Sunday, February 17, 2008

Changing Tastes (and quite a bit of talking)

It's interesting how tastes change - and here I am referring to making our artwork rather than food or men or anything else. At one time, I loved working with brights and sharp contrasts; but now I am right into browns and the colours of nature. Murky is great! Dull is interesting!

Last week, when I did some monoprints, I mixed up a bunch of browns - Nutmeg, Chino, Chocolate, also Burgundy, Ecru, Celery, Rust Orange, Bronze, Turkey Red, Midnight Blue - you get the idea. Not brights, but a very earthy set of colours. Then I did two layers of monoprints, which gives a lovely effect. I would have done more, but didn't think to put paler colours on first so I left it at 2 layers.

When I taught monoprints at the 2007 Quilting Symposium, I bought thin plastic chopping boards to put the dye on. I didn't realise that the paint would "bubble" - I don't know how else to describe it, but it becomes separate blobs instead of staying in a single layer. Initially this annoyed me as it wasn't what I wanted but when I wanted to monoprint, these were all I had, and I've come to like the effect they give.

Today I only had the afternoon to create in, and I couldn't be bothered mixing up dyes, so I decided to add fabric paints to the monoprints to cover the white patches. Below is one as I work on it - using a very fine paintbrush. Again, I'm using earthy colours - Ecru, Ochre, Burnt Umber, Sulphur Green and so on.

And here is the same piece when I've finished. I love this! To me, it looks like tundra (ok, I know I'm a Southern Hemisphere gal) in summer bloom. Time to crack out my Sandra Meech books to get some stitching ideas - she does wonderful works on tundra, though she's actually been there. Never mind, if my colours aren't true, that's what artistic licence is for!

14 comments:

Vicki W said...

That's fantastic! I love the texture of the prints.

arlee said...

Earth and rust colours can be as exciting as jewel tones or dramatic ones--i love my hot colours, but am drawn more to these ones myself at the moment--so much texture and layering naturally occurring! The pieces you have done here are wondrous! I too got quite excited by the QA articles you mention--and now that Valentine's is over (i'm a florist "by day") i can play again too!

Julie said...

Beautiful cloths Shirley! The colours are gorgeous and I love the patterns.

Suzi-k said...

hi, nice to catch up after a hectic spell. Hope the new business is going well. I like these fabrics, and the bubble effect is stunning.

Donald said...

Very nice Shirley. Reminds me of some of the great works of art of this style

Dale Anne said...

OH my GOODNESS Shirley - this is GORGEOUS!!!
WOW!

teri springer said...

The heck with "real"....this is spectacular!

teri

Sheila said...

We all experiment and change as we grow. I never liked browns much because I am blue-brown color blind. But I find I am very attracted to red-browns now and I have been quite a bit with them. Keep up your good work. I love looking at your dyed fabrics and quilts.

Nana B said...

I love your blog. I have been a quilter for 20 years, mostly traditional, but i am doing things outside my comfort zone. I have subscribed to Quilting Arts and am trying new things. I don't have much more room for big quilts. As far as your "new" colors. I heard a lecture by Diane Gudinski a few years ago called "Mud, Wonderful Mud", it was about how those muddy colors can add lots of beauty to a quilt so you are not alone in playing with these colors. So, now to why I am leaving a note, as I said, I really enjoy your blog, I don't often leave comments but I have been tagged, so now you're it. I am new to blogging but have been "tagged" by a friend. So now I am tagging you, this is where you need to list 7 different things about yourself. But first you need to come to my blog and get the rules, then I hope you will finish and do your part. Thanks for the fun, see you soon. Mary of NanaB

Karen said...

stunning,absolutly stunning!!!Cant wait to see where they go from here.

Frieda said...

Oh these are wonderful. You've been tagged.

Diane D. said...

This is really gorgeous Shirley. I love the colors.

teodo said...

It's fantastic BELLISSIMO!!!!!!!
ciao ciao

MargaretR said...

oh, I missed this one Shirley, it's beautiful.