Silk Painting at Center Parcs, Longleat – Welcome To My New Venue! April 2016

 Hello and welcome to my new workshop at Center Parcs, Longleat.

This was my very first session in the new venue at the Jardin de Sport this week.

There is plenty of  space and I had fun displaying the silk hangings and silk bunting in creative ways which seemed to work very well

I’m hoping more people will be able to see what goes on in my 2 hour sessions  and take the opportunity to get  creative this Summer!

I’ve been designing some new templates inspired by creatures of the sea! Here’s a peek at a few to tempt….. Hope to see you soon!

 

Memorable Silkpaintings of 2015

Silkpainting at Center Parcs- Longleat is just a 2 hour session, but in that time everyone can enjoy getting creative,  producing something individual and often a little bit magical.  It’s been especially lovely for me to see so many of you coming back last year and more of you doing your own designs!

Here are a selection of great paintings produced in 2015, well done to everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

 

 

Silk Painting at Center Parcs Longleat

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A Big Thankyou to the Reeves Family who came on mass  to my silk painting session this week at Center Parcs. It was lovely to see you all and what a great show of work! In just 2 hours everyone created a silk painting to take home, some without previous experience. I hope you all found it relaxing and enjoyed the chance to create something totally unique. Best Wishes to you all and thanks for a lovely morning, Jenny x

 

 

“Tiger” – Using Black Outliner Resist

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I’ve recently thought it was about time I tried out some black outlining on silk and wanted to show it’s use with this tiger project. I usually work with the clear gutta-serti resist for outlining in the Center Parcs sessions as this dries quickly enabling work to be folded in a bag and taken home, after just 2 hours! The coloured outliners often come in tubes which can deliver the resist quite thickly so needs an overnight dry before painting, but if you have the time then it’s results can give a very satisfying look to your silkpainting.
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Starting with a paper template of the  tiger I begin by tracing the image on to the stretched silk, using the autofade pen.These lines will fade when we start to paint, but are handy to deliver the image boldly on the silk.
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The tiger is fun to do as he has some controlled areas of design in the eyes and stripes, but also a lot of areas for more “free style” painting.
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Introducing the “Marabu” black outliner! There are a few different makes, but my local art supplier had this one and I thought it was worth testing out. The nib on the bottle looked mighty big compared with my usual 0.07mm nib, but after a short practise you can control how much to squeeze the bottle.
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It’s always a good idea to test the flow on a spare bit of silk or tissue, wiping the excess of the nib regularly. It can come out a bit too thick at the start, but with practice you can get the right thickness.
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So it’s a straightforward outline on top of your tracings, taking care to connect all your lines together to prevent any leaks. I’m being careful to make sure the outline stays uniform, as a thin line of this outliner has let me down in the past.
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Outlining complete!
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Oops! I forgot to do his whiskers and as I wanted them white, I’m reverting to the clear gutta resist.
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Inspiration! It always helps to surround yourself with some sort of visual images to refer to whilst painting, it can aid colour choices and ideas for textures.
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I’m using the Pebeo Setasilk iron-fix paints, same as in the sessions I teach. They are easy to use, provide concentrate or pastel shades,all intermixable and great with salt. The silk will feel soft to the touch when washed which is important.
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Using a small chinese, natural haired brush, I’m painting concentrate black carefully in between the black lines of resist. It helps to hold the brush almost vertically for better control in narrow spaces. Aim for the middle of a space and allow the dye to do the work for you!
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After looking at the photos of tigers, I realised they all have a black area under the eyes which is very distinctive, so just allow the paint to flow and stop of it’s own accord here, to give a more natural effect.
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Next I’ve decided to paint the ears a light grey, so I just add water to a small amount of concentrate black, which dries quite silvery.
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To add a bit of depth just add the concentrate black on top of the grey whilst damp and blend in with the brush.
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Finally add fine table salt for that hairy ear effect!
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So at this stage all the black and grey is complete, but I’ve seen many different colours used at this stage, so feel free to enjoy a less traditional approach.
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Introducing Magenta and Buttercup Yellow. I dilute the magenta to make a soft pink and add a tiny drop of yellow to make the tiger’s nose a bit more fleshy.
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Nose complete! Also you can see the whiskers in clear resist. Try to avoid painting across these later as they need to be kept white.
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This is my new colour, called Old Gold. It’s a great addition to my range of Setasilks and I painted the eyes using it concentrated.
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I’m not sure if I’ve said already, but leave the black resist overnight to dry completely as it may let the dye through. It does dry quite flat, even if you have used it a bit thick.
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Right, on with the orange tigery fur. I do a bit of mixing here using Tangerine, Cinnamon and Buttercup to create the different shades.
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Here I’m applying a darker brown/orange mix at each side of the nose to give the effect of shading.
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A small amount of fine salt sprinkled lightly is just perfect for a short fur effect.
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Dilute Black for these areas.
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The salt takes a few minutes to react with the dyes, then removed later using a hairdryer.
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More grey on his chin.
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Concentrate Black is added on top of the damp grey for a bit of shading.
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More salt for more hairy texture
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Finally I like to add water to the silk as this enables me to blend colours easily and achieve a dark to light effect
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A base colour is spread on the wet silk and then I work on top with darker shades.
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This larger area gets water first and then more Tangerine/ Gold /Cinnamon mixtures, I often like using large sea salt here to give the larger fur effect.
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Using Meadow and Moss Setasilk and Buttercup I’m painting a grassy background for the tiger to peak out of.
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Applying the darker green on top in grass like brush strokes, painting slightly across the tiger’s fur.
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All finished!
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Just a quick dry with a hairdryer, brush any salt off and take your silk pins off. When you iron fix using any coloured gutta resists, always iron on the back of the fabric well and then a gentle soak in warm water, no harsh rubbing.
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Just to be on the safe side, I’m using a tissue to protect the iron. There was no trace of black from the silk at this stage, everything seems well fixed. Unlike the clear gutta which gets washed out of the fabric, the black and coloured outliners remain.
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I rather like the bubble effect! I just wanted to show that all seems secure – no colour changes or loss of black.
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Iron the silk damp on the reverse when using black outliner. My iron is on a cotton setting with no problems.
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All done! Ready to be made into a simple hanging, framed picture or fun cushion for a child’s room.
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 Here are a few tigers painted by students on the workshops I teach at Center Parcs, we start with the same template but produce wonderfully individual works of art !  I love the way this was painted with a  rainbow paint theme and dark background really work well. There were 6 colours in the eyes alone,  if I remember rightly,  Fab! 

 

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Another Tiger, I just love seeing how everyone interprets the same template so individually.
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This one has a wonderful soft fur effect!
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He’s definitely snug in his fur!

I hope you have enjoyed this project, your comments always appreciated.

Silk Painting Koi

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This is one of the designs I offer at my sessions at Center Parcs and I’m trying it today with wax as an outliner rather than gutta serti. I’m having a bit of a revival with wax at the moment and wanted to share what it can offer .
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You’ll need a koi template, a frame, silk ,pins, tjantings brush for wax and brush for dyes, wax pot, wax, hair dryer, iron and auto-fade pen.
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Start outlining from the template with the auto fade pen.
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Turn on the wax heater and melt some wax, I’m using a ready mix of paraffin and beeswax.
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Then it’s a bit of outlining with the tjanting, a traditional Indonesian tool for pouring wax out of a tiny spout. This can take a bit of practise and is not as easy as using a gutta bottle and nib ,but I thought it would be fun to have a go.
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It was helpful to have the frame at a slant when applying the wax and to wipe off under the bowl of the tjanting each time as drips can occur.
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With all the outlining done it was time to paint. I’m using the Pebeo Setasilk iron fix paints and using all these warm shades for the fish’s body.
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I also use an ice cube tray for mixing and some Chinese brushes and plastic pipettes for mixing paints.
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I place a bit of each concentrate into each pot in the tray and dilute and intermix to extend the shades.
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The small Chinese brush is good for these scales and I started with a dilute yellow and gradually worked across the body, introducing lots of different shades.

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The head was painted with concentrate colours , merging them quickly together.

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Time to paint the fins.
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Water is applied first with a brush.
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Then a concentrate Old Gold is painted near the body.
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Then the dye is dragged downward towards the tip of the fin to give a graduated dark to light effect.
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Fish complete!
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Time for the background, which is a dilute Turquoise, applied with a foam brush.
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I’m placing coarse sea salt on the background for a splash effect around the tail.
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Water is also worth a go as it can produce watery patterns when dropped on the dye using a pipette.
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I’d usually call this finished, but fancied taking things further with the wax so….
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After drying and removing the salt.
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The wax gets turned on again and I’m covering all the background with wax using a wider brush.

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Then I fill each of the scales with wax using a smaller brush.
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Once the wax is cool and is taken off the frame it can be scrunched to form a crackle effect.
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This is a sgraffito technique which will allow the dye to get in the lines I am making with a pin. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as you may cut the silk!

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More detail in the scales. I have seen these sort of marks on a Japanese woodblock print and liked them.
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Using my darker dyes Gitane Blue and Black mixed together and applied neat.
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Apply the dye all over , working into the broken lines of wax.
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Dab off surplus dye with a tissue.
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Looking a bit dreary! but I’m hoping it will get more cheery when the wax is removed.
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Remove wax between sheets of newspaper.
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Submerge in a jar of white spirit for a few minutes to release any wax left in the fabric.
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Wash in warm soapy water.
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Rinse and iron damp with a cotton setting.
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Detail of the scales with sgraffito effect.
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and tail detail.
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The finished silkpainting! I liked the extra marks on the fish’s body and cracking effects in the water, I didn’t expect the darker marks on the face where the wax crept through the wax. The wax gives a more characterful, weathered look which gutta resist used solely will not. I enjoyed using the tjanting and found it a very secure line of resist and surprisingly easy to apply and definitely think working with wax worth a try if you get the chance.

Painting Poppies

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I always look forward to seeing these oriental poppies come into flower each year in my garden.Their bold shapes and colours make them an inspiration for silkpainting, so I thought I would show how I go about painting poppies.

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Georgia O’Keeffe is a great favourite of mine and I find her flower paintings very inspirational. “Oriental Poppies”,painted in 1928, shows wonderful shades of light and shade in the petals which I find a  helpful  reference when trying to mix colours.
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I drew a simple paper template of the poppy design, inspired by  Georgia O’keeffe’s  poppies!

 

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Then traced the design from the template with the auto-fade pen. All these lines will disappear completely!

 

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Working with clear gutta-serti resist on the outlines, this will control the flow of the dyes and eventually be washed out of the silk to reveal a white line.
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 These are the Pebeo Setasilk paints I use frequently in my workshops. I’m using “Buttercup”, “Tangerine”, Poppy Red”,” Magenta”, “Plum”, “Iris”, and Black”. I thought it might be interesting to show the stages of painting so starting with the poppy centres I mixed iris and black together and added on top of this some fine salt to hopefully add the impression of stamens.
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Here I’m applying several shades side by side, with some dilution to get the lighter more pastel shades.

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Here you can see the fine salt sitting on the silk, making it’s interesting pattern. I’ve then started applying  concentrate paints quickly, one after another, to get them to blend into each other. I’ve also diluted the poppy red which then becomes a very soft coral colour which is useful for the lighter shades in the poppy.

 

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I’m using a small natural “wolf” hair brush , which is great for working in these areas.You have to just apply the paint boldly and quickly so paints blend together on the silk, tying to keep in mind where the lightest shades want to be.

 

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Looking at the painting by Georgia O’Keefe, I ‘m trying to establish where the lightest areas are using a mixture of the lighter shades of buttercup and tangerine.

 

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Then follow swiftly with layers of darker poppy reds and magenta.
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Then I apply the  darkest red tone “Plum” on top of the other shades,  mostly around the centre and following the lines down from the outer edges to give a sense of shading.
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I also apply  water with a brush to areas which have been left to dry a bit longer which can give the effect of a delicate lightening to the petals.

 

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Time to paint the background and I chose a diluted “Gitane Blue”,  which gives a good contrast with the oranges and reds of the poppy. I’m using a 1″ foam brush which is useful for painting larger areas quickly and evenly.

 

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When all the diluted blue is painted, I apply a concentrate blue on top and paint around the flower to give a soft shadow.
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Background complete, but I’m tempted to add some rock salt around the edges of the blue border.
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After about 5 minutes the salt starts to absorb the dye, leaving these amazing patterns.
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Finally the poppy comes alive with the addition of black, painted whilst the base colours of the flower are still slightly damp, which can give this soft look.
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All the painting is complete and the salt is ready to be taken off, usually with a hair dryer. Then pins out and leave for a day and then iron fix,hand wash and iron damp!
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Iron fixing the silk paints with a cotton setting for 2mins does the trick.
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Then a short soak in warm, soapy water to remove gutta resist and any salt. Rinse in cold water.
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Lightly towel dry to remove excess water and iron damp with a cotton setting for a creaseless finish.
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The finished iron fixed painting ready for framing,making into a quilted cushion or hanging, I’m not quite sure which yet!

 

 

Rainbow Silk Ribbons

 

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Dancing Rainbow Ribbons. Here’s how to make them and have some fun with in your garden .
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To make these colourful ribbons I used a long frame the width of my habotai silk , approx.56” (144cm). I ‘m using steam fix silk paints by Dupont, but you could use iron fix for great results too. You will also need 3 point silk pins to attach the silk to the frame, foam brushes are good for applying the dyes. I use an ice cube tray and pipettes to mix paints with. Sea salt and table salt can be applied whilst the dyes are damp for a bit of texture.

 

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I’m cutting my ribbons at 2” width and ripping the silk to get easy straight edges, I never use scissors.

 

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Each ribbon gets a quick iron.

 

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Undyed ribbons, must have cut about 16 or so.

 

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Ribbons stretched tightly and ready to paint.

 

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I started painting with the canary yellow mixing with some water as these dyes are strong.

 

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These foam brushes make it easy to apply the paint.

 

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You can mix paints and canary and camelia gave me an orange shade I liked.

 

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Then for some windsor red , first on the left.

 

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This is rose, a nice pink colour. I’m working through the warm shades of the rainbow first .

 

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Now for some cooler tones , from right I used myrthe, emerald, indian blue,and bluet.

 

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There’s something very therapeutic  painting such lovely colours on a sunny day!

 

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and very easy to dry with the sun outside! These will be steam fixed later to fix them permanately.

 

For steaming method  please follow ‘ Painting Pansies’ ‘ instructions. Iron fix paints just need ironing for 2/3 minutes at this stage, then fixed and washable.

 

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Back for more dying as I need plenty of ribbons. From right this is orchidee, then a lighter version with water added,then a mixture of orchidee and vieux blue

 

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The last blue on the left is called cote d ‘azur
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I felt I needed a few ribbons with some texture, so painted this one with camelia and applied some table salt.

 

 

 

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This next is fuschia and gets some sea salt. Just brush it off when dry.

 

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The next is a mixture of windsor and rose.
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First colour on left is a mix of canary and camelia, giving a lighter orange.

 

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This one is a mix of jade and vieux bleu .

 

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Lastly we have a cote d’azur and emerald with salt , all ribbons now painted!!

 

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Once dry I take out the pins.

 

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Find a suitable length of willow and start attaching the ribbons with clothes pegs in their rainbow sequence.
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I found a lovely spot in my garden to hang the willow and watch the ribbons dance in the wind.

 

 

Hearts, Birds and Flowers.

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I’ve recently been inspired by Polish ‘Wycinanki’ – the decorative and expressive art of paper cutting. I like the use of bright colours and use of flower and bird imagery and thought this might be a popular choice at the sessions I teach.
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I was inspired to make my own rooster heart design after seeing this colourful Polish paper cut.
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Outlining the design with the auto-fade pen.
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Outlining with clear gutta serti resist.
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I’m rather taken by the use of black in the Polish paper cuts, so I decided to paint the heart background first.
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It helps to use a brush with a good point and hold it vertically gently pressing down on the tip to allow the dye to flow and give control in narrow spaces.
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Black painting complete, I rather like this look and can see black and white designs being great for cushions and quilting – another project!
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I’m drawn to the strong colours of the traditional paper cuts so here goes.
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Reds,oranges,blues and purple iron-fix dyes I managed to save after this weeks session at Center Parcs.
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I decided to paint the background a dilute blue .So many choices here!
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Sprinkled coarse sea salt on the background for a bit of texture. Wait 5 mins for the full effect.
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Drying the silk and removing the salt.
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The finished painting – enjoyable simple images to paint ,with lots of colour variations possible.
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Here’s another  lovely painting by Nicki, who painted this yesterday at a Center Parcs session and has inspired me to use the black too!
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Here are more examples of recent work with the ‘heart’ theme, produced in my 2 hour workshops at Center Parcs, Longleat.

 

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI hope to produce lots of variations on this theme this year, as I love the folk art imagery of  hearts,birds and flowers and enjoy seeing how different  colour combinations can be used.

 

 

 

 

The Magic of Salt!

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I thought I’d show how salt features in the work I produce, here both table salt and coarse sea salt have helped to create the pattern of sunflower seeds. It’s exciting when technique and image come together so well.
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The owl design gets the table salt treatment in his quiff.
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The wings of this crane get some feathery textures with table salt.
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Here the use of coarse sea salt  in this background helps to give a sense of movement.
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The owl gets a fluffy feathery effect.
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Table salt can give extra interest and patterns here on the iris petal.
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Table salt giving tiny scale like patterns on this turtle.
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Coarse salt can be applied onto the silk in a controlled line, resulting in a regular pattern appearing to look a bit like  icicles.
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Always apply salt on damp silk, here I’ve drawn a salt spiral.
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The salt has absorbed the dye and produced this effect in about 10mins.
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You can even try placing individual grains in lines or circles .
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After 5/10mins you can see the individual trails of each grain quite clearly.
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Salt , a very common item in every kitchen, yet so fun and magical to use with dyes on silk, giving extraordinary patterns and effects.

 

 

Silkpainted Sunflower Cushions

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Sunflower silkpainted cushions  I painted and enjoyed quilting  to give extra texture to  the flowers. These were made for my sister who loves sunflowers and I thought it might be interesting to share the process of making them.
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First job is to create a template, I drew out the design onto paper using a bold permanent marker pen which is now ready for tracing onto the silk.
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Trace design onto silk using an auto fade pen. I stretch the silk (habotai 8mm) onto a wooden frame 18”x 18” with these 3 point pins. The silk then can be placed stretched on top of the template and the design can be easily traced through.
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Apply gutta serti resist to provide the barrier for different shades of yellow in the petals. This is the transparent gutta which is water soluble, but you could apply gold gutta here if you wanted  more colourful outlines.
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Gutta outlining complete. Allow to dry naturally or…
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Use a hairdryer to dry the gutta in a about 2mins.
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Using a selection of Pebeo setasilk iron fix paints, I start with concentrate yellow and paint random petals.Then continue mixing different tones of yellow by adding  small amounts of the other warmer paints for the other petals, until I see a good mix of light and darker yellows.I use water with these paints to create the lighter shades.
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The petals are designed to be open and allow the paint to flow towards the center of the flower. This gives a natural feel to the design and a more interesting middle section.
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The center of the flower is achieved by using circles of black/brown /yellow and orange.I use fine salt in the darkest part in the middle,then when all the other circles are finished I use sea salt liberally to give the effect of the seeds. Apply drops of water with a pipette at the base of each petal to achieve this interesting pattern.
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The salt will need time to create it’s patterns so I usually leave it on for as long as possible. Best results happen when darker shades are used and the paint is not too wet before you put the salt on. This effect can really look like the seeds in a sunflower.
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Painting the leaves comes next and I use several shades of greens, often mixing yellow in the lighter green for a more natural tone.
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I tend to paint water on the background first to give a smoother finish . It gives plenty of time to apply the background colour without fear of any dry lines creeping in.
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Background complete, I usually dilute this colour as it is then easier to apply. After leaving this for 24hrs I then iron fix on a cotton setting, soak in warm water and iron damp. Then it’s time to quilt.
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I discovered how to make french knots and couldn’t stop as they seemed just the right thing in this central area. I used a yellow darning cotton and some ochre coloured fine wool for these areas and an off white silk tread for the petals and leaves.
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I chose a cotton fabric for the back of these cushions after some time choosing in a fabric shop! They were sewn up without a zip and are in daily use . I hope to master putting in a zip one day!