Sunday, March 30, 2008

Grunge Painted Fabric (muslin)



These six photos are of muslin painted by my local group, the Mile High Book Arts group here in the Denver metro area. We had our monthly meeting yesterday, and this was the art project we did. Karen Campbell, our talented and fearless leader, spread out yards of muslin fabric across several tables, and then each member picked a section to start painting on. After several minutes of painting that spot, we all moved to the left, and started painting on that section, on top of what had already been painted. And so, we went around the table that way and kept moving to the left until all of us had painted on every section of the muslin. Then when it was dry, Karen cut it into many pieces and we each got to take home two pieces.

Of course no two sections on the fabric were the same. We used brushes, stamps, and stencils for the painting, as you can see. Some people used unconventional items for stamping, such as a toilet paper tube for the black circles. Some people used stamps they had carved themselves. The point was to fill up the whole fabric piece with paint, layering paint on top of paint. I guess that's why it's called Grunge Painting.

As a group, we've done this before on paper, and we all love doing the Grunge Painting and then taking home the neat results. But this was the first time we did it on fabric, and of course the results are the same as on paper. But we plan to make a fabric book this year or next year in our group, so we're thinking of ways to create great fabric backgrounds at some of our meetings.

The neat thing about the process of this technic is that multiple artists paint the same section of fabric and do their own thing, and also the amount of layering done. We all painted quickly and spontaneously, without planning it out or thinking about it, or fear of covering something up that was already painted. So the result really does end up being spontaneous and serendipitous.

Obviously, to do this technic involves more than one person, and preferably many people. Although it could be done with just two people, I suppose. But if you're in a group, this is a very fun and easy project to do with great, and unique, results. Because no one else in the whole wide world has two painted fabric pieces exactly like mine!!! And these will make great backgrounds for my fabric book, when we work on that project.

So, is anyone game to try this? Do it with an art group, or invite a few art friends over for a painting party. Or, if you can't get another person, paint, go out of the room, come back in, and pretend you're someone else. Oh well, just a suggestion.

19 comments:

Christy said...

I love them. They are beautiful and fun and unique. Another way if you are like me and don't have art friends who are close is to save your paper towels, baby wipes, wax paper. And just keep reusing them paying no attention to whether you mix colors or go over colors. Then when there isn't a teeny bit of empty space yet cut them up for backgrounds or if you have a die cutter run them through as flowers or tags or what ever you have. I did this recently and was really shocked at the result and have lots of fun, interesting embellishments to use that I would never have thought to create. Thanks so much for posting this Val. -Christy

Angie in AZ said...

Looks great Val! And Karen is a sweet friend of mine. She truly will try anything, won't she? I've been green with envy over your art groups for years now. I wanna' come! Wahhhhhh! :(

Peggy Louise said...

What a fantastic idea for a group of crafters!!! And what a wonderful result! The fabric being cut up to give to the crafters was terrific!!
And I agree with Christy, I was thinking there is probably a way to do it by yourself if you have no one to play with!!! lol
And of course the uses are endless in the crafting altered art world!!
Peggy Louise

Peggy Louise said...

What a fantastic idea for a group of crafters!!! And what a wonderful result! The fabric being cut up to give to the crafters was terrific!!
And I agree with Christy, I was thinking there is probably a way to do it by yourself if you have no one to play with!!! lol
And of course the uses are endless in the crafting altered art world!!

Val Foster said...

Hi Angie. Yes, I know that you and Karen are good friends. She speaks of you often, and very highly I might add. I've been to your blog, and seen some of your posts on some groups we are members of, such as CPS. You do beautiful, beautiful work! It's just awesome. In fact, if I have time, I think I'll visit your blog today and see what you're up to. I love your Asian Fall piece in the ArtFest this week. Thanks for your comment.

Gail P said...

Guess I'll have to take on a few personalities to give this one a try. Or, maybe just different months; put the piece away and pull it out every month and add something. Might work. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration. Looks like you all had a great time!

Heather P said...

Val, these are wonderful! I'm going to have to suggest this to my fiber art group. Sounds like a lot of fun, and results are fabulous.

Sherry G. said...

Since I craft a lot by myself, the idea of going out of the room and coming back in and pretending I'm someone else is very appealing to me! LOL

Babytreese said...

This is a really unique idea and great for any group! I am fairly new to this AB thing so I will be interested in seeing what a fabric book looks like! Thanks so much!

Wendy said...

Hmmmm - two friends are coming today to make credit card papers - perhaps we will try this as well.
I guess with fabric, you could also then make it into bookcloth.

morningDove said...

I love this idea and will suggest it to my guild. I also will pretend to be someone else or maybe I will get my hubby and 3 sons to play along with me. thanks for sharing this wonderful grunge. I love it.

Alphaneenee said...

Val,
These look great. I love the group effort, it is hard to get something this unique without a group. Everyone comes from a different perspective and when it comes together makes it so unique.
Thanks for sharing these.
Denise

kristen said...

Val,
I love these, they are awesome! They have a real graphic quality to them and sound like a blast to do...!

Jill Smith said...

Thank you again for having that slideshow as have just signed up for one for my blog,http://fabricholic.blogspot.com
Jill

Mary Catherine Dabrowski said...

Val, thanks for sharing the "how-to" on these great grunge fabrics. I am green with envy that you have a group to create art with. Lucky girl!

Jan said...

I really like this idea of quickly painting and moving onto the next spot, where others have painted before. I've been trying to think up an idea for a long distance collaboration I've got planned. I think we could use this idea, but probably on paper not fabric at this stage. I'm quite excited about it, so thank you for this post!!!

Helen's Art Studio said...

Great idea and the result is wonderful. I have a group I think I'll do that with

Tammy said...

This is gorgeous! How inspiring!

Susie Jefferson said...

Ooooh, NICE! I'll be excited to see what you do with your pieces. The moving people around the table and not allowing them to think too much idea was obviously the key. All I need now is enough people to try this myself. Brilliant idea!