October 10, 2011

ArtFest and SB page, next installment

My second ArtFest class was "Fabric Paint Party" with Lisa Engelbrecht, which I was frankly a little afraid of. Lisa Engelbrecht is a wonderful calligrapher; her work seems very polished and elegant, which I knew I could not do. (Personally, I don't feel I'm a "polished and elegant" sort of person, in life or in my art.) Lisa Engelbrecht's website gallery, with examples of her work, is here... go check it out! But as I found out, there was no need to be intimidated at all- Lisa was very welcoming and gracious, and really, it was all about experimenting with the materials and paints, to see what would happen... now that, I can do! haha! The pic above is my workspace, partway through the day. These materials are ones I've never really worked with at all; liquid inks with very intense colors, walnut ink crystals, pigment powders, things like that. It was really a lot of fun, and the element of the unknown was definitely part of it-- you could never be sure what would happen when you painted the ink on the fabric, or what it would look like when it dried. Our class project "goal" was to make fabric pages and a cover, to sew into a fabric book with pages featuring words of things we love. (mine isn't done yet, but after looking at the pics here again, I really do think I need to get it out and finish it!) Here are some of my classmates; we laid our pieces out on the tables multiple times throughout the day, so everyone could take a look and see how each of us was interpreting the directions. (it was a beautiful day, so we also draped some of our pieces on the open windowsill to dry; thank goodness it wasn't very windy!)
And for a change of pace, these two pics are not class-related; they are of our dinner companions, who would come and join us every evening during the dinner service.
They were so docile, they were seriously less than 10 feet away from the patio, and would just hang out, keeping us company while we enjoyed our dinner inside the cafeteria... very pretty!!
Tthis is a closeup of the piece of fabric that will eventually become the cover of my book. We worked with all kinds of mark-making materials, not just brushes-- twigs, bamboo skewers, ink droppers, etc. And, all kinds of materials to color the fabric- liquid inks, markers, gesso, and some luxurious pigment powders I've never used before, called "Schminke" powders. (seriously, you need to click on this link; just the photograph of the containers is great!)
These powders were so light and fluffy, it was almost like working with powdered sugar. You would sprinkle them onto the wet paint or ink, and they would settle in the most wonderful, shiny, sparkly patterns. (the picture above does not do it justice at all; you'll just have to get some and try it for yourself; I definitely would love to have some in my art materials!)
These two pictures are two of my finished pages-- the page above has a bit of stenciling on with oil pastels (the pink squares), some sparkly gel pen (the heart), and my first attempt at "calligraphy" type writing.The page below is more "organic" and is more of my favorite subtle blues and greens. It got a bit too wet while I was working on it, unfortunately, so the writing ran a bit, but I still like how it turned out. I may add some paper and other collage materials to my pages before I finish them-- I can't leave my beloved paper out entirely, now, can I?? :D
Below is the SB layout I made for this class- again, I didn't want the papers or page design to overwhelm the colorful photographs, and hopefully, they don't. The background is a light grey, and since most of the pictures have teal/purple in, I chose purples as accent colors (with a little shot of yellow- the opposite of purple on the color wheel- to brighten it up). This is another Alison Davis page design, with a few changes- my photos are larger, and I replaced one of the background strips with the fabric squares. When I first designed this page, the black strip was horizontal, but I just couldn't get the photos to work on it that way. I tried-- believe me; I tried!! (again, it gets frustrating when I can't get a page to work.) It finally hit me to turn the page 90 degrees, and then it worked:
So really, if I was to show you the sketch, the only things you'd probably recognize from it are the long strip with the sewing and the background strips... the photo arrangement, title and journaling placement, etc. was all changed to work with my photos. That's the beauty of sketches-- they give you someplace to "start from" but you can still modify them as needed, so your page ends up looking like "you" in the end.
The area in the close-up could have been a title block, I suppose, but since I put the title down the side, I ended up just using this area to feature some of the actual pieces of fabric made in the class. We all made a few pieces of extra fabric, cut them up into pieces, and traded them with the other students in class. I still have more pieces of painted fabric... hmmm, now what to do with them? (after I finish making my book, of course!)

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