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Friday, October 2, 2009

Frankenthaler In Progress

I've had a few ideas in my mind for creating the next piece for our Inspired by the Masters project. Helen Frankenthaler is the next artist. I've been following Judi Hurwitt's blog called Approachable Art and was intrigued by her working with strips onto fabric. Judi's work is fantastic and I love seeing her photo's as well! She's quite a talented artist and an inspiration for sure.
One of Judi's entries really inspired me as a technique to try and I asked her if she would mind if I tried her technique. Check it out here. Judi has also been influenced by the book 'Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art' by June Barnes. I purchased this book last year while in Florida and played with some of the techniques in the pages for my art diary. The premise behind the book is quilting then dyeing your piece. It's a great book!

This is one of Frankenthaler's paintings that I was inspired to work from.

I quilted a piece about 22"x22" and then I have to sew down strips of fabric, then dye the entire piece, then wash/dry multiple times and end up getting a really cool frayed look. Let's hope!

Here are the torn strips...I used mainly muslin and added some over dyed commercial fabric I had on hand.

Then came the boring part. I had to laugh as Judi said you have to get in a "zen" mode to do this part! For sure...

Here's the piece with all the strips sewn down...
I did make up two small sample pieces in which I just did immersion dyeing but I wanted certain colors in certain areas so I mixed up some print paste and brushed it on. Only hard part was getting the print paste in between the rows. I felt like I was putting hair dye on someone! Here's the piece 'soaking' in the print paste. I wanted the piece to be bright and intense since I wasn't sure how well the muslin would take the dye.

The piece is now in the dryer as I type this. It looks pretty good so far. I did fold some of my strips so when it comes out of the dryer I'm going to cut those and give it another 'bath' and another spin in the dryer. I won't get to this piece until this afternoon. Mandy has her 'day job' as a therapy dog at the Lutheran School reading program. It's raining right now and should continue with rain for most of the morning. Good day to be in reading!

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