Saturday, April 15, 2017

"Falling Leaves" Hand-painted Silk Scarf

"Falling Leaves",  hand-painted silk scarf
     It's spring, but I recently completed a hand-painted silk scarf with an autumn theme and wanted to show it to you. "Falling Leaves" took several months because I was not happy with the way it was turning out and put it away for a time. Once the French silk dye is in the fabric, radical change is not possible--partial modification is the best one can do.

Musings on "failure" in an art project
     To be honest, the finished product is still not to my taste. However, I know that it could still be the perfect addition to the right outfit for the right person. 

Close up detail
Close up detail
     So, I refuse to count this scarf as a failure or even to be disappointed in it. For one thing, every art project is a learning experience, and sometimes what can feel like failure has more learning value than a "success". I am still quite new to French silk dye techniques and welcome any opportunity to learn and grow in the art. 

     A second reason comes from the wise words of my acrylic painting mentor, Linda Blondheim. Once, when she was advising me on improving a landscape painting, I had done all that we could think of, and we both still concluded that we didn't like the results. I told her I'd just gesso over it and reuse the canvas. "Oh no, Mary," she said. "This is not an intrinsically bad painting; it's just one you and I don't like a lot. Someone will love it; you wait and see." I've told this story before; that painting sold in a local shop long before others I like much better.

     Oh, in case you are wondering, here's why this scarf will never be a personal favorite (what a ridiculous sales pitch this is turning out to be! not a sales pitch at all--just sharing my thoughts): I had planned the leaf shapes and layout quite carefully and still like them. The background came last, working carefully around the leaves, which had been outlined in a gutta resist to prevent dye flow in or out of the shapes. For some reason, I thought using a couple of colors would look nice and increase the versatility of the scarf as an accessory. Maybe a good idea for some scarves, but for this design, it made for too much going on. In my opinion, that is; others may feel differently, as Linda has taught me to realize

Question of the day: When have you been disappointed in the results of a project only to discover that others like (or even love) the results?