Recently I used acrylic inks to bring new life to a couple ‘finished’ pieces that, to put it simply, felt unfinished.
I really love the way they look after adding a larger, more colorful, image. Each piece now has a dominant focal point painted with acrylic inks on top of a subtle, mainly monochromatic, background that was created with a variety of mixed media techniques I teach in my Tea & Ephemera class.
Both pieces were quickly snatched up by a couple of dear textile artist friends. I think one of the biggest compliments one can have is when an artist, who’s work you admire, buys one of your pieces.
After coming home from my last teaching trip of the summer, the first thing I wanted to do was pull out the acrylic inks and start painting again. I’ve had a busy teaching schedule for the last year or so and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to paint anything more than a class demo.
Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, but with a heavy schedule I don’t have many opportunities to work on personal projects and as a result I’ve missed deadlines for exhibits that I’ve wanted to submit work to.
This Saturday, I have a wedding to go to in Southern California and on the same night a second party to go to 30 miles away, to celebrate the wedding of a good friend who was married last month. Needing two gifts, I immediately got to work. By the way, I’m sharing these now because I think it’s highly unlikely either recipient will see my blog this week.
One couple has traveled a lot and lived in Japan, so I chose to paint a coy on top of one of my Tea & Ephemera class samples.
When I was thinking about ideas for quilting motifs, I decided to create the look of a map to symbolize the world traveling they have done.
This is a detail of the other piece I painted that will become the wedding gift for my other friend and her new mate. I thought the (big) insect imagery appropriate since she lived in Austin, Texas when we did, ,-) and the agave fits since she now lives in Southern California.
I like knowing how to paint using a variety of media, each medium has distinct qualities for creating specific effects. For example Tsukineko inks have a clear, bright transparency like watercolors, textile paints are perfect for painting illustrative imagery the way one would use acrylics on canvas, and acrylic inks are great for a using a variety of surface design techniques creating a unique translucency perfect for layering imagery. I believe the more skills and techniques you have under your belt the better able you’ll be to create artwork that expresses your unique vision or concept.
That said, I’d like to let you know about a couple really wonderful workshop opportunities coming this fall:
The first week of October I will be teaching 3 classes in Des Moines for the American Quilters Society
Although these inks have a thin watery consistency unlike paint, they are perfect for a huge range of interesting surface design techniques as well as painting imagery.
This is a great class to learn all about painting illustrative imagery with shading and gradations, avoiding bleeding, painting backgrounds, and much more.
Tsukineko inks (not to be confused with acrylic inks or alcohol inks) have a beautiful transparency like watercolors, they do not change the hand of the fabric the way paints do, behaving more like dyes in that sense, except they are completely non toxic. I teach two methods for using the inks, one using the fantstix applicator tool and the other using paint brushes.
Registration is now open, I’d love to help you master painting on fabric with any or all of these wonderful paint mediums.