Thursday, December 26, 2013

Transition in motion... where to start? At the design wall and machine of course!

Structures, Bethany Garner 2013

CREATIVITY  is on the calendar, and a new blog instead of a website to share my work with the world. What could be better for the end of the past year and a look ahead to 2014!

Art is in motion, with a commitment to working daily... and using some "found time"  in the past year resulted in the three pieces here. I want MORE!

The three pieces here were made for exhibitions with the Kingston Fibre Artists Group or local sharing with the "Group of Five", a 12 x 12 group of close friends I love to spend time with on both a social and creative basis. Committing to art and making time for fiends are two very important goals for me in the new year. It has been far too long since I have had time for either, and retirement from my working career is freeing me to meet the commitment to MY ART. Here's to a very creative and exciting 2014.
Red Sky at Night, Bethany Garner 2013

So what do I love about creating art?

One example is using a fairly "new to me" technique, Flat Dyeing, that I have become passionate about and cannot wait to get back to in 2014. 

The playful nature of this dyeing process is what intrigues me the most. Being in control of the exact placement of the colour and moving the dye BY HAND across the fabric, assuming nothing and seeing everything happening in front of my eyes is the entrancing. And, making original fabric created with a collection of cups of dye, poured randomly over soda soaked pdf white cotton just cannot be duplicated in any other way. You have to be hands on and willing to just go for it and see what happens. I am always anxious to start using the resulting cloth that emerges after lots of rinsing, drying and pressing after each dye session. Just waiting for the fabrics to "develop" is the hardest part.. and patience always rewards me with the revealing of the beautiful and inspiring colour I so randomly created in the flat dye process.

Deep Water, 4060 - Bethany Garner 2013
The unexpected blending of the dye colours that creates movement in the fabric is totally NOT in my control and that is the fascinating and scary part of the process... and what could be better for a TRANSITIONAL artist than seeing the process evolve into "whatever happens"!

Deep and dark "muddy water" evolved in the dyeing of the fabrics for DEEP WATER,  and that in itself was the inspiration that lead to the creation of this piece. Using what you have and adding some favorite piecing techniques and a bit of design play ensures that your new work will be different than anyone else's along the way. I love that no piece of fabric is left untouched, even when it is not your favorite. This piece reminded me of the beauty of a local bay in front of a friends home where I spent some time this past summer. The evening light reflected in the pools of water reflecting the weedy under water vistas and moss covered trees that had fallen into the waters edge just called for 

I start with mixing Procion MX dyes in a bold, pure palette (inspiration and first steps shared by friend and mentor, Kit Vincent of Brockville, ON in a lovely day long workshop for SAQA Central Canada members and friends in August of 2012). I have developed a real-time addiction to dyeing my own fabric to be used in new work, and for developing the palettes of colour mixing options I will be working with in a bit of a random and unassuming way. Whatever happens!

Bold colour is so much fun to work with, and will be a motivator for creativity, whether you are a traditional quilt artist, a wearables designer, doll maker or a crafts professional. I love what I have seen friends and students develop in their own new work, and watching with anticipation as they incorporate their hand dyes into all new ART!!

So the new year is about to begin and everyone I know is thinking about what this change in the calendar will bring their way. Is it a new home, a vacation that you have wished for and planned for year. Maybe you will have the time for a workshop or a retreat that will give you the time away from your home life to create some new fabric for projects you have planned. 

I will be sharing the flat dye technique along with some INDIGO play time and a few new screen work techniques in a CABIN FEVER RETREAT weekend sponsored by FIBREWORKS KINGSTON on the weekend of February 21-23rd at the Odessa Fairgrounds Hall. Come play... make the time to be with us for one, two or perhaps all three days!

Check out the details at: