Sunday, September 12, 2010

Strange Birds & Other Things

The tie dying party last April left us with a few extra shirts, so Camilla invited a few more friends over last month. I tied a shirt into a spiral this time. I thought I had used plenty of dye, and ended up with more white than I expected. Next time I will know to use more than seems necessary, and work it into the folds a bit when the fabric is tied up thick.

Camilla spent one week of her summer afternoons at Art Camp. They completed several fun projects in bright, cheerful colors. The instructors put the results up on their website. You can see Camilla’s work here.

I went to my CQFA meeting yesterday morning. We spent a good part of the morning doing some planning for an exhibit we are putting together which will be showing at the San Francisco Main Library next Spring.

After lunch, Sonja Jeter led us in a short workshop about working in a series. Our first task was to pick some colors, and write down vertical and horizontal objects we see every day. Then we painted backgrounds on index cards.

Sonja passed out a handout with a little cartoonish bird on it. Draw it about thirty times. Easy enough, but wait, you must draw it with either your non-dominant hand or with your eyes closed. I tried some both ways. Either way takes the pressure away from trying to create perfect copies, which was entirely not the point. Some of the birds looked more like fish than birds, but each bird was unique and had personality.

We chose some of our birds to trace onto tracing paper while incorporating the vertical or horizontal surfaces we had written down earlier. Birds on a fence make sense. Birds on a bed seems a more random idea, which I resisted at first, but it became an interesting little drawing.

We glued our tracing paper drawings onto the backgrounds, and then painted them some more. The cards with the larger birds are drawn directly onto the backgrounds, because I ran out of tracing paper. These were mostly done in an hour or so during our workshop, I added some more color when I got home.

These are just little studies, and I have no plans for developing them into larger pieces. But it was great just to have permission to play for an afternoon, and maybe I will bring some of the processes over to future artwork. Sonja suggested that the technique we used with tracing paper could be done in fabric with organza overlays in place of the paper.