Well January was devoted to playtime using digital art programs. Aside from apps like Photoshop, I tried numerous others like Art Rage, Zeus Draw and Inkscape. The latter is a free!! application that many have said rivals the expensive Illustrator program. My intention was to learn the fundamentals of vector drawing (none of the work below reflects that). There is a steep learning curve if self taught but I did follow some of the many terrific tutorials that are on the web and am intrigued enough to continue. The images below were made in Photoshop with the focus on layers and learning more of the brush capabilities. After a dozen or so years I'm still learning Photoshop! Some of the images here will become textile prints that I would like to work with this year.
I also equipped my new iPad with versions of these art programs and that also meant taking the time to acquaint myself with the slightly different interface.
As February approached I spent a delicious amount of time buried in the wonderful art quilt books that Christmas brought and did a studio cleanup to
make room for more textile work. My first designs on fabrics were ordered and received and I was thrilled with the results. So I have a good start on a
few small textile pieces to work on. Many years ago, I made quilts the traditional way and had to research and question myself as to what I was drawn to now. Raw edge, fusing, and machine quilting along with thread sketching are part of the methods I like to use. These techniques allow me to create quilts with the same mindset as painting on canvas.
Hand dyed fabrics are what I favoured using to go with my images and that became my next focus. Immersion dyeing, discharge dyeing and direct printing are new skills! I had only touched on these over the years but now I have a better understanding and find it addictive! It's not enough to just dye
a piece of cloth, when you can bleach or discharge a pattern and over dye which results in a very interesting and complex cloth.
Having arrived at this point, I am starting to hear the call of my paintbrushes and oils and am ready to return to the studio to prepare one of the larger canvases. It's important to me that there is some cohesion amongst the different skill sets otherwise I will feel that I am being pulled into too many different directions. But these last two months have led seamlessly (there may be a pun in this!) from one to the other and it feels comfortable.