Thursday, March 8, 2012

I jumped into the orange yellows...

Well I did it..I mixed up a brilliant yellow and painted directly onto the heavy 100% cotton twill. Then I mixed a deep red and went in with a wet into wet approach employing a large floppy watercolor brush and I I played without concern and just enjoyed the blending magic where the two vivid colors married in a magical flow of energy. I then worked on the softest of orange with a dapple of yellow in the flows of colors. I placed fabric this in a shallow tub in an immersion approach and topped it off so this can have the opportunity to begin the covalent bonds with the dyes and fibers in the cotton. With a tiny bit of red and a touch of yellow dyes I placed strips of cotton edges and scraps inside a large zip lock bag...I may put this bag into a microwave to play with the heat set process. I have my Ann Johnston three books...they are my guide as I renew my memory. I will need to get a thickener ingredient so I can play with drawing with the dye paints. I hope you get an inkling of this process from the photos I am including.

The rains arrived last night and were steady for the length of the day. The grayness in the day was a heavy blanket so that is why I just had to jump in to create primary colors in a wet solution. I did take a rest on the floor with Roxie for about 10 minutes ... she seemed amused by this concept that I might need to stop and take a beak. After 10 minutes of so the electrician walked into the studio and was a bit frightened by the body on the floor. I explained my predicament of the shortage of my medications and fatigue is sometimes more prevalent towards the end of a busy week.

Another artist Priscilla dropped by after she got off work and we made plans to work together when the warm weather returns and we can work outside on a lunch hour. She has two other friends who may come and paint by the lake so we can all have quiet times to be still and renew. Roxie gave her a welcoming kiss and she describes her as a furry caterpillar in the fall with her fur...except she is faster than grease lightning!

I prepared chicken breasts with olive oil and sauteed mushrooms for a comfort fun dinner. I made a wild rice side dish and added fresh spinach for a vitamin punch. It felt good to just sit together and place our day's schedules out for this weekend...Ken has a educational conference in Cleveland and I will hold down our family fort until he comes back. At least he does not have to deal with a blizzard and this requirement will be off his duty plate. I need to go and put in another load of cottons...have a blessed week in the studio playing with your favorite colors. Blessings. Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


  1. Sounds like you are indeed enjoying the little things. Those colors are amazing. I just love hand dyed fabrics.
    We are getting rain here as well. Loving it, along with the cooler weather again.

  2. Hi Mary Helen. You can try aloe vera gel for a thickener, in place of sodium alginate. They say you have to get the most pure form of it you can find, but it's thick and it works and it doesn't wreck the dyes. I love what you're doing!

    Jimmy will be gone all weekend, too. I'll be painting a little commission on stretched canvas, about a friend who's turning 60, and working on taxes.

    Much love, Suzi

  3. Oh, how I love your colours...and all those really cool books too!! Have a great weekend, Mary Helen, and keep creating...seems to be one of the better parts of us.


  4. There is nothing like just playing with paint and art really. It should be fun but so often becomes a "work of art" instead. I know that it takes lots of effort to think about what to do but if we just rely on what needs to come through, then it always seems to work in my estimation.

  5. Hi Mary Helen...oh your colors are so vivid and those colors myself... Almost can feel the sun radiating on me....

    love the photo of your little one in her cage....shes got such an adorable face... I could just reach through and hug that baby!!

    Hope you have a wonderful and blessed weekend

    1. Roxie is one in a million...she has more energy than me but loves to come to the dye studio with me. The pet taxi is her seat belt equivalent ....she only weighs 2 1/2 pounds but thinks she is much bigger. I am building a rainbow right now...I will then thicken my dyes for a drawing technique. You are right...I am having a very good time. You have a wonderful weekend too! Thank you for your loving support! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  6. Beautiful! I'll bet the day just flew by! enjoy your weekend!