Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Creative Impulses…

Cotton and silk dupione fabrics painted, manipulated and salted...

Cotton and Silk Dupione fabrics painted, manipulated and salted…

…struck this week! For the first time in a long time I feel I utilized my limited time in the studio to take full advantage of that creative vibe I have not been able to fully embrace in many months. The week started out with some reminders to submit photos for a book our photo club is producing. That out of the way another call for entry into a regional photo competition demanded additional time on the computer to process a few images to the point that I was satisfied and get them printed professionally. Once the computer was put back to sleep I looked around the studio with the intent to tidy up…

…and instead a spotted a few small pieces of fabric. The urge to dye hit me like lighting… but it is still winter outside (no matter how blue the sky might look). Snow or ice dyeing does not appeal to me as it involved handling cold substances. Having suffered minor frost bite a few times over my lifetime I can’t tolerate the cold well. Another reason I don’t like to dye in the winter as it requires a lot of rinsing, and since we are on a cistern system (we truck in water at the cost of about $ 1.50/gal.) it always ends up being quite costly. In the summer I can draw water directly from the lake, I then use the rinse water for watering trees and bushes around the property.

The second best choice when it comes to adding color to white fabric is to reach for paints. I wet some silk and cotton fabric pieces, mixed textile medium with acrylic paints and inks and started to drip paint on the damp fabrics. A few dabs and pushes with the brush, folding the fabric to create mirror imagery and placing a damp piece of fabric on an already paint saturated piece, pressing it down and letting the dye penetrate the white layer made time fly in a hurry.

Close up of the painted fabrics

Close up of the painted fabrics

Like so many times over the past year I fully expected to loose interest once the fabric was dry and that initial urge to create waned. Saturday started out looking after some more administrative stuff in the office… but soon I was drawn in by the dry fabric. Immediate I picked up a piece and remembered a call to participate in a Saskatchewan Fibre Event later this summer. Jaynie Himsl is organizing a Fibre Festival in Weyburn, SK. Here is the call for entry for Join the Thread for those living in Saskatchewan and interested in participating.

I drew, I fused, I hand-embellished and I machine embellished… and at the end of yesterday I was happily sewing on the hanging sleeve. I was so happy in fact that I am sending this 12″ x 12″ piece to Jaynie.

"Innermost - Landscapes of the Soul", 2015

“Innermost – Landscapes of the Soul”, 2015

"Innermost..." detail

“Innermost…” detail

I have several similar pieces that will make for “take-along-work” while traveling. I also have a large piece of painted cotton drying on my studio floor right now. Visitors are not permitted when I have spread out all over the floor and table spaces… Sometimes I wish I had the ability to grow wings to help me get from area of my studio to the other.

Back to work, or better – back to playing with paints and threads. Have a great Sunday!

This entry was published on March 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm. It’s filed under Art, Creativity Update, Design, In the News, Journaling, Refocusing Creativity, Special event, Special Project and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

13 thoughts on “Creative Impulses…

  1. Hermina Joldersma on said:

    This is beautiful, Anna – just had a look at it now and see that I saved it in my inbox because I wanted time to savor the beautiful pieces! We’re gathering at the Guild building this morning for a third workshop in a series on painting fabric experimentally – baby steps compared to this but a start. Your pieces are so inspirational!


    • Minnie – thanks for the comment. I had to check which entry it was and had forgotten about the burst of colour I created during last year’s dreary winter days. What a difference a year makes. Enjoy your day of experimental fabric painting and say hello to the wonderful Yellowknife art group!


  2. Katina on said:

    I am amazed how your mind took you from fabric dying to this exquisite work of art. So beautiful. I have thought of trying silk in a bag with Rami Kim techniques. I will have to check and see if Fsbricville carry it. Winter has been brutal. Yesterday’s storm has left me with aches and pains from shovelling.


    • Katina, I didn’t dye the fabric – I painted it. I never intended to paint silk, but had a few smallish pieces around and as it so often works out, when I least expect it I get some great looking fabric. I usually dye silk in an immersion bath with acid dyes which means bringing out the hot plate and stainless steel pot, steaming up the studio and watching carefully so it does not get too hot. Anyways – painting was more spontaneous and the colours dried as intense as when they were wet.


  3. trudigriffin on said:

    Those are beautiful, Anna! I love the colours. What did you use for the ‘vegetation’?


  4. Serafina aka Marilyn on said:

    Truly Stunning!


  5. Lovely work. Now I have a strange question, is your cistern buried and how large is it? We are on water haul at our cabin but it is above ground so we only have seasonal water. We’ve talked about year round water. Any cistern info you can share would be great. (By the way we pay $150 for 1250 gallons delivered.)


    • The majority of Saskatchewan properties (year-round) are on a water delivery system… after the convenience of living in Calgary most of my life this has been a bit difficult to get used to. Our cistern is a little over 600 gal. and if we are careful we can operate on that for 5 – 6 weeks. I use reverse osmosis water for cooking and drinking. The cistern for the house is under the house (formerly a cottage). I also have an above ground cistern for the studio. It holds 125 gal and I have a gray water tank next to it. We use the grey water to water trees and bushes as it is only water from one sink and a small washing machine I use for dyeing in the studio. This system is set up in the heated garage. – Sorry, I have not idea what it costs to bury a cistern. I have heard that it runs in the neighborhood of $ 6,000 to $ 8,000 here in SK.


      • Thanks. I am in information collecting mode. We might have to bulldoze and rebuild the cabin so a buried cistern is on my dream list (think big!).

        Being frugal with water is a learning experience . This last year at the cabin, May to October we only used 750 gallons for the 7 of us. That is on weekends.


  6. Hermina Joldersma on said:

    I love it, Anna!!!!!


    • Thanks, Minnie. I am hoping the large piece of fabric will dry in a similar fashion… I have some definite ideas for that and if I get it finished in time I want to enter it into a competition.


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