Saturday, February 19, 2011

a Commission, the Finish

After the main sections of the piece are stretched and stapled, I'm ready to do up the corners. This is done similar to the way of wrapping a present, all the while you're tugging to place pressure on the cloth for a smooth tight corner. This is a little difficult with a thicker fabric like cotton duck.

After the backing is completed and trimmed to fit within 1/4" on the strecher bars. I glue it to the back. If I've done this correctly the transfer will fit exactly under the silk organza photo to create the 3-D effect I call Holographic Images. I always dry with the image up to prevent any mediums or glue from creating blobs on the front.
I weight it down with heavy objects, beach stones and old irons, to make sure backing is in contact with the piece as it dries. Make sure the objects can't roll into your piece and make a pressure stretch marks and ruin it.
When it's dry. I add a label, hanger and wire and it's ready for it's new home!

 


Clear Light
Commission from Art 3 for the Elliot at Rivers Edge which is part of the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, NH
Holographic Images- Multi-level Surface Design/Mixed Media.
Original image taken at Deer Isle, ME, printed on archival digital canvas. Sewn borders in hand painted and surface designed cotton duck, additional stitching line details, silkscreen and mediums.
A section of the image was constructed with transparent silk organza, providing a holographic effect.   30x40
Clear Light 1st finish



Clear Light full side-view









Scraps left over are used in my collage work!

"amazing-- ripples of water can look so calming and so serene- sunlit and inspiring work."
Thank you! Donna Watson
her blog here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

a Commission Phase III

Today I decided to highlite the glass bead and pumice gel accents that had thoughly dried with silver oil stick. I like this technique and use it often. It's hard to resist adding a little color but I think it makes the added textured medium stand out like sparkling water. 

  
     I silkscreened a few waves from a thermal fax silkscreen I made from a detail of the original photo. Just a few squeegees to carry the wave action softly into the borders. I used a mix of antique gold and metallic paint from Pro Chem. The colors mixed here and there into a great olive. Just the touch of green I needed!
     I decided the right side of the bordered piece needed more accent. I had painted some scrim earlier with the dregs of the paint brush- I always 'clean' my brush on a scrap cloth, hand-wipe or something rather than washing all of that wonderful paint into the drain. So I had some already to use. I cut into it and moved it around and applied with gel medium. I added the bits I cut out too and an overlay of more textured medium, to which I applied more silver oil stick. 

      Perfect. Now to let this all dry before I can mount it. I work on the backing that I painted the other day. I use HTC brand poly/rayon medium weight stabilizer for my Holographic Images backing material. It can take the abuse of ink jet transfer, paint and stretching and most importantly, will not tear as easily as a paper backing will. Unfortunately, I need to piece it as it doesn't come wide enough.
After, I carefully position the inkjet transfer (printed in mirror image) on the backing to line up with the transparent organza section. I iron it on and peel. I really like the way the painted backing allows the transfer to blend in.
All set to mount.
I use 3/4" Dick Blick's artist stretcher bars for mounting. These bars seem a good quality and I've used them for a number of years.
After I assemble the bars, tap corners dull, I'm ready to mount. I stretch the piece by centering and stapling with a staple gun and J21 size staples.
Starting to staple on opposite sides, I check often to see if I need to change the position- which I do a couple times. I use a standard staple remover to remove staples in order to do this.


My son gave me this gismo for the Holidays. I think they used to use it to moisten stamps. I get my fingers wet which gives me a better grip on the cloth when stretching it.

 Finishing up the corners and I'm ready to back it and glue it down.

Monday, February 14, 2011

a Commission Phase II

The first thing I did when I woke this morning, before coffee! I went over the painted fabric with some pewter, silver, light green and off white- to tone it down, add more depth and texture.
Hmm- we'll have to wait till this dries to see if the color is what I want.

I should share the previous work that inspired Joni to choose me for this commission. It is called Essence.
Essence


        The fabric is dry and I'm ready to cut into it- almost hate to do it! I even like the back!

The fiber photo is sewn and ready for border. I want the placement of borders to echo the color placement in the photo. 








I use an old iron to steady the clear ruler for long cuts. I’ve had too many wonky borders. It’s like a third hand holding the ruler at one end while I cut. Sometimes I use two or even heavy beach rocks.












I trim all the threads on the back and seal the seams with medium. This ensures no loose threads will show though the silk organza ‘window’ and secures the seams. 


I choose the mediums I will apply to the front/face of piece, which I decided to call “Clear Light”. 
I use a satin varnish to seal/UV protect the painted fabric borders and gloss medium for photo. The gloss medium adds a little punch, shine and deepens the colors on the ink jet fabric photo. Do not do this in direct sunlight! There is some kind of reaction and it turns white! Make sure you shake any product you use thoroughly and if you haven't used it in a while test it. 

I also add a small bit of pumice gel to accent shadows, some pearl-x mixed with medium to highlight shine on the water and glass bead medium to really bring this home. When you add the medium it is milky white but will dry clear.
This is a bit like an act of courage because once it's dry, it's on!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

a Commission

I was contacted by a friend, Joni, in a gallery I have been with for years, Art 3, Manchester, NH.  here They took me on as a newbie when I first starting pushing my artwork out of my studio.
Last week she phoned me with a commission for the Elliot at Rivers Edge which is part of the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, NH. Great! But it needs to be done before March. OK I can do this!
After looking at some of my previous art, she decided that the piece is to be a combination of digital fiber, holographic imagery and painted/silkscreened fabric with a water theme.
I sent a variety of pix to her to choose from, my artists price and got the approval to go forward.
original image

image simulation 
Next, I worked on the photo to enhance the colors, change the hue to meet a slightly different color scheme and divided the photo into parts that will be sewn together. I needed to figure out the size of each piece and the painted borders to fit her size requirement of 30x40.
     Next to the printer! I use inkjet prepared fabrics. This coating gives the best colors, makes it permanent and are UV protected. My Epson printer Ultrachrome inks are guaranteed for 200 years, light fast and water resistant. I feel confident in the durability of the finished work.
I choose a durable canvas for this project. I ran a couple tests to see which setting gave me what I wanted, then cut and printed the fabrics.
printed canvas and organza ready to sew
I like to allow this to dry at least over night before sewing or ironing. I feel it has a chance to set and won't smear when I iron it. These fabrics are practically water proof then.
     While I wait. I paint the fabric I will use for the border. I choose a hearty cotton duck and got the color palette out that Joni sent me. I want the colors to work with the image, playing off the contrast of blue and orange, while enhancing the room it will be displayed in. This is the fun part. I really enjoyed painting on fabric. 
     While these dry, I go back to production work for Craft Boston which will be coming up in March. here
In addition to my art which is now hanging at my solo show at the Lincoln Levy Gallery (see previous post), I did a line of silk chiffon kimono and scarves. They are in various stages of dyeing, painting, ironing, labeling. Plenty of work. 
But this allows my mind to gestate on the commission piece... more later!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Solo Show in Portmouth NH

The show just before the opening. Up until Feb 25...
The combination of my mixed media/fiber and sculpture is terrific! Deb and I both use the circle and bird motifs, and connect with nature. This was unplanned and a serendipitous surprise!


I hope you can see the show.
It really is, Flying with Light!
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