new work in progress…

This week I’m hand-stitching on a new painted silk work.

I’m hoping to have it ready for the Surface Design Association members’ exhibit this spring, taking place in the Twin Cities in conjunction with SDA’s annual conference.

I’ve been stitching my way across the piece, as you can tell by this detail shot.

It’s slow going, but I’ve been catching up on my radio podcasts and audio books. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Midmorning on MPR and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes?

More painted fabric: Leaves

Another fabric made with glue gel resist.

I like how the lines look a little uneven. They were drawn (glue-bottle-drawn?) free-hand, so a little unevenness is to be expected. I think if I practiced I could draw smoother lines.

The hard part of glue gel resist is the waiting:   for the glue to dry (so you can paint the fabric), the paint to dry (so you can iron the fabric and wash out the glue), and the fabric to dry (so you can see the final result). But I guess I like doing things with multiple steps.

Painted fabric with glue gel resist

I finally made time to try a technique I have read about:  using Elmer’s glue gel as a resist before painting on fabric. The results end up something like a batik–where the the glue lines keep the paint from soaking in (mostly) and the fabric takes color in the non-glued areas. I’ve read about this method in a magazine and have seen lots of fabric painted this way on the blog of artist Cynthia St. Charles.

First I created a design with my glue on white cotton fabric:

Then I painted over the lines using textile and acrylic paints mixed with a little water:

After letting everything dry completely and pressing the fabric with an iron, I washed out the glue and let the fabric dry again.

This was the finished product:

MN State Fair

I completely forgot to post a picture from the Minnesota State Fair earlier this month! We had an amazing day–the weather was perfect, with plenty of fried foods and good folks to wander with.

Here’s me with my artwork in the Fine Arts building. (Sorry about the tank top people–I thought it was going to be a really warm day.) The work is acrylic on silk and hand-stitched. Yes–all those little squares are stitched down by hand with cotton thread.

Foot in the Door IV closing at the MIA

There are only a few days left to see “Foot in the Door IV” before it closes. Foot in the Door is an exhibition of art by Minnesota artists, organized every ten years at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The only governing guideline is that the work must be no larger than 12 x 12 x 12 inches.

Recognizing the sheer infrequency of the exhibit (and also thinking, “well, why not?”), I submitted an acrylic on silk hand-stitched piece called “Northern Lights.”

I attended the opening night for the exhibit and faced crowds that looked like this:

I can guarantee smaller crowds this time of year!

Be prepared though, walking through the exhibit is kind of like noticing what people are wearing at the State Fair:  for every well-thought out and well-executed gem, there will be at least four that make you think “Really? You decided that was the way to go?” But there are some beautiful things.

The last day of day to catch the exhibit is Sunday June 13. Admission to the exhibit (as well as to nearly all of the museum) is free. The MIA is located just south of downtown Minneapolis.