A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painting 'Gythion Glow' Part 1 - Inspiration and Samples

After my success with 'Strindberg Shore'  I was keen to continue the themes of the sea and apply my newly learnt techniques to the Contemporary Quilt 'Thin Blue Line' challenge, a strict  30 x 120 cm format. I wanted to look at different proportions of sea, sky and shore, with the horizon line between sea and sky being the blue line. Some of my inspiration (besides some more Strindberg paintings ) included photos and a drawing from Ireland and Greece, paintings by Terry Frost and monoprints by Trevor Sutton. I tried out a different material - a cotton yukata fabric from Japan in blues and blacks. I quilted this with a twin needle to get slightly raised lines on a 12 inch square  finished size ( CQ Journal Quilt size- cunning eh!) I marked off 2 areas with masking tape to the same proportions as the Thin Blue Line and painted with acrylics, varying the horizon line.

With the masking tape removed, I quite liked the contrast with the unpainted fabric. Not sure which horizon line/ proportions I prefer ( if any) - I'm afraid I 'fiddled', always a danger when working on such a small scale and the painting is not as fresh and lively as it could be.

 I wasn't that happy in particular with the 'sea' part or the definition of the horizon line. I'm confident mixing blues in watercolour but  was struggling in acrylics ( got round that in 'Strindberg Shore' by using indigo dyed fabric after a few abortive attempts). Maybe it needed a line of blue fabric introduced or a left unpainted? More experiments  were required!

 My next experiment  was a 1/4 scale sample piece to test out ideas and fabrics. I made it double sided - both main fabrics used were kimono/yakuta ( conveniently already a narrow width ) and painted with acrylics both sides. The woollen slubby fabric didn't work that well (at least on this scale)  but I was pleased with the results on dark blue/black patterned cotton yakuta fabric which has a slightly starched finish.
 Woollen slubby side
Cotton yakuta side

Cotton yakuta side detail

Next step scaling up!




  1. Oh wow! I love how the wool side gives one view of the sea and the cotton side gives another. And so it is like any view of the sea - changing almost unrecognisably with the weather.
    Sandy (in the UK)

  2. I'm doing catch up! Fascinating!


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