Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Lotus - Part Six Petals and Leaves...

 Hello Dearest Readers,

As many of you who follow my work know how deeply engaged I am with symbolism (mostly Asian). I find that as I am working these energies or feelings come into my work...I am thoughtful as I create taking the time to really study not only the symbolism but also "real" plant or being...

WATCH HERE TO SEE THE PETALS AND LEAVES:

READ HERE TO SEE THE DYEING PROCESS PETALS AND LEAVES:

Enter the Lotus...

Symbolism of the Petals:

"The lotus flower blooms slowly one petal at a time, which is similar to the gradual steps required to reach spiritual enlightenment. In this sense, the lotus is a symbol of personal progress. "

I love this concept...one petal at a time and personal progress. In today's world we are pushed and shoved to our max, if we let it. We are expected (by others and by self) to explode into one magnificent blossom. It is with sheer determination, that I as an artist, slow myself down, take the time to really feel and think my work out so it can reach its highest level. To open as one petal at a time.

This allows my work to be fully formed when it finally emerges. Clarification: I am a producer, I am very type-A, I have an extremely active mind but do not rush through my art- my study of yoga has helped greatly with that.

I find if I rush through a piece (and believe me they are pushing to come into this world) then I will miss what I believe, is one of its greatest  attributes.

one petal at a time...

 

I study the petals to see their color, their texture, their segmented sections, their veins, their shape.

I start with texture. 
These are my two final selections: Vintage silk kimono, and Japanese washi paper that has been silk screened with the line design.
The paper is wonderful because there is such a crispness to it.

Process of Petals...

It starts with drawing the petal onto the paper. 
The first round of over-dye. I mix my dyes so every piece is unique in color. No two are ever the same.

After this is dry, the second round of "splatter" dye happens.
This is in two colors- the magenta and flecks of brown.


The paper and fabric is then stabilized and fused together.
Each petal is cut out.

The edges are then sealed.

After they dry each petal is steamed into shape!


The final shaping of each!


The petals will be added individually around the Open Heart Corset.
I will also add vintage stamens.


The Leaves
The same approach happens here.
I start with studying the leaves...there are so many different types that I am going for the essence of the leaves...not the replication. I find that in my own art...I love the inspiration I glean from my studies and not doing exact reproduction.

"Learn the rules like a pro, 
so you can break them like an artist"
(attributed to Picasso) 




*IMAGE = PAPER

I especially like this one because you can see the veins, I thing it is stunning.
Side Note: Perhaps, the reason I find this so beautiful is because it reminds me of (my) life. As we go through life, there are challenges. Some may be life changing, as was in my case, and we find that we let go of things that may not be in our best (soul) interest/growth and I believe, with that our "true" self can emerge- our best being can step forward and becomes more transparent to who we are now.



Process of Leaves...
The paper is selected. In this case a hand-made Mulberry paper.
I chose this one because it reminded me of  *IMAGE = PAPER as above.

Next step is in the dyeing.
Again several colors are mixed.

The Leaves are then cut out

Each is topstitched to mimic the veins, along with a center stem area.

Topstitched leaves.

Since this is not an exact replication of leaves and is part of a garment, I decided to pleat them.
I believes, this references the veins while at the same time adding a fabric-like feel to them

"The lotus is also an excellent example of remaining true to yourself and who you are. Regardless of the murky waters and environment, the lotus remains grounded, proud of what it is and yet still a part of its environment. 
It beautifies it and makes it better simply by being there."

 

Until next time, 
Thank you for taking time to follow my journey!

Leslie

Friday, September 17, 2021

Lotus - Part Five The Gown

Bring two worlds together:

As I sit here looking at this screen typing away, I find I am more in my head than actually at the computer.

I believe this IS the way of an artist...somewhere between this world...the visible...and the ethereal existence.

And so this is how the Lotus gown or skirt came into exitance also...gathered fabrics from this world and then brought together with the ethereal thoughts...design.
Image credit: Bahman Farzad

Fabrics:

Three fabrics are chosen for this part of the piece.
Black silk dupioni for the outside of the skirt as well as the pantaloons.

Green vintage kimono fabric for the lining of the skirt and the brown vintage kimono for the lining of the pantaloon leg openings.

WATCH HERE TO SEE THE FABRICS:




Creating the Unique:

I carefully chose the fabrics I work with. I believe all artist (eventually) find their soul/hearts connection in what medium they work in...and then within that define further into their chosen materials they are drawn to.

I find that silk is where I gravitate to...new and vintage.
I have been collected these pieces for years...each has a story!

Each has a certain feel..an essence to it that steps into my work. It is hard to describe but if you have seen my work in person, you can not only feel my presence, but I believe, the essence of the fabric's origin...its story.

Some highlights from my collections:

Eastern Indian Silks (metallic embroidery)
Vintage Kimono Silks
Chinese Silk Brocades


And then I have my collection of silk dupionis...as well as my collection of black silks.

In this case, I actually purchased this black silk dupioni, but as of last year 2020, I decided that I am going to use from my collections. Isn't that WHY I purchased it in the first place?

Not the right color? Then I will dye it or distress it!

As I did with the lining of the skirt. I had a glorious amount of green in it...but not exactly what I wanted. So I did a soft over dye of green.

 

Next came the pantaloons.
I wanted a lining to show that was a murky color...as this is where the Lotus grows up towards the sunlight.
After these where sewn together, I added a bit of hand-dyeing to create an interest so the fabric was not reading TOO murky. There are actually three dyeings in this- a brown, a  tan. and then the green.

In place, I will also had-dye her feet still leaving the Mehndi visible.

Special Note: these Mehndi designs on her hands and feet are all recognized as Lotus.
I gather the designs and then alter them in a photo program.
All are then aligned or stacked in a document to then be printed onto the fabric.

Close up of the skirt - if you watch the video it will give you a clue of how this was accomplished!

Final of the skirt/gown.


Next week the Lotus Leaves 

and the dying of the petals!



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