Saturday, April 18, 2020

Painting Outside - Stitching Inside

 (Above:  Painting outside.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Originally, Nike's Advice was an art performance piece.  I painted 130 feet of unprimed canvas with the public. There were no instructions, no pattern, no thought given to the results.  It was an action-packed two days of slinging paint and allowing people to add little flowers, inspirational words, stick-people drawings and whatever else came to mind.  Most of the fabric was ... well ... as one would expect when approaching "painting" in this manner.  It was downright hideous.  Even so, dozens of sections were quite nice.  These were saved and stitched.  Most of them were sealed with fabric stiffener, mounted on stretcher bars, and coated with UV filtering epoxy.  The last of the saved sections was recently finished.  I blogged about them HERE.

It was sort of sad to end this project ... until I realized that I could set up two workhorses on one of the glorious spring days during the COVID-19 crisis and paint again.  So I did!  For the most part, I just paint "backgrounds" using a rolling brayer, a sponge, and an old toothbrush.  Lids taken straight out of the trash were used to "stamp" circles too.  It was lots of fun.  Later, I ripped all the paintings into smaller sections.

 (Above:  A series of cards made from the scraps of painted canvas.)

My intention is to end up with a number of smaller pieces with the same dimensions.  As it happened, I ended up with two 11" squares, four 14" squares, and 13 that measure 16" x 12".  Before stitching them, however, I took the scraps and created a series of note cards.  It was fun and fast and an excellent way to spend part of an afternoon "sheltering in place."  I used card stock that I had on hand.  It came from a package that once contained five colors. Apparently, I don't really like orange or purple card stock because those were the only colors left.  Orange and purple, however, look pretty good as note cards!

I started free-motion stitching the two 11" squares.

The 100% black cotton thread really defines the non-objective background. Stitching these pieces is like watching something come to life.

I took the dullest of the four 14" squares and stitched it next.  By the time it was finished, I wished I had snapped a "before photo".

So ... I did that with the second section.  I'm having a blast with these new works! 


Lynda said...

Susan, You have really inspired me to make some cards with all of my scraps. And I love your before and after picture where you added the black thread. It really changed the piece to spectacular! Thanks for the inspiration, and I do love those bright cards.

Margaret said...

What fun! It's too cool -- and windy! -- here yet to play with fabric, paint and/or dye outside, but I'm looking forward to it...and draw inspiration from you!

Ann Scott said...

So cool to see the before and after pic, the stitching really kicks the piece up. I love the note cards.
A few years back I was teaching a private lesson and had my student use all kinds of different tools to color cloth, then he stitched it. I gave him a small mat frame to roll across the larger piece and I'll never forget how excited he was to see the little images he created from the larger one. We cut them apart and he made fiber/mixed media postcards.
Your posts are always inspiring, thank you for sharing. Stay safe and well.