Location: Algonquin, Illinois, United States

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Void

Spring has returned to the greater Chicagoland area and with it my creative energy. In my last post I talked about being back from the void, in some ways that was truer than you could know. In reality I had been working on and in a black hole. In the past I have not cared for those times when I can’t make anything, but I am learning that it is part of the process, and the energy will return, just as spring follows winter.

There are times that I like to paint fabric to get an effect that I know that I cannot achieve with commercial fabrics. I thought that it might be fun to show you the process I take to get those results. The issue with painting fabric is that when I am done I do not want it to be stiff so I work in layers adding paint, heat setting it, and adding more paint until I reach saturation that I am happy with.

So step 1 is to lay it all out on the basement floor.

Next I wet the fabric and also thin my paint with water. I use acrylics.

Pass one is done. The paint looks fairly dark in this photo because it is still wet. As the paint dries it tends to lighten significantly.

The finished base fabric. This represents about 6 or 8 applications of paint.

Normally I only do 3 or 4 applications, but because of the intensity of the colors that I wanted for this piece I ended up doing more. The other point of note is that I only used three paint colors in this piece. Because of the layering I can control the saturation and get a wider range of values.

If you have something to say, then say it. If not, enjoy the silence while it lasts. The noise will return soon enough. In the meantime, you’re better off going out into the big, wide world, having some adventures and refilling your well. Trying to create when you don’t feel like it is like making conversation for the sake of making conversation. —Hugh McLeod


Blogger Wild Thread Studio said...

I am in the Artful Quilters ring and clicked into your site when I hit the 'random' search button. Thank you! I have been struggling for days now with acrylics & fabric painting. Wet the fabric!(what a concept)....dilute the paint! (another great concept)...
I can't wait to see if your tips give me better results.
Nice design!

9:22 PM  
Blogger Karoda said...

I experimented a few weeks ago with this method except I just let it dry between applications before adding heat setting. What do you think the heat setting does for the process?

I just love the quote by McLeod!

7:17 AM  

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