Jan 31

Jan 31
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I’ve been thinking about techniques. For the TIF challenge I used transfer paints to make fabrics that I chopped up and used to collage the final object.

I have been thinking about composing a large work on a single piece of fabric, using collage ideas and techniques. The idea is to have something that looks like a pieced work or a collage but is really a whole cloth.

Here are many of the pieces that will go into it. It has taken longer than I thought to get the plates prepared. I will start composing and transferring the pieces tomorrow, and post pictures of the interim steps.

January TIF – I Look Up at Trees

January TIF – I Look Up at Trees
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

Whew – in under the wire, ready for the launch for the next challenge tomorrow.

I realized that while I admire a lot of people for various things, frequently at different times, I always look up at trees. I like the way their branches look against the sky in the winter, I like the shade and comfort and friendliness they exude in the summer, I love the colors in the spring and fall. In another life, I was probably a druid, or someone else who worshipped trees.

I had fun working on this. I was dubious about the colors, and really stuck on the concept of admiration, but working out of my comfort zone in one area (the color palette) while still pushing my experiments forward using transfer paints was very gratifying.

Sometimes, I like assignments. Even self-imposed assignments. It helps decide what to do next.

TIF 7 almost done

TIF 7 almost done
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I need to trim it up square, and decide on borderage.

Also today was circus class with Red Kate. We worked really hard on handstands and stretching, and finished with things we were practicing – I did a roll up on the fabric (getting more interesting) and Kate is working on splits.



I am hugely amused by the mother/daughter straddle-up head stands. Sorry it comes up so huge, I’ll fix that soon.

Oh, and Red Kate here –


tiny bird feathers

Jan 27
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

My mother (for reasons too complicated to go into) gave me feathers from a deceased parakeet – a bag full of tiny blue fluffs – and I tried to see if I could paint them a beautiful enough blue, and if the tiny fluffy bits would work. They did, sort of, but they are not thick/heavy enough to use as a resist.

Week 4 black ice

Week 4 black ice
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I’ve been thinking about showing layers of things, veils of snow or fog across the landscape, a scene out a window, or here, leaves in black ice on a pond.

I used to skate (cue old lady voice “back when i was a child we used to have real winters, and we could skate on the pond in back of our house. I used to go down through the woods with my skates clanking on my back to the stock pond. After sitting in a snowbank to get my skates on, I’d push off onto the ice, and see how bumpy it was. After still cold weather, with little or no snow, the ice would be so clear it seemed I should be able to see fish in it. After some skating I’d lie on the ice staring down into it, focusing alternately on my own reflection and how far into the pond I could see. I always hoped the boy I had a crush on would come and see me, either being graceful or thoughtful… he never did”)

I thought about putting in the back of a turtle, or a fish, but then I didn’t.

more failure

Jan 26
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

The transfer paper I have suggests that I could paint or draw on it as well as running it through the printer. So I tried.

Sharpie markers: ripped the transfer medium, didn’t work
water color paint: went on nicely, transferred nicely
oil pastels: went on nicely, didn’t transfer well
basic crayola markers: if new and juicy, went on well and transferred well
water soluble crayons: if wet worked well, if dry ripped medium
Pitt art pens: nice and juicy, transferred well
colored pencils: too hard, didn’t work
basic crayons: too hard, didn’t work

The flickr picture has little boxes around the different media, and small commentary. I’m not really thrilled with any of it except the water color paints, and I’m not sure when I’d want to use indirection with water color paints rather than just use Pebeo paints directly on the fabric. However, I have this knowledge for future reference.

TIF 5 center

TIF 5 center
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I was thinking about the overwhelming urge, imperative even, to “work into” the leaf some more, even though I love the way it looks right now, so I thought to try embroidery using nearly invisible thread. I am not at all sure I like it. I preferred the visibility of the veins in the purple side, and they have been obscured now with stitching, even though the thread is clear.

I used the same thread on the 1/2 leaves in the border. Aside from the crinkling where they are tacked down over velvet I rather like the upholstered look. But that center piece… dunno

TIF 4 center

TIF 4 center
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

I sat down and worked on this steadily for more than two hours today, and I am feeling pretty chipper about it.

I have a grid of 9 leaves, this is the center panel, with four more printed on satin and four others printed on chiffon. I am thinking about what to do for a border, to keep things from flying too far out from the center. On the whole the colors are close to what we were given, with a range around the purples and greens. Unfortunately, I have been unable to create or apply the clear blue-green from the palette. I’m not sure if I get demerits for that or not!

Circus class today, and even though I was in a vile mood, I did really well and had fun. I climbed the fabric repeatedly, and climbed half way up and did a foot lock. There is one goal accomplished. I still have to master a cross-back straddle up. Bronwyn showed me how to do a roll-up, so I practiced low down (so she could get me out if I got stuck) and next week I’ll try it higher up. Red Kate flew me like an airplane, and I did a kind of front neck stand on her back. (Impossible to describe – I’ll bring the camera next week.)

Week 3 lace and feathers

Week 3 lace and feathers
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

The week 3 work. I am still working with natural materials as resists and substrates for transfers. I remembered I had pressed some Queen Anne’s Lace in the phone book at the end of the summer to make it thin enough for sun printing. It works well for transfers as well, showing the sweet branching nature of it very nicely.

I am still coming to grips with the delicacy of the resulting images, particularly on satin. I don’t want to work into them because they feel perfect already – I can’t add anything to them by stitching them, so I tried stitching around them to make their perfection pop out. The best example here is the golden/brown feather at the bottom. I rather like the way that came out, and I’m thinking I should pursue things with more elaborate edges.

I still have the TIF challenge to finish up over the next two weeks. Yikes!