Cabbage and Valspar Interior Paint
My cabbage had seen better days, but instead of composting it, I stripped down the outer leaves, and sliced it in half. One half was saved for supper, but one was destined for a print. It was hard to hold on to, so I stuck a fork in it for a handle. A tiny bit of paint on a sheet of foil, and it was easy to pull a print off of it. Was it stunning? Nope, but I could see where it might have potential for a background. Can you see using parts of it as frothy wave action? Most definitely!
I tried an apple, and it printed fine, but wasn't exceptional. I went back to the potatoes for the rest of my session. I chose a fairly round potato, and for those of you asking, they are Idaho Bakers. To make the center circle as round as possible, I used the small lid off my creamer carton. I printed one sheet of circles, and then thought, "What else?"
A butcher's knife laid straight across the design cut it symmetrically, and I carved out the excess with my linoleum cutter. You can see above how the potato was not really circular, but more elongated by the bottom most printing.
Again, I made another cut the opposite direction.
Not wanting to waste the other half of my potato, I freehand cut another shape with the linoleum cutter. I began testing it on the right part of the paper, and if you look closely you can see how the cuts didn't go all the way to the edge of some petals. Some quick surgery corrected that, and the middle row was better. I tested it on the white paper, and thought it made a nice subtle print design.
I thought I'd played enough to satisfy the creative bug for the day, but I had this nagging feeling that I needed to see these stamps on fabric.
So I hauled everything back to the studio, and dug through my hand dyed fabrics looking for more solid looking pieces. Jacquard Textile Paints were nearby and designed for fabrics, and I thought these might make nice pieces for the #BraveQuilter fabric prize. If someone was going to be able to use them in a washable project, I wanted them to be actual fabric paints.
I had an Exciter Pack of paints, meaning a collection of samples of several different lines of paint. There wasn't a color that was subtle enough to match so I mixed them. I'm not sure if I'd say it was a tone or shade of the orange background as the darkest paint in the package was a purple, but it worked well. A bit of Colorless Extender made it even less opaque.
Jacquard Textiles Paints are made to use primarily on lighter colors, and would be lost on the more saturated colored fabrics I wanted to play with. Jacquard Neopaque Textile Paints have a metallic sheen, and show up much better. Again, I blended colors together to create a pewter/blue combo.
Something in the spirals reminded me of galaxies, so I grabbed an old tooth brush, and created a spattering of stars to twinkle among them.
Critiquing the Work
Different colors, a different and busier background with more movement from dyeing, and the circular stamp above make this piece fun. In the few places where the Neopaque Paint went on heavier, there is a metallic highlight. I like this piece, but it may not be done.
There is a moment when you stand back from a project ready to admire what you've done, and it's supposed to be good. I froze. I thought, "What's wrong with this?" It felt like the scale was wrong, and there was too much empty space between the motifs. I see 'bottle caps on a table cloth' now, and think it needs some metallic 'petals' surrounding each circle. I think some feeling of movement with those would help, too. This needs more.
My daughter said, "Lion King".
I said, "Oh, yeah." That's not at all what I was going for, but I see it. I think I could use this piece the way it is, but I also think it would feel more finished with another printing over the whole piece in a lighter color. What do you think?
Please understand that I am in no way an expert on any of this. I've given myself permission to play with stamps, paints and dyes for the whole month of June--maybe all summer! I'm here to learn and share, and would love to have you play along with me. If getting messy isn't your thing, you can live vicariously through my successes as well as the many mistakes. Expect that there will be both! The sure odds you can bet on are, we're going to know a whole lot more on the other end. Won't you join me for the fun?
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Come on, Doxie girls,
and stay out of the paint!
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