playing around

I thought I would start this post with a picture of the guy who thinks he owns this place. I call him Dale, and I caught him surveying his kingdom from my back stoop. Since he eats lots of acorns and hasn't done any damage so far, I like having him around.

I've been playing around some with my art. I saw the work of Deborah Gwinn, and even though her work is on paper, she's using similar techniques to what I do with bleach on cloth. More complex, but it gave me an idea.

For one of the play dates we in RRFA do, I took a piece of black cotton and laid some stalks of northern sea oats on it. I then sprayed bleach over the surface unevenly, leaving a negative image of the grass. I liked the piece, but it had a flaw (note to self: iron out any creases before spraying bleach), and I wasn't sure where to take it.

Then I saw Deborah's work and thought, 'ah, positive against negative'. I took a bleach pen and drew sea oats over the surface of the piece. The bleach pen was a little old, and I didn't get any areas to go to the white that the original bleach had done. But I like the tan (and wish I had about 10 yards more of this black that doesn't discharge to rust), and may leave it. Here's the result:

I'm going to quilt it using an idea I'm stealing from a friend of mine, combining organic shapes with close geometric stitching. But first I have to decide whether or not to go back in with some fresh bleach and put in some white highlights. That's my excuse for not doing anything yet, and I'm sticking with it.


Mary said...


I really like this discharged piece. I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Dianna in Maui said...

Your black and white piece is stunning! You've achieved such wonderful dimension. It reminds me of bushes during a winter night.

bj parady said...

Thanks. I'm off on a tangent, quilting a piece of silk that tempted me away, but quilting it is next on the list. Check out this
blog entry
to see a good description of what I like about quilting pieces.