Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jackson Pollack Wearable Art Skirt-part 1

It was a warm and windy day here in south Florida and it seemed like a perfect day to do something I've imagined for a long time. How would it be to just throw paint at fabric?
So, here you see my initial setup. A bias cut skirt and top, just four beautiful linen pieces laid out so nicely on a tarp, held down with my usual fabric weights.
It was a sun, sun, sunny day and I was ready to go.
However, as I went back into the garage to mix up some thinned fabric paints, I came out to find my pieces flip-flopped all over and getting ready to fly down the drive way! Yikes! March winds are some serious winds, I tell ya!

Since my studio/garage is full to the brim with stuff, I was able to reach back and pull out lots of half empty paint cans to use to weigh down the linen pieces.

The fun part was the flinging of paint. All you need is a willing arm and a drippy brush to slam color down in drips and spots and slashes of color. What a surprise!
And, since it was about 70 degrees and sunny, the fabric paint dried very fast. My biggest worry was just how sneaky the wind could be. The driveway surface is uneven and little teasers of wind kept finding the smallest places to lift up the skirt and flop it over. grrrr!
I had to keep my eye on it all the time as I was mixing water into the next color or else I'd have smudges of drips and spots. Yes, I know, I know, the whole thing is supposed to be free form, but being new to this, I wanted CONTROL.


Flinging paint on an angle started to make a pattern that I liked, so I just kept slashing blue, blue and more blue. It's amazing how much paint I used. Walking around the tarp with paint brush in hand is so freeing! No wonder Jackson Pollack made so many pieces of art this way. It is mesmerizing to just fling and go.

Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop. I used about five colors and left a lot of the natural linen background.
The other thing I wasn't sure of was how the paint would feel on the fabric. I didn't want thick, stiff spots on whole areas of the skirt or top.

Considering this whole project a complete trial is the only way for me to stay comfortable and continue to change the fabric with paint. My mind set was, "it's only a few yards of fabric ($16.00 on sale) and a little bit of paint, So What iF I Ruin it! Or hate it. I can always just throw it all away....!" I have to fight my Puritan ethic of economy concerning time and money by telling it to SHUT UP for just a little while so I can have some FUN. Believe me, this voice is a nagging one that gets in the way of a lot of what I do, or a lot of times, don't do.

I tend to get hyper when I start a technique that is new to me (because of that VOICE), so after about an hour of flinging and color changes, I stopped to let the sun dry it very well, indeed.
I sat at my table inside the garage/studio and worked on carving a few rubber stamps to wile away the time and let myself be sure that I really had put as much paint on the pieces that I wanted. It wouldn't be fun to set it all up again, so I just sat for about an hour. And, besides, the weather was great! Spring in Florida means lots and lots of birdsong in the early part of the day, and my messy butterfly garden to the right of the driveway brought beautiful Monarchs careening past my head as I worked. Very cool.

Now, I just can't wait to sew the skirt together and add something to this new "blank canvas" of fabric.

Note to self: wear sneakers and socks next time.


Barb Smith said...

What cute toes you have! *grin* And noooo, don't wear sneakers next time...go barefoot and enjoy covering your beautiful feet in those pretty polka dots of paint. Let go and be free...you can do it!!!
Peace & Love,

Adrian said...

Thanks again, Barb. Don't you think every girl you know should have bright pink toe nails?
Big grin!