"Spirit of the Promise of Spring", snow dyed raw canvas background, mixed media (acrylic, ink, pastel), 14 1/2" x 20".
Sunday, March 2, 2014
While my friends across the north and east are battling some of the deepest snows and coldest temperatures in the last fifty years, they are dreaming of spring. For them, I dedicate this newest piece, "Spirit of the Promise of Spring". While the snow is still falling, in the softness, protection and warmth of the womb of Mother Earth, Spring patiently awaits to be born......softly, quietly, in all her beauty.......
Monday, February 24, 2014
Last fall I really got waylaid with the holidays and it has taken me awhile to get back in the right frame of mind--painting with NO FEAR, TO PLAY, and to FEEL PURE JOY while painting. Today was one of those days. I would like to share the paintings that I started today. I did not finish any of these, but I'm so excited to be "back" that I am anxious to share these beginnings. Please keep in touch over then next few days/weeks as these backgrounds develop into fully completed paintings. May your spirit find joy in these beginnings and watching them develop.
After deciding to name this piece " Spirit of the Child", I added the toys. But the balance just didn't seem right. Below is the completed version with a few more layers.
Completed "Spirit of the Raven", 8"x10". I did some research on raven lore and found some interesting information. I think because of Poe's "The Raven", I always thought that ravens were portents of bad things, especially death. I found that that connotation probably came from their being carrion birds.
But in many cultures they are actually birds of mystery, magic and good omens. Some Native American lore portrays the raven as a sign of change or transformation. Because they believed the raven could be a trickster and transform his shape, he was felt to be the bearer of truth because he could "see" from different perspectives. " Foremost, the Raven is the Native American bearer of magic, and a harbinger of messages from the cosmos. Messages that are beyond space and time are nestled in the midnight wings of the Raven and come to only those within the tribe who are worthy of the knowledge" (from Avia: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/raven-symbolism.html). The raven was also thought to be the "bringer of light" or knowledge and is part of the creation story of some tribes.
The above background with a cheesecloth layer laid over the "tree". This one is in the very beginning stages.
Added handmade rolled stamp in green; white chalk highlights reflecting the moon light off the tree.
An addition of the stamped squares, large dots, black and white ink details complete this piece......"Spirit of the Night Forest", 8"x10".
Monday, February 17, 2014
I had three of my granddaughters here this weekend, Lillee, 5, Calleah, 7 and Reilly, 10, so of course we had to make some snow dyed T-shirts for them. Our snow was melting quickly so we dyed the shirts as soon as we got to my house on Friday evening. I thought the girls did a great job. Hope you enjoy seeing them.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This is my newest "Spirit" painting but with a new twist....I used snow dyed canvas for the background and it is MUCH larger than most of my 8"x10" paintings. It is 16"x28"long. I also added cheesecloth for the shirts, wreaths, and leaves with some paper flowers added to the girl's wreath. Rather than a "hidden" face, I added two children to this painting. The rest of the piece is similar in style and format to the "Spirit" paintings. I hope you like this new piece and feel that I have stepped up the process.
We had another snow this week so I tried dying some more fabric with the snow. This snow was MUCH denser, to the point that, when packed in the containers to take in the house, we had to take a knife to cut into the snow to lift it out of the container! It also took TWO DAYS to melt in the house! So a much different snow than the first batch, which was quite airy and dry. I also did not use as much dye, not even a half teaspoon of powdered dye for each color. I also put all three of my pieces of fabric in one large container and sprinkled different colors of dye on different areas, hoping that all three fabrics would come out differently. I felt that I got a much better variety of "textures" with this batch. The colors are still soft and I think that is due to using RIT dye instead of really good art fabric dye, which would allow the colors more intensity and brightness. For my projects (the Spirit paintings), I like the softness and so I am pleased with the results I got this time.
At the bottom of the post are the two T-shirts that my grandchildren dyed while they were here this weekend. Jacee is 10 and Trason is 5. I was amazed at how beautiful their textures were. They did a great job and I hope they will have fun telling their friends about the shirts they made!
NOTE: Just a reminder, if you are trying this process, PLEASE wear protective mask and gloves. The soda ash in particular is mildly caustic and can irritate your skin. Wear gloves, mask, and eye protection. Rinse off at once to avoid eye and skin irritation. You should also wear a mask when using the dye as powdered dye can easily become air born.
Remember, these three fabrics were in the same container!
This is a large piece of 100% cotton fabric approximately 36x45". This has much more white in it than any of the others and will take some thought as to how I want to use this piece. OR I can redye it or paint in some of the white areas. The best part is that there is heavy texturing where they dye took.
This is a smaller piece of canvas and probably my favorite out of this batch. Again, there is more white, but also much more texture. Love this piece.
Take note of the colors of these shirts.....Jacee and Trason used the same two dyes on their snow, but each put their own dye on the snow and just the difference in how much and where they put the dye turned out these two very different shirts!
This is the front of Jacee's shirt. This is the first time she has ever used dye. The shirts were prepared for the dye before the children arrived for the weekend so the children were not exposed to the soda ash at all. I would suggest that you prepare everything in advance if you are allowing children to work with this process. The top of the shirt in particular has some beautiful texturing.
This is Trason's T-shirt. He is 5 and I thought this came out absolutely amazing! The photo does not show the actual color, which is more blue and purple rather than gray. The texturing in all parts of the shirt are gorgeous. I wish my canvases had come out this good!
Please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!