Tuesday, March 28, 2006

as promised -- and more

Another tidbit re: What is Art? from Ted Orland's book, The View from the Studio Door For artists the more relevant question is not whether art can be defined, but whether it should be. Aha - a whole 'nother conversation - but I won't go on quoting from the book - not nice to do. Anyway, there is too much food for thought and all I can do is recommend you treat yourself to this wonderful read! And no, I am not receiving a percentage of sales. Off the top of my head, a few of the other books I love and read for inspiration: Art & Fear - Orland & Bayles The Color of Time by Sean Scully The Complete Printmaker by Ross & Romano Picasso Posters by Maria Constantino Christian LaCroix' Diary of a Collection Robert Rauschenberg published by Rizzoli Books As I write, I am making a larger dent in the pint of Haagen Dazs vanilla that was my diet on Sunday, alternated with wonton soup without the wontons. Now I am back to regular food but I can't let the ice cream go to waste, so I added fresh grated ginger, cardomam seeds and raspberries. Along with a cup of tea, it helps me think. Earlier this evening, I found this treasure to the left in the pantry that I had bought in London last September and brought back with me. Very dark, very bittersweet, very good. The only reason I still have it is that it was buried in the back of the shelf. I recently saw this brand in Whole Foods but didn't look closely enough to see if it was the exact same thing. The cooking chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa than the eating chocolate. Harumph! OK - now, down to business... I spent the day printing. This is not a big surprise. What was different was that I had an idea yesterday that I wanted to try and had a vision of how it should turn out. This is not standard operating procedure for me, but I figured it was worth a shot. It was -- even though the cloth did not turn out anything like I had imagined it might. I started yesterday by waxing a piece of white fabric and painting it with dye. This morning, it looked like this. The white parts are wax. I could have ironed out the wax and had a piece of lovely light purple and white fabric. But that wasn't what I had in mind.

What I had in mind was painting the white parts with indigo so I would have some dark in there. ( Now this reminds me of a nightgown my sister-in-law once gave me for a gift.) I realized at once that this was going to be ugly, so I ironed a corner to see if I was right. Of course I was right. The contrast between light and dark was too great and there was no connection between the two elements. Bleccch. So, the only thing to do was to paint indigo dye over the wax in the light sections, for balance. Now I realize it probably would have been easier just to paint the whole thing indigo to begin with instead of the light purple color. Then I would have had an indigo and white piece. Of course, anybody can do that - so it wasn't what I had in mind. Here it is with indigo randomly applied in the light purple parts, over the wax blobs. I was not encouraged.

Here is how it looks now. (detail below). I am very happy with the full piece. ( By the way, I will be teaching a soy wax batik workshop at ProChem July 21-23, which will be a yummy three days! There are still some open slots, so if you are thinking about it, you might want to reserve a spot before it's too late.
Finally, to make the day complete, my second American Beauty iron arrived and I am sure it is responsible for making this piece look so terrific - LOL. This one has an amber handle, was manufactured in 1951 and is MUCH lighter than the one with the ruby handle - 3.25 lbs vs 4.5 lbs of the earlier version. Easier to handle and seems to iron just as well as the heavier one.

Enough for one day, don't you think? The next two days are full and then I'm off to CT over the weekend to teach Carve Original Stamps! Print Original Fabric! and Jump-starting Your Next Quilt. Should be fun! I'll check in before I leave.

10 comments:

mary m. said...

Wonderful texture....looks like you've used some interesting tjaps with the soy wax. Cardamon and ginger in ice cream? You ARE a creative genious!

jenclair said...

Gorgeous fabric! You may not have known where you were going with this, but you certainly got there.

Vicki said...

Wonderful fabric, Rayna! I loved seeing the start to finish process and what you thought about along the way. I really have to gove this a try!

I am also inspired with the books that you have been reading. Guess where I am heading after work?

cfent said...

darnit rayna!!!you;re going to have to start sellign this if you;re gogin to keep showing them!!!
the drool meter is running.....
either that or its time for that continenetal flight

Gerrie said...

The could have been ugly fabric turned in to such a gorgeous piece. You are brilliant!!

lizzieb said...

well, my book is on order so I too can learn these pearls of wisdom...and then the question is, is it good art? Love the new fabric...I have got to start playing with soy wax...that is when I have nothing else to do. Love the color combination

Rayna said...

Ha? good art? Another whole topic, Lizzie B. As to the fabric, I think I'll take a break from printing for a while and get a life.

Kim Power said...

I've got to get this follow up to Art&Fear! That book helped me so much. I think I'll go back and read it again.

Your batik looks so great! Cool to see the transformation and hear your thoughts on it. You have no fear!

Shirley Goodwin said...

Oh yummy fabric, Rayna. I am still painting fabric (dyeing is still too difficult on crutches) and haven't even started on printing yet. And I will probably miss Els' wax class now due to my surgery paperwork being stuffed up (sob)

Deborah said...

The fabric and the ice cream are both genius!