natural pigment

Craving color

I was thinking today how monotone winter can be. This weekend it's been raining, sleeting, the snow is dirty and the skies are dark gray. Then I found this photo I snapped a couple of weeks ago ...

Sunset.jpg

I'm dyeing this work with fuchsia and turquoisey-teal, and where they overlap makes a kind of violet. Keeping a softer focus with my eyes and a looser grip on the brush feels great after the concentration needed to paste a repeat. Less fussy. And this approach to the painting should give some softness to the details and edges defined by the stencil.

the paste is the yellow part; it gets washed off later

the paste is the yellow part; it gets washed off later

The little tulips that inspired this pattern are the first bulbs to bloom in my garden. We won't see them again until mid-April or so.

Species Tulips - the first bloom in spring

Species Tulips - the first bloom in spring

Talk about slow ...

(if you are looking for the Happy New Year Giveaway just click here. You may enter 'til January 15th!) I recently joined the Slow Cloth Facebook group, created by Elaine of Red Thread Studio, Jude of Spiritcloth and Glennis of Shiborigirl. The group will provide a place to discuss process, textile traditions, ideas on marketing with integrity, and what sustainability can mean re: textiles. Check it out to learn more.

Talk about slow, I'm finally posting the photo of My Sister's House 2, which incorporates layering of various stencils and natural pigment dyes. It took a long time to finish the piece (see some steps here and here), and almost as long to post a photo. The fabric ground is a pale blue piece of raw silk I've had in my fabric trunk for years, probably a gift from my mom. I mounted it w/raw edge sewn to a Japanese cotton border. I could have worked on the piece more but at some point one just has to stop! I think the result is somewhat spooky, while my sister's house is very welcoming. She lives in the woods of mid-coast Maine, within a nice walk of the shore. She designed the house herself, and put a lot of sweat equity into it. This post shows a view of the inside.  The finished piece now hangs on my brother's wall in Minneapolis.

My Sister's House 2; natural pigments on silk © Kit Eastman

My Sister's House 2; natural pigments on silk © Kit Eastman