Monday, June 23, 2014

A Glaring Glittering Line

As artists, we must learn to try. We must learn to act affirmatively. We must learn to act as though spring is at hand - because it is. We are the spring that we are waiting for. Wherever creativity is afoot, so is a blossoming. All creative acts are acts of initiative. Art is born, but not without labor on our part.

In order to make art, we must be willing to labor. We must be willing to reach inside and draw forth what we find there. On an inner plane, we are all connected to a larger whole. This is what is meant by inspiration, this connection to something greater than ourselves. But it begins with where we are and what we are. It beings with possibility.
- Finding Water by Julia Cameron  

One of the ways we learn is through repetition. It's the labour of making art, of doing anything for that matter. We learn to do by doing and as we continue to do, we continue to learn. The skirt I'm working on is my third project in a row to include piping and the second to include paint. Other, earlier, projects have also included piping and my skills in that area are growing more confident. With paint, I'm starting to see it as a tool that blends.

This silk dupioni was in the bargain center for $5.00 a meter. It was the right tone of gold but too shiny/pretty for the piping I had in mind so I...

... splattered it with black paint and just that bit of dark toned it right down and helped it to blend in with the painted fabric of the skirt.

With about 1/8" showing, it's an interesting accent instead of a glaring glittering line. Gold is not my typical metallic. I prefer the more muted tones of pewter and antique bronze or copper. But this works. Especially with the black added.

From a distance, the piping shows the lines of the skirt - Burda 8407 - and it's not until you get up close that you see the painted design... which must mean I accomplished my goal of subtle painting.

I had to redo the one front piece because when I ran out of the fabric paint, I'd mixed up half black and half water of a craft paint and tried to work with it except it wouldn't mist properly from the bottle... which turned out to be a good thing... because it dried shiny and obvious. AND...sigh... I had to redo another piece because the painting ended up on the wrong side. I'm not sure how things got flipped around but they did. Thankfully I had enough fabric to redo the sections - the labour of making art as Julia said.

Isn't it amazing how we can conceive an idea, pull together the ingredients, work and play and through initiative and perseverance emerge with the results of what began in our imagination?

Years ago, when I was shifting from traditional patchwork to textile art, I learned that even the ugliest of pieces had the potential to emerge a butterfly with enough time and effort. After that, I had a hard time throwing away even the smallest bit of potential and when I walked through a fabric store, potential was everywhere.  With textile art, thread was often the answer to a dilemma. I could add shading and detail with thread and I collected jars and jars... and jars... of thread which I have thankfully been able to use in fashion sewing. And then, I learned to refashion. And it's additive. To take something too big, too small, too short, too long, too ugly and turn it into something wearable is very VERY fun. And now I can't walk through a second hand store without wanting to bring home all those possibilities. On Saturday...

... I went to the fabric store and came home with three pieces from the 70% off table, none of which I would have purchased before, only now I saw them with the addition of paint. I saw potential. Possibility. Apparently, I'm thinking in paint. This may be a problem - LOL.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - gold spattered with black equals just what I wanted, a willingness to try

An artist is someone who turns his coat inside out and falls in love with the color of the lining.
- Jeanne Tardiveau


  1. I'm not seeing the gold in the photograph, but I see that the black spatters made a beautiful statement on the subtle plaid. Dupioni is my absolute favorite fabric - for both garments and home dec accents - and I would love to run into any of it for $5 a meter. I can't wait to see the finished skirt.

    1. Dupioni is one of my favorites too - plus linen and denim and raw silk and soft cotton. Old stock goes into the bargain center based on the date it was put on the floor. A while back they put bolts and bolts of dupioni in there. I bought three meters of green, black, silver, and fuchsia and then a meter of this gold. GREAT buys. It's all 60" wide.

  2. amazin' what that spatter of paint did for that fabric. made it much more interesting. What a journey you're on. Thanks for taking us with you!

  3. What a great idea with that paint!

    1. I know... and really terrible that I'm now seeing things as "good if I add paint". I'm going to have to limit my access to potential or make my studio bigger. Hmm... do you think I could have the whole downstairs? LOL


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.