Easing into darkness and light

I've been invited to participate in Grand Marais Art Colony's annual spring theme exhibit, entitled Rhythms of Darkness and Light. Participating artists will make new work in response to the theme. The show will be held March 23 - April 1, 2012. (NOTE: I'll be teaching a katazome workshop at GMAC this coming summer.) As I delve into this rich motif, I will share some of my process here. I'll be working on several closely related pieces simultaneously, one of which will go into this show.

Playing with leaf bundles (as taught by India Flint in her marvy book) last week felt like the perfect way to begin contemplating the theme, allowing space for my imagination to simmer. My intention is to explore the use of these subtle prints as a background to imagery made with layers of rice paste, stencils, and natural pigments (katazome materials and techniques).

 peach and black willow leaves ecoprinted on soy mordanted silk

peach and black willow leaves ecoprinted on soy mordanted silk

Beginning, there many images floating in my mind. A memory of a walk around my local pond near the summer solstice of 2010 is mingling with walks this winter where bare branches - subtle in color - and gray skies are dominant.

 grackles climbing black willow © Kit Eastman

grackles climbing black willow © Kit Eastman

 red twig dogwood branches

red twig dogwood branches

As you know if you've visited this blog before, katazome is a centuries old Japanese tradition. Sometimes it's perplexing to explain  to people why I am so passionate about these luscious materials and labor-intensive, exacting processes. This article, does a great job beginning to explain it, within the context of an exhibit review. Have a look:  Beauty in all things