Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Color of Water

This question goes out to every one who reads this blog entry, but especially to my art friends:

How do you depict the transparency and luminosity of water?

Such as this:

I'm calling this image Heaven on Earth for its otherworldly reflection of the sky in shallow water on the sand.  For me, it's a transcendent scene, and it will be the first in a series by that name.  I'll show you some of the other potential scenes later.

Meanwhile, this is the first Heaven on Earth, at this point, the challenge is getting the water right.

The transparency and the luminosity:  tough to depict.  My first effort, with Shiva paintsticks, was ruined by injudicious thread painting.  The threads were removed, but a pox of needlemarks remained in the painted fabric.

I now realize that, once the fabric has been treated with Shiva paintsticks, the weave of the cloth is covered up, and needleholes show.  What a mess. 

 Anyway, I'm going with Plan B:  covering up the pockmarked fabric with something else.

But what?

I pulled out some tulles and iridescents...

also some silks in the right ballpark of colors, some of them from the late great Japanalia of Hartford, Connecticut...
also some home decorator fabric, some of it in the form of samples from my interior design buddy Kathie Ferguson...

Also some Angelina fibers, for glitz.

I also got out some Jacquard pearlex pigments and some colorless extender to act as a vehicle for the pigments.

 Once I had those materials assembled, I painted and bonded, bonded and painted.

I used Misty Fuse and Bo-Nash to bond glittery Angelina fibers to a variety of tulles and sheers

I also applied paint to silk and sheers:

 And you know I made patterns for some of the pieces.  Because that's the kind of gal I am.  The kind who makes patterns:
I spent several hours swapping around the options.  It's a challenge to use the Angelina fibers for glitz without overdoing it.

This piece of painted silk became the silvery puddle on the path:

And this piece of Angelina bonded with something or other became the shiny brownish puddle in the left foreground:

You know what else?  I learned that my Baby Lock Ebellisher, aka a felting machine, is good for adding texture, especially to silk:

Above, a piece of silk on the left and a home decorating sample, a synthetic, on the right.  Both gave me a nice texture to use for the sandy mud in the left and right foreground:

Mind you, these pieces are all going to be trimmed and appropriately fastened to the background, and they're going to be embellished with hand and machine embroidery and whatnot for details.  The little foamy bubbles in the water above, for example, will be French knots.

But I'm not there yet.  I'm still trying to get the water right.

This is what I have so far:

Try to picture it with appropriate details added, such as hand and machine embroidery.

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