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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Homemade Art Retreat--Part III

After a fairly early, fortifying breakfast of eggs the next morning (this was our last day, after all) we got to work on our biggest project. Lynda had sent me this link a couple of months ago when we first began planning and we thought we’d give Gelli stamping on scarves a try. I was out of habotai scarves so we printed on wool/silk scarves. It was soooo much fun, but took a lot longer than I’d have thought, probably in part because we were making the designs up as we went.

I decided to work sort of in the vein of the original video, but thought I’d do a floral motif. If you know me you might be surprised, but, hey, this was the time for departing from the status quo.

By supper I was worried about whether I’d finish covering the space on my scarf before bed since we had to head out first thing in the morning for me to catch the train. I was also pretty sure I’d run out of ideas, but I was pretty chuffed with what I’d done so far.

My scarf in progress.
I picked up some cool lace at Mood in NYC (and got kicked out of the store for Project Runway filming--#brushwithfame) for us to use in printing/stamping, etc.

Lace . . . from Mood! Thanks for your help, Noel!
Lynda used two sizes of rectangular Gelli plates. She painted the entire surface then used the middle lace to lift paint from the plate before stamping her scarf. It was very effective and neat how the fluidity of the lace pattern contrasted with the angularity of her prints.

Lynda's scarf in progress.

By suppertime she was OK with her result but felt it wasn’t done, just as I’d felt the day before about my journal pages. She planned to do some beading and thought maybe fringe or the lace she’d been using to print might finish it up nicely. I figured she was crazy about the beading (you are a stronger, more patient, and pertinacious woman than I, Lynda!!!) but I knew she’d bang it out if she went that route.

We took a break to cook up some mushrooms, Swiss chard, and eggs.

OK--this is the most important thing I taught Lynda during our artist retreat:
Swiss chard IS good!
(Lemon juice makes all the difference--either that or she's a great actor.)

After a little time away and a full tummy Lynda decided to add two sizes of circular stamps that she’d made. She thinks she probably can skip the beading and I think she’s right—it came out great!

I did get mine done after hogging the plate (with her blessing). At the last minute I thought all the little pink flowers might need yellow centers, but I was done!!! After auditioning this on a piece of newspaper, though, I decided I was right.

My finished scarf.
Lynda's finished scarf.

Thanks for checking my flowers for spots, Lynda. Well, for everything!

Taking the scarves off the freezer paper was magical! 
Drapey puddles of color and loveliness!
Lynda's puddle.
My puddle.
We also made double-sided pendants (all Lynda’s brilliant idea). I cut out a 1” x 2” piece of gelli print and wrote a message on the back for her and she did the same for me. Then we chose 1” x 2” pieces of gelli print for the other side of our pendant and, voila! What a meaningful way to remember our time together!

Left: Lynda chose this piece of one of her gelli prints for me.
Right: I chose this piece of one of my gelli prints for Lynda.

Left: I chose this piece of one of my gelli prints for me.
Right: Lynda chose this piece of one of her gelli prints for herself.
I still hadn’t used the lace from Mood yet, so I stayed up a little later for one last experiment. After laying down a beautiful periwinkle mix of colors on the spread and letting it dry I cut out a piece of the lace (the one at the bottom of the lace photo), placed it on the page, sprayed red clay-colored paint on the lace, then carefully lifted it. I love how it came out and am loathe to add anything else for now.

Lynda suggested turning the recycled plastic card scrapers we'd been using into bookmarks. Recycle, reuse, baby! It was fairly well covered by gesso and acrylic paint on the bottom half, so I used a loose lace flower as a resist on it, repeating my page. While it was still wet I used that flower to create a small print in the upper righthand corner of my journal page. One thing leads to another, to another, and another!
Put everything out to dry, then packing and to bed for very sweet dreams before an early departure. Also had a last serenade of frenetic activity from Fern, my furry roommate while I was there, a funny bunny that I firmly believe does not sleep. That didn't stop me from sawing a bunch of logs, though!

You can see Lynda's take on our time together here, but don't stop there. Her whole blog is gorgeous--pages of eye candy along with reflection, compassion, and curiosity. Lynda is a shining light.


Lynda Shoup said...

So much to say.

You should know that I have had Swiss Chard several times since you left. Yes, you have converted me to Swiss Chard fandom.

Your scarf is the boss! Those colors, the design and the draping. You are going to have fun wearing that delectable piece of art! Reading your thoughts on the process has been delightful. I shared the experience, but your rumination about it make me smile - sometimes in recognition, sometimes in thanks, sometimes in awe of how you think about things.

By the way, you totally rocked the process. It was fun, but time consuming and with that deadline looming a weaker person would have left a lot of white space.....hey wait a minute. I left a lot of white space....

Your kind words about me throughout touch my heart.

I dropped my pendant behind my bookcase, so I'll be thinking of you as I move the whole thing to get it out. It's a fun piece, isn't it?

Cindi said...

1. Just took a whole grocery bag of Swiss chard to local food pantry and it looks like I haven't touched the plants in my garden--it's a good thing I loooooove the stuff! And now I get to think of you every time I eat it!

2. Weak is the last word I would ever use to describe you.

3. You made me laugh out loud in Starbucks re: your pendant--in sympathy of course. Good luck getting it out and be safe! I love my pendant and have worn it several times already.

Lynda Shoup said...

Need to get to the farm to get more of that delicious stuff! Swiss Chard, that is. If they had silk scarves I'd get them too.

Yes, well the image of me moving the bookcase makes me laugh out loud, or more accurately snort. It isn't pretty. I've been procrastinating. I am imagining the pendant getting to know the bracelet that I also dropped back there. Maybe I'll move the bookcase over the weekend --- after the apartment inspection.