Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Bag Lady At Heart

This semester I've been taking a silk screen class at the Corcoran. Working with ink on paper. It's a different way of thinking, working with opacity of inks to create depth. I don't have any formal art training, so it's hard for me. But interesting.

And this simple little leaf is my first four-color separation project.

For those of you with art training, or who are really good at drawing, particularly in Photoshop, this isn't going to impress you. But I'm quite proud of it.

To get four colors, you have to burn four silkscreens - one for the green of the leaf, one for the background, one for the border, and one for the veins of the leaf. I drew each part on a separate layer in Photoshop so I could print them out separately but they'd still line up in the end.

Apparently with paper you can build color with layers and layers of ink, and then sand down to a previous color in one area, and then build up. This backwards and forwards is something you can't really do on fabric. At least, not without really toxic chemicals. It's really cool.

But next semester I am going back to the textiles. I miss the teacher. I miss the feeling of the class. I love dyeing fabric. I am so very tactile.

And I love the immediacy of sticking something white in a pot of dye and washing it out an hour later. And it is fuchsia! Or turquoise! Or whatever color!

I haven't dyed any fabric in a while, but I had a bunch sitting around and Betty got on a sewing kick and now boy, do we have bags! Because moderation, it's so boring.

These started out as yards of white cotton. And I think they turned out beautifully.

If I may say so myself.


  1. Wow - love all the color. So creative!

  2. Those are really gorgeous.

  3. HKW and DCup - Thank you! We put a lot of time and work and love into them! I'm going to share your comments with Betty! They make me feel so good!

  4. Oh wow. I just have to comment on this one. I haven't seen all of these and they are just so beautiful! You are so talented in so many ways.

  5. I think they're great! The leaf, too! Slim does all sorts of art projects in all sorts of mediums (media?) and I am always amazed at how good things turn out when they start as a simple white roll of cloth. She made handbags recently out of 12" square fabric samples we had from somewhere. They were trash! But she made them into gifts. My daughter's th same way, though at this point she works primarily with beads, string, staples, paper clips, and markers.


  6. Janie - Thank you thank you!

    2x4 - Thank you, too! And so cool to hear about Slim and your daughter's art projects. It's so fun to create things, especially out of things you might not otherwise think could be beautiful.

  7. These are beautiful! Consider me impressed (again!).

  8. These are beautiful! Consider me impressed (again!).


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