Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fiber 19 Rocks!

Hi All!

I just came back from a fabulous 3 day weekend near Port Townsend, WA with the Fiber 19 gals.  I had SUCH a wonderful time!  The ladies are fabulous artists - and I am so honored to be allowed to attend their retreats! 

View from the ferry - facing Kingston with the Olympics in the distance - what a beautiful sight! 

I took the ferry over from Edmonds to Kingston --- such a fabulous night!  I caught a ferry with perfect timing to see the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains.  If you've never been to the Seattle area - a ferry trip is a must do!

Coming up to the rental property at Camp Beausite

We stayed in Camp Beausite, which is a Kiwanis Club camp that is available for rent off-season.   We provided our bedding, clothing (of course), and food, and they provided the beds, tables, and house (at least 6 bedrooms with 2 beds each room plus at least 3 bathrooms..maybe more - I didn't really explore all that much - I was too busy being an aspiring artist!).

The 3 pink-background crocus paintings - perhaps a tryptic?

I spent my time working on improving my silk painting skills and ended up with 4 paintings of crocus - all are similar, but different at the same time.  I can't wait to do more experimentation with recycled silks!  

Three of the painting have a pink background, my fourth painting has a blue background. Each one was painted on a piece of approx. 4"x8" silk.  They were really meant to be tests of a couple of techniques and of working with recycled silks (and they certainly tested me!). 


My paintings along with some of the various dyed items, fyi - the 4 smaller, brightly-colored silks ( to the right of my paintings) were dyed with the left-over paint/dyes from my paintings.
The other thing I worked on during the retreat, was  eco-dying - LOVE IT!  One of the artists  offered to teach us the basics (Thanks Deb!).  We had a blast collecting different items to try dying with (and also learned that some of the items would be stains rather than dyes - the simplest explanation is that stains just sit on the surface of the fabric, while dyes change the chemical make-up of the fabric). 

The results of our experiments were fabulous, - and so easy to do!  It's even safe enough for kids to do too (because it simply requires vinegar, steam, and a bit of time). 

All of my dying was done on recycled silk scraps.  Some of the materials we used to dye with included: purple carrot, beet stems, madrona bark, onion skins, fuschia flowers, and a lovely periwinkle flowering shrub (that made a gorgeous grey-blue color) which I believe is a member of the Ceanothus family of plants.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend going on a retreat of any kind!  It was lovely to relax and not have to worry about the daily grind.  I feel revitalized and I am inspired to try so many new ideas in art!  Now I just need to get the rest of my life to cooperate!  Wish me luck!!

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