Spend a week immersed in the ultimate creative exploration using Acrylic Inks with me!


Oh my gosh, what could be more wonderful than crisp cool mornings, fall colors, and uninterrupted creative time in the Great Smoky Mountains for a whole week! Sounds like heaven to me and it’s coming up soon!

October 12-18, I will be teaching an  Acrylic Ink Textile Adventure at Arrowmont, and I keep thinking of new techniques to add to the mix, I hope you’ll join me.


But first a teaser…

Before I share more details about the workshop I want to tell you how great it’s been to be home for a month and begin working on something new. My schedule has been so busy for the last two years that it’s been hard for me to get into that relaxed creative space where I’ve had uninterrupted time to create something big. (Another benefit of taking a week long workshop! 🙂 )

I recently started a new piece where I painted a large aqua blue green background cloth using acrylic inks. I laid the fabric on a plastic covered table and with a 3″ wide flat paint brush painted large strokes of diluted ink washes, then hung the fabric on the line outside and poured more diluted inks down the fabric.

acrylic ink background fabricThis created the perfect background of soft blue to paint my imagery on top of. Because I want the subject matter for this particular quilt to be painted in a very graphic style, I am using setacolor textile paints to paint more opaque solid gradations of color to contrast the watercolor like soft mottled background of the inks. leaf detail on acrylic inks
I’m sorry I can’t show you more right now, but many shows are starting to instill policies about work not being seen online before entering, so I have to keep it under wraps until it’s done and entered somewhere. The one thing I will tell you is when I’m teaching I often bring along a big piece in progress, and if you take a class with me this fall you might get to see it 🙂


A tutorial…

I also love painting imagery with acrylic inks. This is a sample painted in a similar  style to the large piece I ‘m doing now, except it’s only using inks.  Although the flowers and leaves are painted relatively opaque, there are hints of the painted background showing through in some places. Sometimes that translucency is a look I really want, and will choose acrylic inks over textile paints for that reason.

cameliasI built up layers of white while painting the flowers, making them more opaque in some areas and let the background color create the shading on the petals (1), I used a little wash of purple to enhance the shading and neutralize the color showing through from the background (2), after painting the yellow and orange over the white stamen (3) I used more purple to make the deep ochre brown shading in the center (4). That additional bit of contrast takes the flower from flat to dimensional.


When I was doing a little experimenting recently, I found that a variety of shibori techniques work well with acrylic inks too.

shiboriThis would be especially good for people who are not comfortable working with fiber reactive dyes but want intense color that might be hard to achieve with watered down paints.


Now let me tell you about the amazing week I have planned at Arrowmont…

Acrylic Ink Adventureacrylic Ink 5dayThis is a week long exploration using Acrylic Inks, taking it all the way to the finish!


Just a run down of some of the things we’ll cover over 5 days;

creating textured backgrounds

explore mark making with a variety of tools;

ruling and quill pens, paint markers, etc.

carving and printing different types of stamps,

incorporating printed imagery with collage techniques

building layers of color by cutting masks,

making simple resists from common items,

painting imagery in an illustrative way while learning techniques to control bleeding,

the ultimate fool proof basting method,

breaking out of the free motion rut,

sampling alternative binding methods,

and more…

Each portion of the class will add another level of complexity to the image-making process, culminating in complex painted whole cloth.


Arrowmont has sewing machines on site, so there’s no need to transport your own or if you’d like to just spend the week immersed in painting techniques that’s ok too, because there’s plenty of experimenting to fill a week doing that as well.

Click here to get a taste of what has been done in just a two day class, and click here to see how I painted my quilt 8 of Cups with acrylic inks.


If you’d like to join me for a week in the smoky mountains this fall to paint, create, get loads of inspiration and most of all have fun in the process, visit the Arrowmont website to find out all the details on how you can join me in this hands on, pushing the limits art making Acrylic Ink Textile Adventure.

4 Responses to “Spend a week immersed in the ultimate creative exploration using Acrylic Inks with me!”

  1. I think you should start teaching drawing techniques too! Very clever! And you left me with a drawing/painting tip that has made such a difference to my art! You are a very generous and creative teacher. Wish I lived closer for this one!

  2. Pati Espenlaub says:

    I have no experience with fabric paints or inks but am interested in learning abut them. Would this workshop be the place to learn or. Do I need to have previous experience?


    • Hi Pati, absolutely no experience necessary, you will get a very thorough introduction to numerous ways of working with acrylic inks from making purely colorful textured fabrics to painting imagery. I’d love to have you join us!

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