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Sunday, March 22, 2015

New costume-Joan of Arc

This is a new costume for my class. The Joan of Arc figure is a great historical one to paint. I know that she would have shaved her head and perhaps worn full armor, but this is a bit more of a fantasy based set-up. Our model Chelsea is very very petite, and burdening her with a full armor set up would have been overwhelming on her frame. Some artists of the past have painting her wearing just linen clothing, and there is a great variety of painting resources to reference. I decided to try and knit the chainmail tunic. For the Lord of Rings movies, some of the chainmail was made from wool instead of metal. Mine is knit from a gray cotton that I overdyed with olive shades and then used a metallic fabric paint for patina.
From a distance it is fairly convincing. Knitting is a new fiber art for me, and although it is not a very complicated thing, I was pretty proud to make it. There was a pattern for a tunic on Ravelry with a more traditional stitch. Instead, after some research, I found an old stitch called a  veil stitch .It makes for a more chainmail kind of roping, but is a rather tedious method of looping the yarn around the needle three times. Panic set in when there was only a day left before class and the knitting was not quite done. Fortunately it was finished.
This underdress is made from pure linen, which is a great material for painting. It is edged in vintage metal silver braid trim. The original linen was this orange brown shade, so I dyed it several times with a red fabric dye. It was not as red as I would have liked, but somehow still managed to ruin subsequent loads of clothing with a pink tinge. The washing machine is a much better method of dying large pieces of fabric, verses stovetop method which really make irregular patches..

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Painting-Courtship on two sided blanket

This was the other large piece we drove out to Tucson .It is a 30x40 oil on linen canvas. The title is
"Courtship on two sided blanket." Some of the plains tribes used these divided color blankets during the courtship between two potential love matches.  This painting was done partly in front of the camera for the online school at Watts Atelier. I worked some sections at home.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New painting-"Dance Rhythms"

This is a new piece we are driving out to Tucson today. It is called "Dance Rhythms." A large piece, it is a 60x40 oil on linen canvas. This took some time to finish, it was started last year, but set aside until recently. I can't describe the difficulty of trying to manage a large piece in the shoebox studio that I paint in. There is not enough space in any direction to see more than a small area at one time. I changed my mind about the colors of the garments several times. It is nice to get it out of such a small space where it can sit on a large wall.