Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paintstiks and oil paint flashbacks

I decided the other day to pull out the old Paintstiks
and doctor up some scraps of hand-painted fabric.

As soon as I opened the box of colors and peeled off the protective film, the heady aroma of oil paint transported me back to the paint-spattered classrooms from my high school art classes. One memory led to another, including flashbacks of the extraordinarily artistic bathroom graffiti in the stalls at Carnegie-Mellon University's art department back in the '70s. The bathroom musings were a mixture of psychedelia and philosophy that I hadn't thought about in probably decades, and just that one whiff of oil paint was enough to suck me back through the time tube in a rush of color.

This started as a piece of drab gray and black hand-dyed cotton.
The Paintstik rubbings really transformed it.

So here is the box of Shiva Paintstiks, which are solid oil paint in the shape of big fat Crayons:

In front of the box are some plastic rubbing plates and a stencil that I considered using with the Paintstiks. You can put a rubbing plate under your fabric and gently rub the Paintstiks over it to create a quick design. Or you can put the stencil on top of the fabric and apply the paint through the stencil. You can also see the gray and red fabric that I want to embellish. Decisions, decisions.

Here is a closer view of the Paintstiks and some leaf rubbing plates. (Elementary art school teachers let kids use Crayons and paper with these rubbing plates. You wouldn't give a kid oil paints in a stick.)

I decided to keep it simple and only use
the rubbing plate with concentric circles.

Step one (above): Tape fabric to work surface and slip a rubbing plate underneath. I selected a green iridescent Paintstik for the first layer. Peel the protective film off the tip of the paint. (This film forms to protect the paint from drying out between uses.) Breath deeply.

Step two: Gently rub the Paintstik over the fabric. Move stencil and repeat. I wasn't crazy about the green, so I switched to gold and like the final result, below:

Step three: After the paint dries -- which can take hours to days, depending on the humidity and how thick you applied the paint -- heat set it with an iron. Be sure to iron from the wrong side and to place paper underneath to absorb extra paint. Now it's ready to incorporate into a quilt or collage.

The swatch of fabric above is one that I've been using to test different stamps and sponging techniques (with Setacolor fabric paint). I didn't like how harsh the blue stamped spirals looked. Paintstiks to the rescue!

Next up was this piece of black fabric that I sponged some years ago with bronze fabric paint. It needed something.

Gold Paintstiks to the rescue:

I really like the concentric circles, but next time I'll try out some other rubbing plates and post the results. In the meantime ...

Have a colorful day!

P.S. For more ideas and where to buy, google Shiva Paintstiks. A lot of quilt, craft and art stores carry Paintstiks and the rubbing plates, or you can order on-line. You can also find free tutorials on-line.


Judys Fiber Art said...

I enjoyed seeing your post today. Paintsticks can be messy, but they can be quite effective on fabric. We all just need the guts to use them. I do use them from time to time and will be doing more, as I am working smaller.

Lisa said...

Hey, this turned out really lovely! It really improves a "drab" piece of fabric!

Robbie said...

Love the blue, love the black, love the...well you get the idea! Nice pieces! You never know what you'll get do you!

Marie Wise said...

Wow, you have a lovely way with fabric and paintsticks! So colorful and whimsical. Thanks for your comment on my blog, I'm following yours now because I just love quilts!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Thanks for the comments! (I love comments.) Marie, welcome.

Yonat Dascalu said...

looks lovely.
May I ask where can I find this rubbing plate with concentric circles?