At long last, it is really Spring here in the Northeast. Today was just gorgeous: brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies and warm temps in the mid-70s - fantastic! I took a walk and photographed the beautiful colors of everything in blossom.
Lately I've drawn marbling inspiration from the soft colors of this wonderful season. Oh, the the bright green of new buds and young leaves! The warm yellow of forsythia, daffodils and dandelions! The soft pink of magnolia and tulip trees . . . the fresh white of pear and apple blossoms . . . and the piquant surprise of an occasional red amid the softer colors. Marvelous!
Here are some of my images of Spring in Bloom, and the scarves the season inspired.
What's a frisket, you ask? It's a physical barrier to printing, used to selectively create blank areas in a print by blocking parts of the image to be printed from the thing you're printing on. You can make friskets in any shape you want using a special plastic film available from art stores, or use any readily available objects that's suitable.
Using friskets in marbling is a little tricky. You have to place them on the surface of the marbling bath after the pattern is created, prevent them from sinking, and avoid disturbing the design.
And the very nature of the gooey liquid you marble on, which facilitates the formation of soft, organic shapes, makes it hard to get a crisp outline around a frisket, I've learned that the best friskets have the simplest shapes. I experimented last year with Autumn leaves, and was disappointed with the results because I couldn't get the proper level of detail.
This Spring, with thoughts of the beach in my head, I tried something else, and created a couple of porpoise scarves. The porpoise shape is much simpler and more streamlined than the leaves, and worked much better. I look forward to trying other shapes and effects!
I am EXTREMELY excited to be doing the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit on Memorial Day Weekend in Greenwich Village!
The show is a Village institution with a very impressive 85 year track record, started in 1931 by two giants of the 20th century abstract expressionism movement. It was a nice Spring day, and Jackson Pollock, a Village resident, was broke. He decided to set out some of his work on the sidewalk outside his home and see if he could make some money. Soon he was joined by his friend, an equally broke Willem DeKooning. Little did they know that day what brilliant careers lay ahead of them, or that their small act of entrepreneurial initiative would grow into a major biannual event still being held all these years later!
And I am doubly excited to be returning to Greenwich Village, where I grew up in the era of Olaf Daughters, McNulty Coffee Roasters and Azuma on 8th Street. I attended P.S. 41, played in Washington Square Park, and savored my weekly trips to the Jefferson Market Library. It will be great fun to be back in the old neighborhood!
Full details of all my upcoming shows can be found here.
The past few months I have been experimenting with different weights and finishes of silk, and have decided to use 12 mm satin almost exclusively.
I loved the weight and feel of 19.5 mm charmeuse, but it's too weighty for some buyers, especially in the price department. Crepe de chine was a dream to handle during the alum stage (so much easier to untangle and hang for drying than the satin) but very difficult to iron well. And 8mm habotai was lovely to work with and took the color beautifully, but its crisp, papery hand just doesn't feel like silk. So silk satin it is!
I've been very busy this past week preparing for Spring shows. Marbled a bunch of scarves, inspired by the pale, fresh colors of forsythia and tree buds that will hopefully make an appearance soon here in the Northeast. Happy Spring, everybody!