Got 20 minutes? Try Some Fabric Painting

6 Feb 2013

Lately I have been trying to keep my own artwork on the radar.  It is a real challenge to balance the demands of life, work, and family and still have an intimate relationship with my art supplies.

fabric painting and monprinting by Vivika DeNegre
An example from one of my studio play dates: Thermofax screen printing over gelatin monoprinting.
I've found that setting aside 15-20 minutes a day of "play time" works for me. Whether it is spent hand quilting, working on a patchwork quilt for a friend, or spreading paints or inks on fabric in my studio for some surface design funit doesn't matter to me as long as I am tapping into my creativity.

Last week I got out my Gelli ArtsTM gel printing plate and made a few monoprints on fabric. I didn't have any finished piece of art in mind, I just was yearning for a quick studio-time fix. I pulled out my bin of monoprinting supplies (I keep the brayer, fabric paint, gel printing plate, and palettes all in one bin for easy access, so when inspiration hits, I only have to search for one tote and not all of the separate items) and within minutes, I had a small stack of newly printed fabric to play with.

Here's how to make your own quick gelatin monoprints on fabric:

1. Iron your fabric to remove the creases.

2. Wrap rubber bands around a hard rubber brayer to create a pattern of raised lines.

3. Pour a small amount of fabric paint onto the palette (I upcycle Styrofoam® meat trays to use for palettes.) Roll the brayer through the paint to load it with color, then roll the paint onto the printing plate.

4. Place the fabric on top of the painted printing plate and press it firmly with your hands.

5. Remove the fabric from the plate and lay flat to dry.

gelatin monoprinting on fabric
Close-up of my fabric after monoprinting.
I love the texture I get by combining the rubber band technique with the gel printing process. You can also roll the brayer directly onto the fabric for a darker print, and add additional surface design with Thermofax® screens or other techniques.

There you have it, 15 minutes in the studio and now I have more fabric for my stash. I think I'll back some of it with MistyfuseTM and make fused Valentinesanother opportunity to make art every day!

In order to plunge in and make art when I have the time, I make sure I have my favorite supplies at the ready. If you're in need of materials like Mistyfuse, Gelli Arts plates, brayers, and other media, you can get themplus instructional videos and booksin the Quilting Daily Shop.


P.S. Do you make art every day? How do you carve out the time? Share your tips below.


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Comments

sallyg@13 wrote
on 7 Feb 2013 2:49 PM

I teach kindergarten and have a dog that needs a big walk everyday after school, so... I like to get up early, 5:30 (yes, that is a bit early), do a little yoga, have a cup of tea, and do a little  art before I go to school.

on 7 Feb 2013 4:34 PM

This looks like fun, but I've not used a Thermofax screen before.  Where can I find them?  Can I easily make one at home?  

sandymom_9 wrote
on 8 Feb 2013 10:08 AM

Fabric painting is also a great way to spend time with grandkids.  They love doing it, and come up with creative ways to do things that I haven't always thought about before doing it with them.  And they love when I make bags, table runners, blankets, out of their creations.