Saturday, June 08, 2013

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and take some time to really smell the flowers around you.

My Iris and Peony plants are blooming to beat the band. The smell from both of them is heady. People often ask me the name of a plant or the variety and I have to shake my head and mutter, "I just plant for SMELL, COLOR and HEIGHT. I may remember the general name but if you like the dusty peach and gold colored Iris you are out of luck if you ask me the name of it. Which is probably why I will never get an official piece of paper that states I'm a Master Gardener.
Yesterday, the art ladies arrived dressed for "sloppy monoprinting" with dye.  We are exploring techniques by Leslie Morgan and Claire Benn, both wonderful British ladies that have been dyeing cloth for years. They have a relaxed approach to it which puts newbies at ease.
First we spread heavy vinyl on our work tables. Then taking our PFD fabric they taped off the outline of how big their piece of fabric was, on the vinyl. After all there is no sense painting dye on the plastic where it isn't going to be picked up by the fabric.
They mixed up their dye colors, now being old hands at the dye table. I noticed that they remembered to put on their gloves, masks and use the dye mixing box, so that was good.
We are still using Chemical water (h2O W/ Urea) to mix their dye because we are still working with Procion dyes.
Using a large foam brush they applied the dye directly to the vinyl on the table. First layer the vinyl reacts to the dye and this discussion could move into surface tension with I had any real understanding of it but all I can say is you get these really, REALLY cool texture bubbles.
We then moved on to experiment with fabric taped to the table and using cheap chip brushes, feathered by clipping into the brush we drew stripes across the fabric.
Then using pieces of cut acrylic sheet with (and this is brilliant, a lady worker at the home store came up with this solution) plastic hooks that you can attach to your tile to hang a washcloth or sponge we used them as handles, we printed the dye on our fabric.
Once the art ladies had relaxed into just having fun, getting messy, experimenting they were off and running.
I passed one table where they were tearing the edge of a piece of newspaper and using an old credit card, scraping dye along the edge. Others were using different texture items to apply the dye.
Bottom line is we were making the BACKGROUND layer of our fabric and building on our new learned knowledge of techniques, tools and vocabulary that we had been learning using paint to monoprint.
We worked from 10:00 to 2:00. Honestly, you need a large block of time to get set up, experiment and clean up.

If you are finding it hard to make time for your art then do yourself a favor. Go to your calendar, date book, what ever it is you use to schedule your appointments and pick a day or half day and write your name in large letters on that day.

If you are asked to do something or schedue something on that day you can say with a smile, "Sorry, I already have a committment".  And, you do!

Take yourself seriously. Give yourself a chance to create art. If there is a technique that you want to try, DO IT. I know you think you have tomorrow and I know you plan to be around tomorrow but come here, I need to tell you may not be around tomorrow.

No, I don't know anything special about you but I do know that right now, right is minute is what you have. The rest is a memory and what's ahead is a big "MAYBE".

We all need to lose a little of the arrogance we have about life and our movement through it. We really do need to be more aware of each moment in time.
Do you have time right now to go do something creative? 

Then stop reading me and go do it!  Let your soul dance. You may find that doing something creative could possibly actually heal some part of your too.



  1. Thanks Bea! I needed that! :)

  2. Amen! And the flowers smell divine. Thanks for the wonderful experience in the studio--a tremendous amount of work and generosity. Can't wait to see what my finished fabric looks like.