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.

6 comments:

Esther Montgomery said...

Yes, I did have to peer into it to see the sheep - but I think the texture of the background would look really good if extended over the whole garment.

Esther

Val said...

that's an excellent sheep's head! You made a lovely job of it.
I had to enlarge the photo and squint but confess this to be my eyesight deficiencies rather that the print...subtle requires a magnifying glass or my glasses which I never seem to have when I need them...

Gerry Snape said...

I love your sheepy! This is really fun seeing what comes each day.!

Rattling On said...

I think the fact that it has a committed wearer says it all. They do leave very nice footprints, and i love the smell of them in the fields. You can always tell when they're nearby by the smell!

Felix said...

I love your sheepy hoofprints and the noble ovine head. I think it's difficult to make something contemporary and urbane featuring sheep, but your mixture of greys and reds, line-drawings and textures, does exactly this.

You know you have triumphed when a boy wears your handmade items!

colleen said...

Such lovely encouraging comments - thank you. Yes, the boy did ask to wear the tee shirt (he liked the definition it gave his body, apparently) but then he seldom looks a gift horse (or sheep in this case) in the mouth if it means it saves spending money for wild nights out...