Sunday, March 21, 2010

Snow Leopard

clicking the pictures makes them full size

Specs: 38" W x 48" L
Materials: Hand dyed cotton panels,tulle,silk.
Techniques: Water-colored, machine quilted.

The back story: I wanted to experiment with water-coloring on fabric. I searched the YouTube archives for help in this process but was left wanting. I went to the QuiltArt list and asked for advice on where more information might be found. I got a range of helpful feedback from many wonderful folks about classes, books, etc. At the present time sadly, none of those options fit in my budget.

As necessity is fond of calling herself the 'mother of invention' I subscribed to her truth; strapped on my artist warrior armour and sallied forth in what was for me at least, uncharted territory.

I decided after testing some calligraphy inks on the fabric I wanted to use, that I liked the way ink wicked out on the front but I REALLY liked the effect from the back of the fabric so the cat is painted entirely from the wrong side of the material. I attempted to prevent that same wicking from going where I didn't want it go *the technical term is called 'resist' by using fabric medium that I painted around the outline of the cat. It sounded great in theory but in practice it didn't work out so hot as later when I stitched the outline of the cat, trying to re-close those stitch holes was not fun.

I. had. so. much. fun. simply wetting the fabric & watching the paint lightly drizzle where I put it and in no time at all, the cat was done! There's things I would do differently next time; most notably NOT putting that fabric medium all around the edge.

In keeping with the elusive big ghost cat's territory, I used the blocks of color that set off the center panel much the way of a Japanese screen painting might look. *No offense meant to Japanese artists who might regard this work as an affront to their aesthetic sensibilities, I admit I have far, far to go there.* I am truly enamored with the minimalist approach however.

I enjoy playing with the subtle. The quiet values, the soft tones and for this piece and it's elusive subject, they worked out nicely all the way down to his pink(ish) nose!