Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Works In Progress

I've got to share these handmade, Japanese papers with you from Daniel Smith. They're so pretty, I've hung them up as curtains for now. There's maple leaves woven into the lace. It's raining here today and very overcast, so silver is the best light I could hope for to show these off. I would have preferred a little spring platinum. I think they'll make nice shadows when the sun comes out.

This is my take on a project Cyndi suggested for March's mixed media challenge in the Wetcanvas forum. It was soooo much fun! It involved melting candles over a paper you've already painted. It should be pretty well covered in wax, then after it's dry you bend the paper which makes all kinds of little cracks. Then you paint over in a darker color. It's a little like batik. All the dark sinks into the cracks.
I have a couple of works in progress on the go. Below are some details for the "chocolate" painting. It's not turning out to be about chocolate at all! I even tried writing out this recipe for rum mousse, which I distressed and was ready to collage... Yummy, made me hungry, but wasn't satisfying artistically speaking. These are very closely based on antique Japanese printing plates. I've sent the images to the photo lab to try them out as transfers. I'm still hesitating on buying a professional printer so in the meantime, the lab's using waterproof pigment ink for me.

I had family visiting last week. We played hooky one morning and went to the London Wul Farm. Here's Heidi's blog, the fiber artist, museum owner who's trying to get me and mom addicted all over again ;) They had the same commercial dye baths that were used in the 18oo's like cochineal and indigo. Mom and I used cochineal all the time when we demoed dying wool at King's Landing, but we've never had a chance to use indigo. Drool...
I was coveting spinning wheels (so relaxing- you know the way a kitty purrs? well so does a spinning wheel and the rhythm is hypnotic) and mom picked up some alpaca for a coverlet she's weaving.
Lastly, I'd like you to meet Frederick Hann. He's a landscape architect and he won my newsletter giveaway last month. When I dropped it off he gave me a tour of their offices. Wow! I wish architects designed everyone's offices! The board room was especially magnetic. All the windows were covered, so there wasn't any natural light in the room, despite that as soon as I walked in it felt right. I asked him how they were able to achieve that. The ceiling was dropped, except for a circular area above the table. Special lighting- almost chandelier-like was hung in this spot. The design of the ceiling, he said, was to keep the eyes down in the area of the table. The table was a rich wood in a triangular shape. This was to avoid anyone being at the head, all are equal. Kind of like the Knights of the Round Table only the triangle makes it more dynamic. One wall was brick, but not just any brick. Just the right tones, texture and distressing to give a feel of warmth and authenticity. It was as satisfying as a well composed painting and it left me feeling welcome and empowered. So if I was to design a Utopia, architects would be in charge of all our buildings.


Cyndi L said...

The colors and patterns of your batik piece turned out so beautifully, Shayla!

picciolo said...

hi, I love that japanese paper, it is really beautiful. As is your wax painting, it does sound fun to do. I'm looking forward to seeing your work in progress progess, and those offices do sound perfect! Phew, you've been busy!
: )

Regina said...

I LOVE your "batik" paper. I'm a visual texture addict.
I'd love to try this process. I've been playing with triad color schemes and have a study that would be greatly improved with this process. Thanks for sharing.
(found you at CED)

MiKa Art said...

This entry was very exciting to read!! and your mixed media is sooo beautiful!

Lynette said...

Oooh Shayla, both the Japanese paper and your 'chocolate' batik piece are exquisite! Wonderful post!