“My soul is fed with a needle and thread.”
Are you creatively drawn to the textile arts? Are you inspired by paper patterns and the hum of a sewing machine? Although my sewing skills are those of an enthusiastic amateur, I am fascinated by factory production, present and past.
A local public library and art center are partners in a bimonthly open exhibit. The next theme is “Machines”. I have been sorting through my ephemera as well as trying new techniques with images transfers. Everything I needed for my next Artistcellar project just seemed to fall into place…the perfect stencils, a vintage image of women in a factory, all the colours of the rainbow. I was set to begin.
I covered my illustration board with a light coat of gesso giving it a quick sanding when dry. I built up the warm background colour with both a textured natural sponge and brush using Lemon, Sunny Day and Sunflower acrylics.
My image transfer experimentation has included a variety of papers for the base. Some results have been more successful than others. The Dover image I chose for this project worked better than I could have imagined. It held up to burnishing and repeated applications of water and sponging. The fine lines of the ladies dresses remained as did details on the machines. I attached the transfer to the board with matte medium surrounding the factory workers with bits of the pattern paper.
Using the Artistcellar Steampunk Apparatus stencil was a perfect fit. Just as the gears in a machine are the framework that makes all parts move in unison, so too is this stencil. The Blocks, Halftone Dots, and Quasicrystals stencils added just the pop of colour I wanted, visually depicting the cacophony that factory work can be.
As in the illustration, the ladies all in a row are the genesis of the creative process. Their dedicated and in the past very dangerous work make available the very supplies we need to allow our creativity to fly. And fly it will…if not on fabric then on paper.
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