My Fabulous Trip to Florida: Part three- painting with acrylic inks

I know I said there were only going to be two parts to My Fabulous Trip to Florida, but my second post was getting so long I soon realized I needed to break it up into a third segment to show you the artwork I made as well as the surroundings that inspired me so much while I was at the Focus on Fiber retreat.

The Atlantic Center for the Arts is in such a beautiful setting, the grounds are lush with flora and fauna that delighted me in new ways each day.

One of the first things I notice when I travel is evidence of lichen since they are an excellent bio-monitor of air quality. They don’t survive well in polluted environments, so when you see them flourishing, it’s a very good sign and I’m endlessly fascinated by the colors, shapes and different varieties that exist.

lichen cups

There was a LOT of lichen!

I was in awe when I saw this bright pink and white lichen, I have never seen it that color and it was on all the trees. By the way lichen is not parasitic, it can grow on many different surfaces and causes no harm.


This is what so much of the grounds looked like; dense palm foliage, tree trunks covered with lichen, bright green resurrection ferns, exquisite twisting tendrils of air ferns and long fluffy hanging Spanish moss.airfern spanish moss


air fernHow could I not want to paint this?!

ACA landscape details


All my paintings at ACA were painted with acrylic inks on cotton fabric

ACA landscape

I haven’t measured this but I think it is about 20″ x 40″

When I lived in Austin I loved seeing the green anole lizards doing push ups on the fence, flaring out their bright red throat sack and the little leopard geckos that stuck to the windows at night eating the little bugs drawn to the light.
lizard 1
At ACA, I was thrilled to see all the lizards sunning themselves on the fence railings, leaping to nearby trees and scurrying in the leaves below the wooden catwalk.

skink lizard

I was very excited to see a couple skinks like this one on the left with the pale blue on his tail and I caught this larger reddish brown lizard stopping for a sunbath. I even saw a few green anole lizards but they were too fast form me to get a photo.

I snapped a picture of this gorgeous fellow with the frill along his back, as he tried to hide from me on the other side of a table in the outdoor sculpture studio, but I was able to sneak my phone over the side and snap his picture.

lizard 3
I can’t believe I managed to catch him leaping mid air from the table to the ground below with his arms and legs thrust back aerodynamically propelling him forward.leaping lizard


This was another visitor in the studio, I found him sitting on my table between my paint bottles with a broken back wing one morning.

He obligingly climbed upon my paint palette, so I could take him outside. I worried maybe he was unable to fly because he sat for so long (maybe 5 minutes) allowing me to take multiple close up photos with my iphone. I could see his eyes move around on the inside almost like he was looking around at me, then blinking like a camera lens shutter on the inside of his eyes, before he flew away. Totally magical.

I saw the shape of an octopus’s eye in the random patterning of the blue painted background fabric I had painted and brought him to life with a bit of white paint and golden yellow, green and purple acrylic ink mixed with colorless extender.octopus
The shibori piece was made by accordion pleating cotton fabric and painting the folded edges with acrylic inks.

I also have a good stack of textural painted squares of fabric to play with when I have some free time to paint again in a month or two. I am so grateful for amazing teaching opportunities like the Focus on Fiber retreat that allowed me free time to work on my own artwork in a way I rarely get to do.


IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

10 Responses to “My Fabulous Trip to Florida: Part three- painting with acrylic inks”

  1. Do you have any more information about when you are teaching your tea and ephemera class in Morro Bay, California or even at the Houston International Quilt Festival this year?

  2. Linda Geiger says:

    Judy, your photos are as fascinating as your fiber art…thank you for sharing your thoughts and talents!

  3. fabdeland says:

    Your work is so lovely. The “Leaping Lizard” shot is amazing! I’ve seen them jump my whole life, and never knew they dove like that!

    • thanks Nancy, I so was amazed when I looked back through my photos and saw that I had captured the guy mid flight like that, I don’t think I could have captured that if I had tried.

  4. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and the nature photos.

  5. Lynda Cunningham says:

    I have had a fascination with lichens for 40 years and have hundreds of slides taken in the Canadian Arctic in ’72-73-just a question, I took your class two years ago-are acrylic inks the Tsukineko inks or are they liquid acrylics i.e. Golden or Holbein?

    • Hi Lynda,

      acrylic inks are different than the Tsukineko. Tsukinekos are more like a dye in the sense that they stain the fabric not changing the hand etc. Acrylic Inks are more like a paint (they can add more of a surface to the fabric) and they are thin like calligraphy inks typically are. I use a combination of FW Daler Rowney and Golden high flow acrylics when I paint with them.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.