Wednesday, April 13, 2016

DIY: Shibori - Adventures in Indigo Dyeing

For a while now I have been infatuated with indigo and shibori dyed textiles - I've even had dreams about them. Then after happening upon a well written DIY post, I realized that I too could dye my own shibori. I bought a Jacquard Indigo Tie Dye Kit, a stack of Cotton Craft Napkins, Flour Sack Towels, and even some extra cotton fabric and got after it. Now, after two shibori days, I can say I am in love. Don't expect a textile business any time soon, but there might be some shibori present gifted away, because I really enjoy the process and love undoing the binding to see the final result.

The results of my second Shibori Day. The second time around, I let the fabric soak longer and for multiple times to get darker, richer blues.

First thing you have to do is bind your cloth. Shibori is basically really, really advanced tie-dying. There are many, many ways to bind your cloth and all have special names and interesting techniques. You can wrap beans in the fabric, use thread to make cones, rubber bands, pieces of wood to sandwich the fabric and much more. In case you're curious, I bought these two books: Shibori Designs & Techniques and A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing.

Following the directions of the indigo kit, I mixed the dye and the other chemicals in a big tupperware container. You can do it in a regular bucket, but they recommend that you have a tight-fitting lid to minimize its contact with oxygen so the dye will last longer. When you first mix it all together, it kind of fizzes and then forms this crazy metallic film on the top. Apparently, this is a good thing.

Then I took all my prepared fabrics and put them in a bucket of water to soak. When you are ready to dye, take one out, wring out the water and prepare to dye.

I definitely recommend wearing the big, long gloves. Here I am dying my first piece.

The dye comes out bright green at first and then as the dye oxidizes it will turn indigo. You can see here that the insides of the fabric have not been dyed, because they are still white.

A range of colors - the green just came out of the vat, then turquoise has oxidized a bit, then the darker blues are fully oxidized. Science!

Here is a beautiful piece that was accordion folded, then sandwiched between two square pieces of wood and held together with rubber bands. When I unfold this, it will have a square pattern.

I unfolded this one first - it was folded into triangles and then sandwiched between wood pieces. As it comes out, some of the interior folds haven't seen oxygen yet and are still green. It is so much fun to unfold or unbind the fabric. Definitely the best part of the process.

Here, I've taken my trusty seem ripper to undo the cone-shaped wrapped sections. It has a very tie-dye feel, but far more sophisticated.

The results of the first Shibori Day! After unbinding the fabric, ensure that everything has oxidized, then you can rinse in fresh water to get rid of excess dye. Afterwards, I threw all the towels in the washing machine and rinsed a number of times to get rid of the dye. I am hoping they no longer bleed, but to be safe, I'll wash them with darks this next time.

Seriously, it was SO MUCH FUN. Looking forward to getting another set of napkins and towels and maybe even a table cloth and some white shirts.

*Please Note* This post contains affiliate marketing links to products I have purchased and used. If you click through and purchase from my link - I get a little commission. Hey, every little bit helps right?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

'Multiverse' Up for Auction at Recycle Utah's Aqua Affair

Recycle Utah is an important facility for my artwork. I take all of my recycling there, we gather reclaimed wood there, and I pick up almost all of my shipping supplies from their collection. Without Recycle Utah, I would have to buy brand new wood and packing materials. They save me a lot of money, and they also do amazing work to recycle all of our crap. Because of that, I have donated a brand new large scale work to be auctioned off at their annual charity gala, the Aqua Affair, which will be held on Sunday, September 13th, 2015. My new piece, called 'Multiverse', is painted on a reclaimed door found at Recycle Utah and features three large blue watercolor orbs, which are then covered in wax. My husband Matt, built the beautiful frame out of more reclaimed wood.

If you want to help support our local recycling center here in Park City, please attend the gala and donate some money to this incredible organization. Find out more info here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summit Series + Solo Show + Powder Mountain = Success

My solo show, 'A Layered Approach' at Powder Mountain as part of the Summit Series in July was a great success. The weekend was amazing, the weather was beautiful, the attending guests were inspiring, and the landscape was breathtaking. I am so pleased to be working with Summit and show my art in their beautiful outdoor gallery called the Mirror Gallery. I'm even more excited to be their summer Artist in Residence, to spend more time up on the mountain, paint, share my process and hopefully even do an outdoor installation - stay tuned. Click on for some more images of the installed show. Thanks to Marshall Birnbaum for the images and a huge thanks to Gallery MAR for handling all the artwork and facilitating the show.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

'A Layered Approach' Solo Show at Powder Mountain

My first ever solo show will open this Friday, July 10th at Powder Mountain Ski Resort in Utah, as part of the Summit Series. A Layered Approach is an in depth exploration into my process as an artist and a person. Each layer of my encaustic paintings is an integral part of the whole piece, just like every experience along my path has made me who I am. I am honored to be a guest, a speaker and an Artist in Residence for the Summit Series. ALSO many, many thanks to Gallery MAR for making this happen and being my handler/agent/friend. More pics to follow next week after the show. Above is the outdoor Mirror Gallery at Powder Mountain, in which 7 of my latest works will be debuting this week! I am so incredibly thrilled about this opportunity, the gorgeous outdoor gallery I'm showing in and the chance to wander around Powder Mountain for awhile.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

New Show Opens in Durango at Diane West Art on May 8th


The winter and spring flew by this year and now it's already the beginning of May. This Friday, May 8th, I will unveil my latest works at Diane West Art in Durango, Colorado. I am growing to love this mountain town and am thrilled to share my views of it. (And get a chance to mountain bike more there!) The theme from my November show at Park City's Gallery MAR, 'Bountiful World', has spilled over into this spring's works. How could I not continue to keep celebrating all that nature provides for us? The natural world provides immeasurable benefit to us humans - resources, healing, serenity, joy, comfort, water, recreation - and I want to continue reveling in that for awhile longer. 

If you're in Durango this Friday, May 8th, 2015, please join me at Diane West Art from 5-8 pm for the opening reception during the monthly Gallery Walk. Otherwise, please visit the gallery's site to see what is available. A sneak peak of a few of the paintings after the jump.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Making Of Bountiful World

Creating a body of work is entirely different than making just one painting. A thread must connect the paintings together in a way that allows the viewer to find a connection between the pieces. In my very few years as a professional artist, having an underlying theme behind the paintings makes it all so much more meaningful than a standalone piece. Not only does it help me name the works (the hardest part of my job), but it gives me purpose and inspiration even on the days that don't seem so easy. This year the theme is directly tied to the natural world I so desperately love. Behind my love is a deep gratitude towards nature and all of the amazing gifts it unconditionally offers to each and every one of us. It's all there for us - love, comfort, health, growth, peace - if only we'll take a step outdoors. And for that I am eternally grateful for the Bountiful World that we live in.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amazing Mention On Anthology Magazine

I am beyond thrilled right now to be included in the online pages of Anthology Magazine. I drool over the print version and ogle at all their blog posts, which means I feel so lucky to be included amongst the likes of some very talented individuals. I gave a quick interview to the editor, Anh-Minh Le, about next week's upcoming show, "Bountiful World" at Gallery MAR here in Park City. I'll explain more this next week about the inspiration behind the show and about what I was thinking in the midst of my work this fall. But for now, get a sneak peak at some of my new paintings over at Anthology! Big thanks to Anh-Minh for including me!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Art in Wax Exhibition at Gallery 901 in Santa Fe Starting November 21

I am pleased to announce inclusion of a small painting of mine in the "The Art In Wax" Exhibition at Gallery 901 in Santa Fe, NM. Starting on November 21st, my small 6x6" painting will be hung alongside a number of other small works encaustic paintings. The juried show will open with a reception from 5-7pm on November 21st and will run through December 30th.

About the show: Gallery 901 presents a National Juried Encaustic Small Works Exhibition featuring artists across the United States who primarily work in wax. All pieces are 6x6" or smaller, two or three dimensional works on wood panel. Jurors for this show are John Schaeffer and Sherry Ikeda, owners of Gallery 901, who will award one Best of Show with a cash prize. Visitors to the gallery can vote for their favorite piece with an honorable mention being awarded for the public favorite. All pieces of art are prices at $300 with a percentage of sales supporting the Encaustic Art Institute and the Espanola Valley Humane Society. 

The show opens November 21st and runs through December 30th. For more information contact Sherry Ikeda at Gallery 901 via email or by phone 505-780-8390.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stencil Monotype Workshop at Saltgrass Printmakers

At the end of October, I decided to get out of the studio and take a day playing in another medium. I've long been fascinated with printmaking and enjoyed it immensely in high school. Finally the stars aligned with my schedule and I was able to take a workshop at Saltgrass Printmakers down in Salt Lake City. The very talented and lovely, Stefanie Dykes ran a Saturday workshop in stencil prints and I couldn't be more pleased with the results of my first real time working with a press.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13% Salt & Austen Diamond Visit My Studio

photo ©austen diamond
Last month, Austen Diamond, a really nice photographer and writer who heads up the blog 13% Salt, came up to visit my studio. Austen was a pleasure to talk with and his blog covers a lot of great and quirky stuff that happens in and around the Salt Lake area. I am looking forward to seeing his article that comes out this winter with Park City Magazine and will also be certain to keep checking back on his blog to discover new stuff about our great community. For instance, check out the fun article on the Mushroom Society of Utah - I want to know how to forage mushrooms! Thanks Austen for the writeup!