hampshire.  They left the rest of the family at the in-laws and continued to Maine.  Beth and Ellen had become friends when Beth stayed at Ellen's house while taking a class at Nancy Crow's barn.  Abby and Ellen made batik silk scarves that turned out very successful.  I would have been happy to claim them as my work.

I used a couple of tjaps I bought from Dharma several years ago.  They had sat on the shelf for a long time unused.  This batik play date seemed the perfect time to try them out.  I used them on some fabric that had already been died multiple times, getting uglier with each new layer.  I figured I had nothing to lose.

The first piece is a yard long piece that has been died twice before.  I like it now.

And a close up.

The second piece is about 1/2 yard and it has also been dyed twice before.  I like it more now but it needs another layer before I will call it finished.

And a couple of close ups.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Favorite Abstract Art Quilt Artists

Beth and I signed up for an online class from Academy of Quilting.  Elizabeth Barton (one of my favorite quilt artist) is teaching Abstract Art for Quiltmakers.  Part of our first assignment is to find abstract art quilts and to see if we can identify the type of abstraction in the work.  The seven abstraction styles according to Elizabeth are: Decorative Patterning, Color and Light, Geometry, Emotional or Organic Abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalist Abstract Art.

The first is from Jane Dunnewold.  Isn't that lovely cloth!  While there is definitely an organic quality to the design, I think that Minimalist Abstract Art fits best because of the repeating shapes and the focus on texture. If you spend time looking at the red section, you see that it covers the cracks and white circles.  It is not flat!

big beautiful quilt
Eleanor McCain   9 Patch Color Study: Triptych side C   2012   61 x 61 inches
This piece  by Eleanor McCain is in the The New Geometry at the Madi April 4-July 6.  This, I think, would fit into the Geometry division due to the angles, shapes, and lack of depth.  I could be talked into fitting it into the Decorative Patterning division but the repeated shape is very geometric.

Aurora - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
hand dyed, discharged, and stained fabric
Machine Pieced, Appliqued and Machine Stitched
34"h x 84.5"w - 2012
Another of my favorite artists is Terry Jarrard-Dimond.  I would classify this piece as Abstract Expressionism because the "dyed, discharged, and stained" fabric is the important part of this work. In this category, process is important.
 This is a rail fence variation by Kathleen Loomis. She made it as an example for a book that she is writing and I am buying the second it comes out!  I am going to take a leap here with my classification. This could fit in the Decorative Patterning because it is a repeated pattern.  It could fit in the Geometry division primarily because of the white shapes.  I am going to place it in the Color and Light Division.  Although it is definitely not impressionism which is the primary example of Color and Light, and it does not display everyday life or the passage of time as the sun moves across the sky, the success of this piece is the color and the light.  Feel free to disagree with me.

Okay, the post is long enough.  I will follow up with examples of the other three abstract division later.  Feel free to share with me your favorite examples of abstract art quilts.