Painting Scarves for Valentines Day

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Painting Scarves For Valentines Day –

I have a tried and tested approach to painting my scarves, but I’ve just found a quicker way to paint that’s been ‘staring me in the face’ for some time. I suppose that in the past the steaming process has failed to remove wax completely from scarves so I was pleased when some batik scarves I was doing for Valentines Day came out fine.

I’ve always painted around motifs such as flowers, circles etc and this takes time and care. In the latest ‘Valentines’ limited edition I’ve waxed over the small painted shapes and hearts then swept paint across the whole scarf with two brushes holding two colours. I’m not sure if this will work with larger motifs and I certainly want to avoid the waxy ‘halo’ around them that I half expected to see after steaming.

Hearts Scarf
Hearts drawn in washout pen ready for wax outlines.

 

scarf for valentines
The painted scarf

 

valentines scarf
The steamed scarf ready to wear!

Making Scarves

posted in: craft, Outlet, Scarves | 0

Making Scarves

November is always a hectic month as I’m making scarves for shop outlets and fairs. There’s also marketing and updating my online shop to be done. It’s looking depleted so I need to photograph some new scarves. I try to choose the very best scarves for online as I want 100% customer satisfaction. I also need the best for my outlets. In fact I need the best all round and I’m a hard taskmaster to myself! What do I do with rejects? Well, I wear them myself or I cut them up for wrapping round bangles. I’ve got quite a wardrobe full of scarves.

Bangles
Bangles wrapped with strips of silk from reject scarves.

 

The bangles make good stocking fillers and It’s good to be recycling by using plastic bangles from charity shops.

In my Autumn newsletter I wrote briefly about a new shop in West Derby. It’s owned by poet and writer Georgina Moore and called the Liverpool Gift Gallery. The shop is in an affluent part of Liverpool and I’m sure Georgie is going to be successful. While I was there two local ladies were peering through the door and she opened it to chat. They said they were very pleased that a gift shop was opening in the village and would spread the word. It opens on Monday.

New Liverpool shop
Looking across the shop from behind the counter where I had my scarves. I roll them around tissue for carriage.

 

I’ve created a new design of the Liver Bird carrying a gift in its beak that will be exclusive to the shop. I first of all draw the birds with washable pen and then wax their outlines. I paint inside the motifs ( quite fiddly to do) and paint the background. I take them off the frames when dry and then it’s a case of getting down on the floor ( creak, creak!) to wrap these and others in paper for the steamer.

Liver Bird scarf
One of my ‘Liver Bird’ scarves exclusive to the Liverpool Gift Gallery.

 

New Outlet

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New outlet for my scarves

I’m pleased to have a new outlet for my scarves. They are for sale in the shop at The Atkinson, Southport. They have been displayed well in this lovely modern shop housed within a building built in 1878. This also contains a theatre, cafe, exhibitions space, library and museum. The theatre attracts some good music and plays- I wish it was nearer to where I live! However I shouldn’t complain as my bus pass takes me all the way to Southport for free and there are some interesting shops along Lord Street. http://www.theatkinson.co.uk

The Atkinson

 

 

 

New Scarves

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New Designs, New Techniques.

I love thinking of new designs to draw on my scarves and mixing colours that ‘zing’ together. A few weeks ago I got down to working on a batch of crepe de chine scarves loosely inspired by the lovely blue geranium flowers in my garden that bloom for a short while in summer, and the purple ones that go on into the autumn. They are wonderful ground cover and stop the weeds growing. I spend a lot of time gardening – thank goodness for the winter!

I have quite a few scarf blanks that don’t do very well in the steamer. I find the heavier weight crepe de chine becomes obviously ‘crepey’ in patches, so is unfit for sale. I’ve been experimenting with ice dyeing and shibori and I’m quite pleased with the results. I’m using Procion dyes for this technique and I was a bit heavy handed when I scattered the dye onto the ice, so they’re very garish. In ice dyeing the soda soaked fabric is laid in a colander resting in a bucket, then covered with ice cubes. The powder dyes go next and are left to soak through onto the fabric for 12 hours. The most amazing patterns are formed this way. I cant wait to do some more.

new scarf with flower design
New scarf 40 x 150 cms size with flower design drying on the frame.
Ice Dyed Scarf
Ice Dyed Twill Scarf

Williamson Exhibition

posted in: Acrylics, Art Work, Exhibition | 2

Williamson Exhibition

The Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead has a fascinating exhibition on at present and I’m pleased to be a part of it as a member of ‘Two Rivers’ Art Group. The exhibition is called ‘Wirral Villages Revisited’ and depicts original works of local scenes painted mostly by artists in the early 20th century. (The artist Harold Hopps has many of his works stored by the gallery). They are now getting ‘an airing’ on the walls alongside the same scenes painted by artists today. The new works will be kept by the Williamson but there are prints for sale at only 15,00.

There is historical information to accompany each pair of paintings and it’s enjoyable for young and old alike to play a game of ‘Spot the Difference’ around the gallery walls. When I painted Birkenhead Priory I became interested in how the trees had matured and also how the priory has a modern extension built in the ruins. The cranes tell their own story about the growth, near closure and rebirth of shipbuilding at Cammell Laird.

Birkenhead Priory
Birkenhead Priory painted by Harold Hopps about 1900.

 

The Priory today
Birkenhead Priory today painted in acrylics from a photo with some artistic license.

New Shop Opens

posted in: Events, Scarves | 0

Jo’s New Shop

February began with an exciting start for Jo Smith who runs Seagrass Studio as she moved to a larger premises in Acacia Grove, West Kirby. For many years she has sold my scarves in her shop in Hoylake, so I’m pleased she’s displaying a bigger selection. There’s a lovely array of local artist’s work, both 2D and 3D. Jo has her own paintings for sale around the gallery and she is running workshops in one of the rooms.

Inside Seagrass Studio
Inside Seagrass Studio

New Scarves

posted in: Art Work | 2

New Scarves

I’ve been busy painting new scarves for the season as there’s a couple of craft fairs coming up. The steamer is gently steaming away as I write this. Inside there’s a batch of seven crepe de chine scarves and it will be on the go for nearly four hours. The colours become more vibrant and the wax is removed, but more importantly the paint is fixed during the process. I took some photos of the whole process, from painting to steaming, but of course there’s more after that – washing out the excess dye (lots of rinsing) and ironing, then attaching the care instruction cards.

Half painted scarf

The scarf is suspended  above the frame with headed pins that are inserted into a soft pad made of foam rubber and carpet tape.So there is a gap between this frame and the scarf, avoiding paint roll-back. After each painting the frame is wiped down and the pins washed.

 

scarf-painting-record

I keep a record of the paint colours I use, as I might want to paint the same ones again. Any paint left over from doing a batch (usually five scarves with small changes in each) is kept in little jars to use again.

 

Rolling in a cloth for steaming

This where my lounge rug comes in useful! The scarves are rolled in lengths of cotton cloth. During steaming all the wax goes into the cloth. In the past I used the ends of rolls from newspaper printing for wrapping the scarves, but the printers all recycle these now so I can’t get them. It means I have to boil out the wax from the cotton cloths before each steaming.

 

Steamer for the scarves

Inside the steamer the metal bar is suspended above the simmering water with a foil cap placed over the roll to catch any drips from the lid. My electricity bill goes up at these times!

New Work at Birkenhead

posted in: Art Work, Batik, Workshop | 0

Applying waxThere’s some lovely work being produced on the batik course at Bee Wirral (Birkenhead Centre for Early Excellence). Pauline has worked on a batik inspired by her experience of seeing a lovely sunrise at Birkenhead docks with the cranes silhouetted against the sky. She worked from one of her photos, painting the sunset colours first then very skilfully waxing the sky and between the crane structure.Lastly she painted the unwaxed areas to bring the silhouette to life.

Kath is working on a picture of some trees in the park. Both works are being done on tissutex paper

 

 

dye-for-silhouette

 

Trees Picture

 

Batik Course in Birkenhead

posted in: Art Work, Exhibition, Workshop | 0

Batik Course Work

Yesterday I started tutoring a batik course for Bee Wirral (Birkenhead Centre for Early Excellence) It will run for 5 weeks on Tuesday afternoons for adults living in the area. The work produced during the course will be exhibited in February in Birkenhead Park as part of a project called ‘Beautiful Birkenhead’. We are working on paper and cotton and themes will include trees, flowers, Bidston Hill windmill and the Chinese Pagoda in the park. A good start was made in the first session, even though some people couldn’t attend. In the picture Pauline is using the tjanting to add more wax lines before painting on dye the second time.

 

Batik after dyebath
The batik held up to light to show the colours well

 

The batik was finished the following week with a further dye and wax application and immersion in a navy blue dyebath. This brought everything together in a brilliant way! Pauline ironed out the wax and the piece will be framed for the exhibition.

New Paintings

posted in: Acrylics, Art Work, Exhibition | 0

New Paintings

Hilbre Path
Hilbre Path

I’ve enjoyed painting three small acrylics of local scenes that I’ll put into an exhibition at the Coach House, Royden Park, Frankby, It runs from Friday 21st to Monday 31st August. It’s good to have a change of medium occasionally, so I sometimes take work that hasn’t sold out of frames to make a fresh start, changing composition or colours.The three are called ‘Hilbre Path’, ‘Ebb Tide, Hilbre Islands’ and ‘High Tide Roost’.

I found out that the thousands of seabirds that congregate off the promenade at Hoylake in winter are known as a ‘roost’. The knot, sanderlings and others are driven in by the incoming tide and feed together in huge groups on a narrow strip of sand. It’s a marvellous sight watching them rise and fall, even for a non-birder like me. It occurs from Autumn onwards and is most dramatic at the highest tides.

I did a much larger batik on paper of ‘High Tide Roost’ a few years ago and also had cards made with the picture.

 

Ebb Tide Hilbre Islands
Ebb Tide Hilbre Islands

 

High Tide Roost
High Tide Roost

Summer Exhibitions

posted in: Art Work, Events, Exhibition, Mixed Media | 0

Sea LochI have work in two local exhibitions this summer. They are Deeside Art Group (known as DAG) from 20th – 27th June at Westbourne Hall, West Kirby and the ‘Two Rivers’ group exhibition from 4th July – 12th July at Parade Community Centre, Hoylake.

This is a new piece of work that was created using batiked and dyed papers and soft pastel. It’s called ‘Sea Loch’ although it’s looking towards Plockton in the Highlands,across the sea. ‘Sea Loch’ says it’s in Scotland in a more interesting way! The photo doesn’t do it justice as the camera changed the sea and far mountain colours to a blue rather than the deep greeny blue. All my photoshop skills won’t help!.

Exhibition at Ness Gardens

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Glacier

It’s only a week now to the exhibition I’ve been working towards at Ness Botanic Gardens, South Wirral. It runs from 29 April to 6 May in the Visitors Centre and is open from 10am to 4pm. I’m part of the ‘Two Rivers’ group and for this selling exhibition there are 12 local artists participating. There’s a wide variety of interesting work, and each day artists will be in attendance to talk about the work displayed.

Starting Batiks

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In my StudioI took this picture while I was waiting for the wax to heat up, having painted the first colour. I’m using the silk paints on the paper rather than procion dyes as some of the mixed dyes separate and that’s no good for painting a sky. It’s only after they dry that this becomes obvious, and I didn’t want a green sky! The picture on the window ledge also had its first application of colour, and was soon ready for the first wax. The colours are very light to start, and the next ones will be more intense.

New Painting

posted in: Art Work | 4

'Mountain' Oil PaintingAs well as being busy with designing this new site I’ve been working in oils for a change and I think I’ll get this framed. It’s based on a view of Snowdon from Dinorwig above Llanberis. I took a photograph of the mountain when I was on my way back from a walk in the old slate quarries. Snow had just fallen on the peak and the afternoon light shone briefly on the land, lighting it with a warm glow.

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