I used to paint with watercolors in high school and am getting back into it. I forgot how much I love it. It's amazing how similar it is to dyeing - they are both transparent mediums (which can become opaque in special situations). That's probably why I gravitated to dyeing. One day, I was experimenting with dye on raw silk. I remembered a technique from a middle school art teacher where if salt is layered on top of watercolor paint, it creates really interesting sunburst effects after it drys. Perhaps it could work on fabric? So I tried:
I put salt over some of the purple dye to see if it would help it to spread. Instead (and I'm hoping you can see this in the picture) it helped set the color of the purple dye. The areas on the left and bottom (the deeper plum color) had salt on them, and the area on the top right (lighter lavender) did not. Interesting.... more on this salt thing later.
Last month New York School of Interior Design had an exhibition on Jack Lenor Larsen who was a prolific textile designer who started his career in the 50's. Here are just a few shots of the panels they had on display. Unfortunately my photos don't do them justice. This a gorgeous batik that references waves:
I could stare at this one for hours and I'm not entirely sure why:
I love the diagonal lines formed on this one. It got me wondering how I could create something like that on my own loom:
And this last one features a hand painted warp. Lovely!
It's hard to express the beauty of it, as cheesy as that sounds. I'm not interested in showing sweeping pictures of the entire exhibit, because that feels wrong somehow. Go see it, if you're in town; it's open until October 21. The greenhouse is amazing. And to have all the flowers in bloom and at the same time inside the greenhouse, well I can only imagine what sort of biological-greenhouse-feat it took to do that. If you go in October, tell me if all those flowers are still magically in bloom!
I fell in love with the crepe-like texture of this Clematis. And I was strangely entranced by the reflecting pools they had.
Technically this one isn't part of the exhibit, but I just had to show it. I'm think it's a staghorn fern and it grows from the ceiling (or attached to other plants) in tropical climates. Holy crap. It is so alien. I LOVE IT!
Last week after lunch with an ol' friend, I stopped at Almondine Bakery in Dumbo. Yeah, the macarons were okay, I suppose, but what I really loved was the bag. Ah, the little things. It reminded me of the late 70's illustration in my childhood books.