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Getting Ready for Beyond Blue - A Gallery Show for Fiber 19

Well Gang,

My setup for this art piece

I am in the throes of getting ready for the new Fiber 19 show Beyond Blue, which will be held in April at the FABULOUS Sidney Museum & Arts Gallery in Port Orchard.  The show will be April 1st through April 30th with our opening reception on April 12th. We'll be demoing various art forms (yours truly will be demoing silk painting of course!).  

I'm trying something new (for me) a set of abstract pieces.  Plus I''m making silk pendants, and wine glass tea-lights with silk lampshades,to go along with the new art pieces...so all sorts of new things for me to try my hand at! 

Our show theme is Beyond Blue, which is open for each artist to interpret what they want to out of that name.  The only requirements were that one art piece HAS to be made using blue, chambray fabric somehow in your piece, and on a 12"x12" gallery-depth canvas, with a black floater-frame. 

My take on the theme, was to interpret Beyond Blue as how one moves from a feeling of sadness. I wanted to show the journey that a person might travel on, to get through all the anger and sadness, to a place where that person is centered again in the universe. I used Kanji symbols (which I find fascinating and beautiful!) to depict the journey.



An example of the chambray fabric with bleached-in symbols
I had the intention of creating a multi-layered piece using very thin habotai silks.  The idea was to paint the silks all together letting the paint flow down through layers of silks..which would then look similar, but different according to which layer was on top at the time the symbols were painted.  I did use that approach at first... but discovered that the bottom layers just weren't easily seen by the viewer.  So then I reduced the number of layers to 2 layers, thinking that surely the 2nd layer would be seen through the first.  And it was somewhat successful.  I had to paint the 2nd layer with intense colors for it to be seen through the first layer.  

One of my first attempts at painting on layered fabrics
Once I created my 2 layers and I liked how they looked, my thought was then to just attach them at the top of the piece so that they would float and flutter... this is where my concept broke and I had to adapt.  Unfortunately, the 2 silk layers stuck together and did not float.  The only way the viewer would be able to see the layers separately is if they were to touch the piece - moving the layers apart. NOT a good idea for an art piece...they are usually NOT supposed to be touched -- especially something as delicate as this silk is!!  

SOOOO my new plan is to seperate the layers.  And actually, I LOVE this idea!  I love the way the 2 layers turned out!! Layer one, is soft in coloration and kind of dreamy in concept.  Layer two is full of bold color and a much stronger piece with different emphasis.  Side by side, they are wonderful and fun to compare.  I will still attach each piece at the top - which may result in some movement since they will each be attached to their own chambray pieces... but now there is no reason to touch (whew!).  

The 2 layers separated - Love this idea!
And all that work resulted in a few additional treasures that I mentioned above!  I also have 3 smaller pieces (which were my original test pieces) that I've turned into art pieces as well.  So what started out as 1 show piece, is now 5!!

Plus I had a failure (rubbing too hard on an original 1st layer resulted in a finger-sized hole! oopsy!), that I can now turn into lampshades for wine glass tealights! And I have lots of pretty scraps of fabric which I am turning into fun necklace pendants.  It's been 2 months of work, but I've got a kind of mini-show out of it.  Gotta like that!!!

Necklace pendants mounted with silk
Now I can start working on my silk scarf donation for the Habitat for Humanity auction!  Can't wait!!

OH, and please come to our Sidney Gallery show if you get the chance!  Port Orchard is a cute town with some great antique stores and a couple of smashingly-delicious restaurants (and a few old-fashioned favorites as well... A&W Drive-in for one!). 

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