Good day to you! Another wonderful day in which to create, to paint, to add more beauty to our world.

Yes, every time I paint, that’s how I feel. The ideas that float around in my head find release as they flow through my arm and hand, and out through the brush and onto whatever medium I’m painting. I know that every broad stroke creates a delightful background for the detail work, which will come later, to live in. Every painting is a world unto itself. If, when you look, you can not only see the creatures in front but imagine the ones hiding behind the rocks and trees, living in the waters, behind the clouds or far away upon the hills then I have done what I intended to do.

 

I think every artist, like Frank from www.excavationscottsdale.com has some sort of goal, some sort of ethereal feeling when they create. The act of creating is all absorbing. Time is immaterial. Chances are you won’t get hungry until you’ve been at it a long time, someone interrupts you, or the piece is complete. It’s as though you’re teleported to another place, and maybe your soul is.

 

If you’ve never “done” art, experienced that other worldliness, the standing still of time, I’m so sorry. Take an art class. Play on Pinterest. Look around on You-Tube. You’ll love it when it happens to you. Promise.

 

Pat

Welcome! Did you enjoy the painting on cotton that we did last time? How about a little painting on silk this go?

 

 

Painting on silk is different than painting on cotton, and uses a technique called “Wet on Wet” so you’ll need to mix up 2 parts alcohol to 1 part water and put it in a spray bottle before you start. Oh, and this assumes you’re painting a scarf, a good first project.

 

Take your scarf and stretch it on a frame, neither too loose nor too tight. If it’s too tight, it will damage the scarf. If it’s too loose, the painting and the spray conditioner will just puddle and it won’t turn out right.

 

After your scarf is stretched, soak it with the water/alcohol solution. This is like wetting the paper in water color, it both softens the edge of the paint and slows the drying time allowing more time to paint that important first layer of dye.

 

Starting with the lightest color of silk dye you intend to use, apply the first part of your pattern. In this case, you want to work light to dark when it comes to dyes. Then, add a darker hue of the primary color you’ve chosen to add depth to the design, while everything’s still wet. Remember, the dyes are transparent and once you’ve gone to the darker colors it’s hard to go back to lighter ones. Also, it you want white or light spaces, you leave the silk blank without any dye at all. Allow this first layer with just two colors to dry.

 

After the scarf is dry, add an even darker hue of your primary color (let’s say you’re doing this with all blues on white… light blue, medium blue, now we’re onto dark blue). Use a fine brush. This will leave lines with a hard edge (this part is called Wet on Dry). Good for outlining stuff, adding dots, that kind of thing.

 

If you want to somewhat soften your lines/dots/etc. you can always spray with your water and alcohol mix after you put the dye on, but before the dye dries.

 

Once your scarf is dry, it’s ready to wear. Remember, you don’t machine wash silk. You have to take it to a dry cleaner’s to have it done. The dye shouldn’t bleed after it’s dry.

 

Once you’re comfortable with scarves, you can do pashminas, dresses, all sorts of things (check Pinterest for ideas). It’s amazing what people think of to do!

 

Have fun wearing your new art piece!

 

Pat

Hello and welcome! I thought that today we’d talk about painting on cloth.

Let’s start with cotton, the most commonly fabric people paint. The best to use are 100% cotton, and as tightly knit or woven (knit, as in tee shirt) and as bright a white as you can get. If you use the cheap stuff, (loosely knit or woven) then your paint will tend to bleed through before it’s dry, and you’ll lose color intensity. I’d hate to have you put effort into your work of art and then be disappointed in the result because of a poor quality cotton. This was my practice project for my friend from Bellingham Catering.

The first thing to do is to wash the fabric before painting on it in order to remove any sizing that might have been added. Sizing can prevent the paint from sticking to the surface. Also, this shrinks your piece before you use it. If you normally wash your cottons on cold, wash on warm. If you normally wash on warm, wash on hot. This is a safety measure to assure that your blank has shrunk as much as it’s going to before you start. Dry one level hotter than normal, too. Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT add fabric softener or throw one of those sheet things into the dryer. We’re trying to get rid of chemicals, not add them back.

Next, iron your cotton well. You don’t want any wrinkles to interfere with your design. Speaking of paint, I highly recommend that anyone unfamiliar with fabric painting use actual fabric paints. These can be acquired at most hobby shops. If you choose to use acrylics, there are mediums and such that must be added to the paint (read the labels next to the display) that are required in order to make them fabric compatible.

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Place your cloth (or stuff the inside of the tee shirt) with something that will prevent your paint from bleeding through. You can use a piece of plastic, a chunk of cardboard box, or even a small stack of old newspaper. Make sure your surface is smooth before you begin.

Now, to begin to apply your design. Are you going to stamp? Are you going to stencil? Are you going to use a brush? Are you going to free hand, or are you going to lightly sketch your design onto the surface before you begin? This is where the real artistry begins!

After your piece is done, and has dried for at least 24 hours, it’s time to “set” the paint (check manufacturer’s directions). Usually, this is done by ironing it for a few minutes, on the back side, with a protective cloth on the front side (just in case). Be as sure as you can be that the paint is dry before you try to set the paint!

That’s it! Don’t you feel accomplished?

Pat

Hello again! Sometimes, after I’ve been sitting for too long at the easel or at the computer, or (let’s admit it), just sitting too long period, I get crampy. I think, after a certain age (one that I passed a while ago) we all need to take a few extra vitamins and minerals to keep the joints loose and the muscles moving….when we remember to move them! And, move them we must. I’m going to have to start setting a reminder in my phone to get up and move so I don’t get stuck like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz!

Sometimes, I have to admit, I have to take a little side trip to somewhere like an acupuncture office or even a chiropractic office…or both lol. So, I’ve set forth for myself a little challenge, and I’m inviting everyone to participate and find excavating companies.

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At lunch time, or some other set time during the day (depending on whether or not you work) I invite you to go outside and go for a walk. During your walk, look for the art all around you. It can be art in nature (which you, then, could turn into art in whatever medium you choose, hint hint) or it could be art in the buildings in your neighborhood.  The choice is entirely up to you. This is your adventure!

If it’s art in nature, take a picture. Look it up. Is it a wildling, or is it an invasive species? Is it an escapee from someone’s garden/ pet shop/ home? Always good to know at what you’re looking.

If it’s art in someone’s office building, take a gander at the artist’s name. Can you find out anything about them? Have they done any other pieces? What do you like about their art? What do you dislike? Maybe you can start to build a notebook of favorite artists (and those not so favorite ones) during your midday exercise.

Just think of the conversations you can have. Won’t it be nice to talk about something other than work, the kids, and current events? You can discuss your new exercise regimen with your kids, your friends, your spouse or significant other. You can even challenge THEM to the same activity! Then you can all compare notes. Who knows, it might even become a family affair!

We used to have a card deck that had suggestions for conversation starters with teenagers. It didn’t always work. This might not, either. However, whether you use your new notebook as a source of inspiration for your next art project, or as a conversation starter with friends and family, or some other purpose, at least you’ll have had your exercise. And that’s great.

Oh, and maybe eat an apple. You can never be too careful.

Pat

Hello again to those of you who have read my mental meanderings before, and welcome to newcomers. My name is Pat, and I am the proprietor of a painting studio. Art, in all of it’s forms, fascinate me. I relish a place where I can share my love of art with fellow enthusiasts.

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Although it may not need to be mentioned, one of my very favorite forms of art expression is painting. The application of pigment in any of it’s many forms by brush, knife, sponge, airbrush or even little fingers onto paper, canvas, pottery, cloth or even the human body (to name a few) can result in an objet d’art which can, literally, take your breath away. I don’t think there is any limit to the human imagination when it comes to art expression. I have seen paintings that have brought me to tears. I have seen paintings that have made me laugh out loud. I have seen many others which have evoked virtually every emotion that I have. If you have not visited your local art gallery, museum, or even high school or elementary school hallway lately I suggest that you do so. Art is such a rush.

 

When one of my daughters was small, she brought home a piece that she had painted (an oil) in school. She was in elementary at the time, and in the Extended Learning program, so had access to media that other children her age did not. Right away I could see, as though looking up from the bottom, the belly of a whale with a few fish swimming by. Understand that this was NOT the subject matter that she intended to paint (it was supposed to be the bottom of a boat) which brings me to yet another point; art is in the eye of the beholder. Boat for her, whale for me. I had that painting framed, and it hung on our wall for years. Then we moved, and I’m not sure what happened to it. Anyway, I digress. When you go to the gallery or museum or hallway, try to see what a picture means to YOU before you read the title. It’s more fun that way, I think.
Pat

Welcome! I was just talking Tuesday with a woman who is an avid quilter. Her designs are stunning, and yes; she actually paints on her fabric when she needs a subtle gradation in color in a small area, or a tiny detail, or some other such thing. She also does a technique called “thread painting” which is kind of amazing. Until then, I’d never heard of such a thing; the art of taking thread with small gradations in color and basically doing a satin stitch. On a sewing machine. To make figures. That are recognizable. Smallish ones. Yeah, that. You’d have to see it to believe it. And, that’s just one of the amazing techniques she shared. Quilting is not your grandmother’s patchwork anymore!

 

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And, there’s this electrician near me. For a long time, I just thought of him as that guy that installed ceiling fans and wired home modifications. Little did I know. He actually takes those left over bits, ends of wires and such, and strips off their coatings and creates entire landscapes with nothing more than his electrician’s tools and a bit of solder. These are not amateur little stick figure landscapes, either. Each shape is well thought out and executed. Well enough that he could, by rights, sell them to people like model railroaders or miniature collectors. But, alas, it is purely a pleasure to him and, he says, if it became a business he might lose the joy in doing it. So, don’t look for them at your local craft fair any time soon.

 

Here’s another. Have you ever seen a Ukrainian or Russian Easter egg? I’ve not only seen them, but have actually seen them being made.  The technique is called pysanky or pysanka and involves blown eggs, a stylus of hot wax, and multiple pots of brightly colored dyes. If you want to learn how to do it, there are complete tutorials on the web but let it suffice to say that it takes a very steady hand, more patience than I will ever own, and a good memory (traditional eggs have symbols which have very specific meanings which have been used by artists for multiple generations). The eggs are gorgeous.

 

Do you know of, or do, a nifty form of art? Mention it in the comments, and we might write about it in a future entry!
Pat

As the proprietor of a painting studio, I am surrounded by art, by creativity, by things that make the world more beautiful on a daily basis. It is a gift and a blessing. Someone once said that if you love the way you earn your income, you’ll never work a day in your life. I understand completely how that person felt. No one who has ever put brush to canvas, paper or even planting pot can doubt that the act of painting brings joy and pleasure; and you have a bit of something to commemorate that experience that can last you always.

A love of art starts early.  We are hard-wired for art, but in fact it is a right brain exercise. (Math and logical things happen in your left brain primarily.) Maybe that’s why, when academic institutions face budget cuts, the arts are the first to go. However, that’s not a good thing…studies of bright children and adults show that, when doing complex problem solving, BOTH sides of the brain are active! Schools need the arts, to help children to develop that right side as well as the Logical Left, so they can be better thinkers, planners, problem solvers and not just better artists, musicians and actors.

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And, maybe people would just be happier. Wouldn’t that be nice? According to a study done in 2014 by Vanderbilt University, if people would actively participate in the arts, they would have a greater feeling of “subjective wellbeing” (scientific term for happiness? Contentedness? How about good juju.) Anyway, this better offness (there we go) can be related to different arts for different people. Well, that makes sense; just because I like to paint doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe quilting is your outlet, and your buddy’s is gardening. Say, your husband plays the guitar and your daughter sings. And, family get-togethers are amazing!

And you never run out of things to talk about. And you can all share your talents. Because one’s not better than the other, and art in a gift in all of its many forms. Wouldn’t that world be a great place to live in?

Well, that’s enough for today. Thanks for joining me, hope to see you again soon,

Pat