06 December 2010
day 6:: sheep
I like to have a sheep in my advent calendar and the last couple of years I managed to track down live woolly ones. This year, we have something a little different - a tee-shirt sheep print. You see, I've just finished a term of a fabric printing course and have been trying out all sorts of silk screen printing, direct painting, using pastels, paper stencils and so on. Apart from a couple of life drawing nights at the WI, I have not been in an art room since I was about 14, so this has been quite an adventure of a messy kind. What's more, because we only have a couple of hours once a week, half of which seem to be spent preparing a silk screen and then scrubbing it clean, I have generally forgotten how to do things by the time I get back the following week. In a nut shell, it has been challenging.
One of the things that has been really hard to get right is a good photo emulsioned silk screen and I had a few disasters - emulsion not right, under-exposed, blown away by the pressure washer, you name it. After a lot of mishaps, I finally got my silk screen using one of my own photos - a cement road on the marshes imprinted with sheep hooves. I printed it onto a tee-shirt and it looked pretty good, to me at least. I then overlaid it with a paper stencil of a sheep. I was rather pleased with my sheep stencil (based on this sheep). The problem was that it didn't really make much of an impression on top of the sheep's hooves - too delicate, wrong choice of colour, a mere ghost of a sheep. Not that my son seemed to mind - he's been wearing the tee-shirt since it arrived home.
I shall be practicing over the Christmas break to try and improve my stencilling, watched over by my sheep-wraith. Benevolently, I hope.