Saturday, July 20, 2013

Yankee thrift

I always say that it is my Yankee nature that I won't throw anything away.  I will repaint and reprint over things until they look good or are beyond saving.  But then if I go to far, there is always the option of tearing and cutting apart, because, even if the whole is not good, some part of it is.  And that is why god (or Picasso and Braque) invented collage.

I had been wanting to make some collages with my dyed scraps of paper (see previous post); and I had a show coming up and wanted to have some unframed and inexpensive items to fill out my display.  These are some of my favorite collages that I made with my scraps.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Easter Egg Dye

We take Easter egg dying pretty seriously in our house.  We don't just dunk eggs in a color made from a tablet and call it a day; we dunk them in different colors at different levels trying to build up new hues and designs.  We also spend a lot of time adding and removing masking tape, or better yet, stick on letters, as a resist effect.  One year we got a pysanky kit (Ukrainian egg techniques) and dabbled in that, although you can spend hours on one egg, which is not as much fun.  This year we learned about a way to swaddle the egg in a piece of patterned silk to transfer the color, which looks really cool, but we were afraid to eat those eggs.  Here is a picture of this years eggs.
At the end of the egg dying, I couldn't bear to just wash the leftover dyes down the drain.  We had mixed up most of the pysanky dyes, and that's pretty high quality stuff.  I started dipping some scrap paper into the dye and that looked pretty good.  Then I remembered my giant stash of unsatisfactory prints that I can't bear to throw away.  I always feel that I can repaint, overdraw,  or reprint on top of anything.  After all, plain paper is so boring.  So I started dipping and drizzling dyes onto the print scraps.  I also floated some of the dyes on top of oil and marbled some of the papers.  I had the remains of some old book pages left over from the sketchbook project, that I added into the mix too.  This is what the table looked like at the end of the session:

It took days for the oiled ones to dry, but they took on a translucent quality, that is pretty cool.   Now I have a big colorful stash of paper to add into future work.