Monday, February 24, 2014

Spirit Paintings, Feb. 2014 -- No FEAR!

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.

1st background, poured acrylic.

Second layer of background.

Several layers later, developing the background.

 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.

Detail of the goose and 4-wheeler with stripes of color added to both soften and highlight them.

Detail of face, frog foot print, bottom of rhinoceros.

Detail of frog foot print, yoyo, texturing.

Completed 11"x14" "Spirit of the Child"

2nd background, scraped acrylic, 11"x14".

3rd background with several layers completed.  This piece is about half done.

Detail of above background.

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:  The raven was also thought to be the "bringer of light" or knowledge and is part of the creation story of some tribes.  

Detail #1.

Detail #2.

4th background with several layers completed.  This one is about half finished also.

Completed "Spirit of the Snow Queen", 8"x10".  

Detail of head and background.

5th background, first layer.

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

More Snow Dyed T-shirts 2-14-14

 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.

My three beauties with their creative shirts.

Lillee's shirt, front.

Close up of back of shirt.

back of shirt

Calleah's shirt, front.

Close up of patterning.

Interesting patterns.

back of shirt.

Reilly's shirt, front.

Close up of crystal pattern.

Front close up.

back of shirt.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spirit of the King and Queen of Magical Days

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.

Traditional "Spirit" squares along side blue and light orange painted cheesecloth leaves.

Cheesecloth wreath for boy's head.

Girl's wreath before adding flowers, with leave shape toward back of wreath.

Background behind heads with "fairy dust" splatters around heads.

Handmade dyed paper flowers for girl's wreath. 

Boy's shirt out of painted cheesecloth.

Girl's shirt out of painted cheesecloth.

Tweaked and completed.

More Snow Dyed Fabric

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!

Canvas, approximately 18x36"-some very nice soft texturing on this piece.

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 the back of Jacee's shirt.

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! 

This is the back of Trason's shirt.  Again, the color in the photo is off a little.  A beautiful job!

Please feel free to leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Dyed Fabric Spirit painting

I tried the snow dyed fabric as a base for one of my Spirit paintings.  The original piece was one of the muslin pieces.  I cut it in half and used just one end of it, approximately 8x10".  I also wanted to try the addition of cheese cloth for a more textural look.  See what you think of this piece and please leave a comment to let me know.  

This is the muslin as it looked dyed from the snow dying.  I used spray adhesive to put the cloth on a piece of good watercolor paper so it would be stiff and stay in place as I worked with it.

This is the top left corner that showed the most "crystalizing" affect.

The cheese cloth I got from Stuff n Such in Downs, KS was very fine.  I wanted to show the difference from the original cheese cloth and what it looked like after I pulled, tore and stretched the fibers.

The completed piece with all the layering as in my other Spirit paintings.  The cheese cloth looked a little bright to me so I took the stamp pads and rubbed over the cheese cloth to tint it slightly and take the bright white away.

Detail of face in separation of cheese cloth.