I started fooling around with shirring some canvas over a piece of a garden hose and also a power cord from a desktop computer a while back. The resulting canvases have become part of a series inspired by the local winery. I highly recommend you try some of what they produce.
Here’s the initial shirring – the canvas was tucked over and under the hose and electrical cord and a running stitch was pulled tight. This took some time and a lot of pushing canvas pleats and pulling the thread (dental floss)… and more painful reminders that I really should use a thimble… especially difficult in the hairpin turns. I had a few things in mind for these, and I wanted to see if I could use this technique to get a strong rhythmic pattern through some meandering curves.
I dyed on one side and along the shirring with a relatively strong fuchsia, and a dilute green on the other first. I decided the fuchsia was far to intense and went over the whole of both pieces with the green a few minutes into the process. The fuchsia “strikes”, or binds to the fibers in the chemical reaction with the soda ash I prepared the canvas with, faster than the turquoise or yellow I used to mix the green. So even though this looks very dark, I knew I would end up with something closer to a red violet on the majority of the piece, especially on the ridges of the folds with the green traveling into the valleys before setting up in the fibers.
I waited about 30 minutes, poured the excess dye out of the container holding the canvases and went back over the tops of the shirring with a very strong fuchsia. Most of the other colors have run off into the recesses of the canvas at this point while most of what is visible is a magenta color.
Everything set overnight until dry, then I removed the stitching. I splattered some thiourea dioxide solution on the smaller piece before heat setting with an iron. here are the resulting two canvases.
The second is still in process. I went over to the winery earlier this week to sketch and got some very rough work done because I was sharing my attention with one of the owner’s dogs. Once I started petting him, he was very persistent in keeping me from doing much serious work – OK because the sketches are to help me to commit things to memory, I won’t refer to them directly while I paint. Here’s the sketch and an overlay on the canvas. I digitally desaturated the colors a bit because the gesso I prime with is more translucent than transparent and tones things down a bit.
The canvas is queued up for paint with several other works in progress.