Archive for the ‘Photoshop’ Category

In the Spring a Young Man’s Fancy………….

Monday, April 13th, 2009

 crane-2-smaller

“Crane Series II” (C) 2008 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Digitally created fabric, hand dyed and commercial cottons.  Machine Quilted.

I took a walk with my dogs over the weekend to one of my local nature preserves, Rollins Savannah.  Rollins Savannah was restored to wetlands after years of use for cattle grazing.  Read about it here.   Our forest preserve department did a pretty amazing  job of it.   They have restored enough wetlands and nesting sites that it has a really amazing migratory bird population.   I like to try to identify birds, but I am absolutely the worst bird geek ever.   I have a bunch of bird books, but have not ever been able to identify a SINGLE unknown bird from looking at them.  I love to be outside looking at nature of any kind, so don’t really care.

 

 I was hoping to see some sandhill cranes; they are known to stop in here since the restoration.  Sadly, Chicago’s spring has been so miserable that all the birds seem to be taking their time getting here. 

I ran into the longest. slowest train in history trying to get to the park.  It did have some nice graffitti:

 

Train Graffitti 1

Train Graffitti 1

and this:

Train Graffitti 2

Train Graffitti 2

Rollins didn’t really have all that much to look at.  It’s been too cold for much plant growth.  My experience was much more auditory.  It wasn’t until I moved to a place a bit more rural that I had the joyful spring experience of bazillions of frogs calling for mates in the early spring.  I got an earful of the crooning of the what I think is the Western Chorus frog.  They are a little bitty frog, but when they have their hearts set on spring romance, they make up for their size.  They congregate in wetlands and even big puddles and can be really LOUD.  It brings a big smile to my face every time I hear them.  Here’s a snippet of what they sound like:

Frogs Looking for Love

Mutiply that by hundreds and that’s what it can sound like out here.

 

 The other really noisy courtship around here in the spring is the redwing blackbird.  They like to hang around wetlands, which we have a fair amout of.  Here’s a snippet of them.

Romancing Redwing Blackbirds

They are WAY louder than this!

My pictures on this walk were pretty underwhelming but I did like this one of last year’s cattails:

 

Last Year's Cattails

Last Year's Cattails

Hopefully, it will warm up really soon.  If not, I will have my head in the oven!

Recreating Water on Thermofax Screens

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I am currently working on a commission piece combining tree and water elements.  I have decided to screen the water texture on to hand dyed cotton and possibly cover it with hand dyed silk organza.  I am combining this water element with  side panels that have heavy branch screenings and larger branches under silk organza. 

Side Panel-Hand dyed cotton, fused cottons under hand dyed, discharged silk.

Side Panel-Hand dyed cotton, fused cottons under hand dyed, discharged silk.

Because of this, I want a watery texture that  will convey water without clashing with all the branch textures.  Here are images I have manipulated in Photoshop to use as screens.  I will make the screens up tomorrow and hopefully, have some screened fabric to post over the next few days:

Water Screen 1

Water Screen 1

This is one where I inverted the image to have the highlights from the photo show as black.  That way, the highlights are what will come through in the screening process.

"water" screen adapted from bark photo

"water" screen adapted from bark photo

FYI, thermofax screens require black and white images, no grays.  I take photos, desaturate the color and then gradually up the brightness and contrast until I am left with a black and white photo.  The screened images will be the black part.  If necessary, I will invert the image in Photoshop, to create the desired screen.

Water screen 3

Water screen 3

Here’s one more:

 

 

another Water Screen

another Water Screen

I’ll keep you posted!

The Free Motions Session #1

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Today was the first work session for our new surface design work group, the Free Motions.  If you knew this group, you would know how fitting the name really is.  We decided to focus on layering of sheers for this session (and probably many to come).  Group started with a request for the rest of the group to critique a piece I am working on:

Don't ever ask these women their opinion!

Don't ever ask these women their opinion!

We then ate something.  We are always eating something!  It’s a wonder we get any work done.
Below is one of Shelley’s experiments.  It’s got a great ghost of trees in the back layer-that’s the screen printed fabric showing through.
Digitally printed organza over screen prinitng on hand dyed fabric

Digitally printed organza over screen prinitng on hand dyed fabric

And Leah’s:
One of Leah's experiments

One of Leah's experiments

Again, thermofax screen printed fabric behind a digitally printed photo on translucent silk organza

 Here Shelley used my homemade stencil to screen hand dyed fabric and put a digital print of water over it.  Pretty cool.  Nina was doing alot of playing with monoprints and I forgot to get pictures until after she had left.  Sorry, Nina.

Shelley's

Shelley's

Here’s one of mine.  This is the organza from my great stencil experiment .  it’s hand dyed organza discharged with a stencil and then layered over cotton screen printed with ancient languages.  It’s too subtle.  It would definitely work better with a less saturated piece of organza, but it has some interesting potential.  All in all, a successful day.   The point was to play and to try out some techniques, rather than make anything into a piece. We barely scratched the surface on layering and will be back at it for a few more sessions, at least.
Tracy's

Tracy's

 We did a lot of screening with metallic paints behind organza.  The setacolor metallics are pretty subtle.  I will do some more experiments with Lumiere metallic paints, which are anything but subtle and some metallic Shiva paintsticks.  Both show through organza really beautifully.

Any suggestions for future experiments are very welcome!