Saturday, April 24, 2010

Screen Printing on Silk as an Antidepressant

I was really depressed today, one of those depressions that comes out of nowhere and clobbers you over the head leaving you dazed and lifeless. It was a sunny beautiful day but I could not get myself to go for a walk. I tried going for a ride with Don but all I wanted to do was get home. Once we did get back home I realized that I needed to distract myself so I went into the studio and did some doodling in my sketch journal. Then I started thinking how I would really like to do some screen printing on silk to make some art-cloth for these handbags I want to start making. I felt overwhelmed at the thought of getting everything out, mixing up the dyes with thickener, preparing the screen and setting up the screen printing table top, but I just decided that I needed to do this, I wanted to do this so I took it one task at a time and before I knew it I was set up and ready to rock and roll.

Once the dyes were prepared and I started printing I was really having fun, my energy was still really low but I was enjoying myself and loving the results I was getting on the silk. By the time I was finished my mood was so improved I didn’t even mind cleaning up all the dye cups and washing the screen and block printing tools. The distraction was wonderful and I feel as if some healthy brain chemicals have replaced the McNasty ones that were smothering me earlier in the day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dear Gallery, Shit or Get off the Pot. Please.

As an artist I am feeling really frustrated and even slightly abused so forgive me now because I gotta vent! I’m overworked, too often ignored and always underpaid (as are most of us). What happened to that magic feeling I had as a newbie to galleries? That joy of having my work in multiple galleries and being so thrilled that it was selling on a regular basis? Well after hundreds of unanswered emails and phone calls placed over the last decade, gallery owners that don’t pay for months on end until you chase them down, and galleries that put out calls for artists to go through the jury process and then never respond, I think I the “magic” is fading.

My current issue is with 2 galleries, one in Vermont and one in N.H., both with whom I have been trying to get response for about six months. Why is it that some galleries put out calls to artists and then never respond? Could they possibly not understand how much time it takes us to put together these complex jury packets they request? Do they think we are all just playing around with our Crayolas and that we have all the time in the world to fill out endless forms, burn image C.D.’s and write updated artist statements and biographies?

Of the two galleries that are currently keeping me in limbo one has received my application, cashed my check (6 months ago) and responds to my bimonthly emails with incredibly apologetic responses promising to “investigate” and get and answer back to me “immediately”. The other gallery finally responded after I went to a higher up upon the advice of the Vermont Crafts Council. The “higher up person” stated that I would be contacted on a certain date which has now come and gone, still no response. One of the galleries keeps saying “We love your silk paintings, they are amazing. We can’t imagine how this happened and we apologize.” Well that is lovely, I am truly glad you like my work but you have been saying that for six months now so forgive my language but “Shit or get off the pot people”. Either accept my work into your gallery or let me move onto the joyful experience of the next jury process.
Amen.....I'm done.....Thank you for your ear. I am heading into the studio to paint now (which is what this "Art" thing was supposed to be all about).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Butterfly Conservatory: A Butterfly Lights Beside Us

A Butterfly Lights Beside Us

A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam...
and for a brief moment it's glory
and beauty belong to our world...
but then it flies on again, and although
we wish it could have stayed,
we are so thankful to have seen it at all.

~Author Unknown

To see more of my Buterfly Conservatory photos go to my Flickr page:

I took these photos at the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, Ma. A most wonderful place to visit!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Silk Scarves and Prints now Available on Market Vermont

Market Vermont
A State of Fine Art and Craft

Market Vermont is an ecommerce engine for Vermont artisans and producers of quality Vermont made products. Our products are shipped to you directly from the artisan that made them. Learn more about Market Vermont or browse the catalog for something special to brighten up your home or as a gift for someone else!

Many of the products you'll find here are available in limited quantities or are one-of-a-kind. The artisans that create these wonderful items live and work in Vermont. We encourage you to visit their studios and the art galleries that display their work the next time you come visit Vermont. You're likely to find even more and wonderful items when you do.

Click on this link to see items I have for sale on Market Vermont. More items are being added so check back often!

Click here to see my Profile on Market Vermont

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5' Super Hero, Dyes on Silk for Stage

Well it has been about 2 months and the end is finally in sight for this custom order. The Fat Baby and the Monkey were shipped off to the seamstress today to have their face holes cut out. I dyed extra silk to match the paintings for her to make a bias tape with to bind the edges of the face holes. I am working on the last two paintings the Super Hero and the Model-T. The Super Hero has been dyed and needs to be steamed for 3 hours and the Model-T still needs to be painted with dye.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Monkey, Fat Baby, Bathing Beauty, and Model T Hanging Out on the Line

The Monkey and Fat Baby are steamed and ready to be shipped to the seamstress to have the face holes cut out. Bathing Beauty just needs to be ironed then she is done. The Model T and the Super Hero have had the black resist applied and have been steamed once so they are ready to have the dye painted on. The other four are done, ironed and safely tucked away in the studio closet for protection until they are shipped out with the others.

In the photos the Super Hero silk painting is hiding in the stretcher behind the row of paintings on the line. He will be the next to be painted.  I am running out of room!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fat Baby Headed for the Silk Steamer

I worked late yesterday to get the Fat Baby painting dyed because we traded in our large Open Road travel trailer for a smaller motorized RV and it is being delivered Friday. I am hoping to be far enough along on the order by Friday so that we can go camping over the weekend. I need to steam the Monkey and Fat Baby paintings for 3 hours today and then rinse and iron them so I can get them in the mail to the seamstress who will be cutting the face holes in them.

Taking a moment away from the studio for silliness with the Bathing beauty!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Silken Monkey Painted & Bathing Beauty Takes the Post Steaming Plunge

Late yesterday the Bathing Beauty silk painting came out of the final steaming and was ready to be rinsed. This is a stressful time because so much can go wrong at this point, the dyes can bleed if the proper temperature was not reached during the 3 hour steaming, there can be water marks where droplets of steam hit the silk during the steaming process if it was not wrapped carefully enough, or the black resist can back-stain the silk with little black greasy looking spots if the silk is not handled properly during the rinsing. Any of these “disasters” can render the paining a failure at this point so I was surprised when Don came in with the camera because he normally instinctually stays away until the all is well signal goes out. Plus it was late and my pain level was at high plus. But in true beauty queen style the bathing beauty took the crown and came out picture perfect!

It is getting so crowded in the studio with all the large silks from this order in various stages of completion that I had to move the Model T & Driver out into the hallway after I applied the resist so I had room to move onto the next painting while the resist dried. My last studio was about 4 times larger than the one I have now and I sure have missed that extra space while doing this custom order!

The line is filing up with painting in various stages of completion. The black and white ones have been through the first steaming and are waitng to be dyed, (there are 3 hanging tripled up together on the line), the bathing beauty has been through both steamings and is waiting to be ironed, the Monkey is still in the stretcher as the dyes dry and cure overnight before it goes through its final steaming. The four finished paintings are folded and stored away to keep them safe from errant dyes.

The Monkey and Fat Baby will be sent off to the seamstress after they are steamed to have the face holes cut out and bound with silk that I will dye to match his fur color and baby bonnet. All in all progress is being made and I am pleased with the results so far.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bathing Beauty and Dog on Silk Finally Get Some Color

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and despite the fact that my pain level has been high I pushed on with the custom order I am working on. After doing all the prep work on the 9 paintings, (was 8 but he added another one), it felt good to finally be putting some dye onto the silk. The project started with me doing 9 sketches, then transferring those sketches onto the silk with water soluble quilters pencil. Once the drawings were on the silk I stretched them in the silk stretcher and applied resist that I had colored with black dye. The resist was allowed to cure overnight then I took the silk off of the stretcher and rolled it onto a stainless steel core between sheets of interfacing and wrapped the outside of the roll with brown framing paper. Once rolled resisted silk was placed into the silk steamer for 2-1/2 hours to set the black dye in the resist and to activate the resists holding properties.

Then yesterday I finally got to paint in the colored dyes on the first of the 9 resisted & steamed silks. Now I feel like the end is at least in sight on this order. Today I will take the bathing beauty painting off the stretcher, roll it up in interfacing & paper on the steaming core and steam it for 3 hours to set the dye. Then I need to find a container big enough to rinse the painting in so that I don’t get back-staining from the black resist.

My joint pain is at a very high level today and last night I finally had to get out of bed around 2:00 AM because the pain was so bad. I walked around and did some stretches and then spent a few hours dozing in the recliner propped up with pillows so today I not only hurt but I am tired too. Despite all of that, I am making good progress and feel that I will have the order completed within the 2 month deadline I was given.

The dyes are still wet in the photos below

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Serendipitous Monoprints with French Dyes on Paper and Silk

I have been so busy working on this custom order that I haven’t had much time to “play” in the studio and all work and no play makes this artist surly! Yesterday I noticed that some dye I had spilled on the counter had dried in the most delightful design so I dropped the custom order like a hot potato and created some monoprints using the countertop as my plate and the dye as my medium. I printed the dye onto wet paper and wet silk and I got a few lovely prints which I am delighted with.

It was a wonderful and much needed break because I had been running into some technical problems with the order and had been doing steaming tests for days trying to solve the problem. The stress was really getting to me and I was so frustrated that I really needed a break. When I turned and saw the lovely dye pattern on the counter it filled me with such delight that I had to stop and play with it and I found that afterwards I was able to view the problem I was having with much more clarity.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gallery Walk: Latchis Theatre Paintings on Silk by Linda Marcille

Gallery Walk: Latchis Theatre Paintings on Silk by Linda Marcille

50 Main St., Brattleboro (802) 254-1109

The Main Theatre's gallery spaces feature 18 paintings on silk by award-winning artist Linda Marcille. Sold internationally, her work is created using the highest quality steam-set dyes from France, the finest crêpe-de-chine silk from China, and a one-of-a-kind resist made only in New Zealand. She has taken an ancient Asian art form and infused it with her own joyful and whimsical style. Linda's original paintings on silk, as well as limited-edition prints, are available locally through Vermont Artisans Designs at 106 Main St. Linda also creates limited quantities of silk scarves available only through wholesale accounts, online, or at her Brattleboro studio. You can see Linda's silk art online at The exhibit is open for browsing from 5:00 to 6:30 during Gallery Walk and otherwise for movie patrons or by appt.

To see all of the Gallery Walk listings click on this link: