Monday, March 18, 2013

Stitching turns to paints

My Mom's birthday quilt has been banished under the table while I obsess about painting flowers. The taxes languish (no surprise) on the sideboard and the meatloaf isn't being cooked. The second week of Carla Sonheim's class is done and it was tricky. This third week looks even more challenging. Boy, will I be brilliant when this is over.

Here we painted lots of watercolour splotches, covered with light and heavy layers of gesso, let it dry and then went in with pencil to define things. I'm not a fan of grey and I'm disappointed with this. I tried it again,

This time I was clever and used a black fine line pen to do the outline bits and details. In an effort to conform, I lay over a wash of a light colour to unify the images and blamp, the ink ran. Not so clever. Black when wet, turns to grey. Argh.

Things really went crazy after that. We painted with the gesso (white acrylic gunk), layered upon it several times, carved into it in different ways, made several samples with different combinations of colour washes that we then rubbed off, and finally, we made some flowers on the last day. This whole business about shading to give life to the shape of the flowers is a bugger. I came back to these images time and again over the weekend and just couldn't get what I wanted. I think I'm too afraid of making mistakes, yet this is a learning experience and mistakes are what I'm supposed to be making.

I've decided to take a major lesson from Karen's stitching class and just keep layering details on until either the image implodes or I finally get what I want. Titivate, I believe Karen calls it. I need to be bold with painterly titivation.

In between learning all this, I needed some down time and turned to a new brainless knitting project. I'm loving it. A light mohair shawl, elephant grey that will be so yummy next winter. Only two days left of official winter. I'm putting a fire on in a few minutes. I'll do the taxes in front of it. I will avoid the temptation to throw the paperwork into the fire.


  1. Hi there! I'm also in the Flower crazy class and found your blog through Flickr. Fun post! At first glance, that picture of the throw looked like another flower to me. :) Inspiration is everywhere when it comes to flowers! I'm enjoying your work in our group and look forward to seeing more of it there.

  2. great to see that you are still titivating!!! I love your flowers they're fabulous.