Sorting, sifting, reflecting

The Art at St. Kate’s show/fair was a great experience and exceeded my expectations! A windy day, two rain squalls, a sky with gorgeous clouds, and good sales. I was pleasantly surprised at the popularity of my runners, and sold out of the Minnow design (but can always make more).


This week the garden needs attention. I can’t bring myself to weed the wonderful Great Mullein specimen — it’s such a gorgeous plant, and quite useful – I wonder if it can be used as dye … I wouldn’t be surprised if K. Baxter Packwood has tried it! Tomorrow morning I’ve set aside time to weed, after spending two days accomplishing mundane errands and tasks I’ve postponed for months. It sure feels good to get these off my plate — no excuses for NOT getting in the studio next week!

Next week I dive into the work in progress for an October show at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis. I will be combining natural juice dyes along with  natural pigments, in a layered approach. I’m using two rather sturdy silks, as well as some vintage linen tablecloths I found at an estate sale in my neighborhood, as my canvas.

Dyeing the Work

These photos show my work during the dyeing process. The rice paste resist (golden in color) was “printed” through the stencil and allowed to dry. It forms a strong, yet water-soluble bond with the fibers.  The colors are gently scrubbed into the cloth with a rather dry brush. I paint my colors on in 3 layers, drying the work between each layer, as I learned from John Marshall in 2004. This ensures even coverage as well as a strong bond between the dyes and the fibers.

In the piece above, I’ve used the same stencil, based on my species tulips, but have dyed it in a different color palette.

A Favorite Subject with his Prey

The other day on my morning walk I saw a Great Blue Heron fishing in the small lake near my home. It looks like it has caught a baby bullhead.


Below is my minnow design pasted, stretched and ready to dye. My recent batch of rice paste was easier to handle with this rather challenging stencil.