The Happy Pigment

Tie dye, fabric and textiles artist and lover


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Just plain hot!

It’s heatwave time again in Brisbane and the rest of Queensland for that matter! 36c today and super humid, it might as well be the tropics! Our old Queenslander style house isn’t really ideal for this weather, it ends up being hotter inside by the afternoon than it is outside! So I’m really thanking the guy who invented air conditioning (Willis Carrier) this week!

Everything thing is getting put on the back burner, as much as it can be, while I hide out with the kids in the air con of our bedrooms. My office/studio is way too hot to sit in and do any creating so I’m giving myself over to the computer and the internet and getting on top of everything tech related. That means blog posts, Etsy updates, social media and so on. Which is not always my favourite thing but it’s time to embrace it!

I joined deviantart.com yesterday, for another place to share my art. There is just so much art on there! I’m finding it difficult to navigate and find things that I like, maybe I’m just fussy but there’s a lot that I don’t like. I enjoy trawling through Pinterest more. But persistence is key online. The web is such a gigantic place and I often find it overwhelming but nothing is gained from giving up.

Summertime is cicada time but it’s so hot even they’ve turned their volume down a bit lately. In the search for water this little guy flew into a bucket of dye from a custom order. He looks very blue but the colour was actually mermaids dream

dyed cicada

If you’re in Queensland, what are you doing to keep cool? I’d love it if you left a comment  xx

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What a week!

I have been a little bit absent from this space as I’ve been so busy with life! And Life has been happening in a big way! The kids have been keeping me on my toes but thats not unusual. What was a little different is that I showcased my artworks for the very first time! And it was an amazing night!

Envision display

I was approached sometime ago to showcase with Raw Artist in Brisbane.  I was pretty hesitant as it a bit of a “pay to play” deal. You have to sell 20 tickets to the event or you have to pay the cost of tickets if you don’t sell them. And thats pretty daunting! But I thought, if it’s meant to be then I won’t have a problem selling the tickets. Which thankfully was the case!

mermaids tale

“Mermaids Tail” SOLD

So I planned and prepped and organised myself and finally the night arrived! I left my darling children at home with their father and entered the night! I had lots of wonderful friends come out to support me and met some other amazing artists. All in all it was a great night. And feedback I got from the audiences was pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear! I sold 2 pieces, which was the best feeling of the night.

For a first showcase I couldn’t have been more pleased. The moral of this story is: believe in yourself! Trust your judgement! Work hard and enjoy =)


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Don’t be afraid!

For years I was afraid to be myself. As weird as that sounds, for some reason I believed that what I had to offer wasn’t worthy. Worthy of who, I don’t know. But lately, I’ve come to realise quite the opposite! Everything I have to offer IS worthy! It is good enough because it is the unique expression of myself. And my gosh that is a liberating feeling!

As a child I always wanted to be an artist, but always dismissed the thought because I felt I wasn’t good enough. As it turns out I can be good enough at whatever I choose to be. We all can! This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned on my journey with art. It’s about authentic expression, not expectation.

So tonight I’ll share with you some drawings I’ve been churning out. They are by no means perfect by any professional standard, but they are an authentic expression. I’ve been playing with chalk pastels at the moment and so enjoying it! It has allowed another side of myself to come out. The dark and the light. Enjoy!


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Distraction: a curse or a blessing?

Everything in life is really about perspective isn’t it? Cup half full or half empty kind of thing?

This weekend I did hardly anything I had on my to do list, the bare minimum really. But still had a really productive weekend. Those things that I didn’t plan on doing turned out to be the heroes of the weekend. One of which is sold already! Winning!

I had left over dye from some custom orders which I will never waste so thought I’d practise my mandala game. I was pretty happy with the results and so it seems is a customer on Facebook!

But my personal favourite is a top that I made from a piece of cotton jersey that I had dyed. I haven’t listed it in my Etsy shop yet but was pretty pleased with the results. I love how the spiral sits off centre. And I love the length, if it can cover your bum while you’re wearing tights it’s a winner!

Perspective is everything. I didn’t achieve what I set out to but I think what I did achieve was pretty darn good! And I’m happy with that x.


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Fluid art

I’ve been bitten by the fluid art bug. Resin, acrylic pour, alcohol inks, I love it. And it’s everywhere, everyone’s doing it. Type in #fluidart on instagram and hundreds of thousands of results show up. So I’ve jumped on the band wagon and started making my own style of fluid art, on fabric.

orange and blue violet

I am passionate about recycling, so where possible I try to use recycled materials for all my art works. To make my style of fluid art I used recycled matboard (you know that board used for framing) and recycled fabric. Just bits of cotton that I’ve picked up from the op shop or from Reverse Garbage in Brisbane (my second favourite shop).

blue and black cherry

I had quite a few goes at it before I was happy with any of the results and discovered that less is definitely more in this case. I use Procion mx fibre reactive dyes for all my dyeing and it is strong stuff! And for this project a little bit goes a long long way because I’m using small pieces of fabric that are not folded like tie dye.

ice fluid art

These pieces and more will all be for sale from the 8th of Feb either through my Etsy shop or Facebook  or Instagram. Or you can always contact me here.

 


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Clear out!

I have so many creative ideas bursting out of my brain 24/7 but most of them require funding. So I’m on a mission this week to sell everything I have from last year, and sell it fairly cheaply too might I add! If it’s not gone in a fortnight, I’ll head down the the local Sunday markets to see if I can’t move it all.

Before you start selling online no one tells you just how hard it is. A bit like when you have kids really! (Insert evil laugh) it takes a hell of a lot of effort. And I’m finding myself working harder and harder everyday! But I guess I’m struggling with transitioning from the stock that I have left over from last year and the things that I want to have for this year. I’m not a fan of the grey area!

If you’d like to see everything I have for sale, drop me a line and I’ll fill you in x


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Sew Good.

I don’t know any woman that doesn’t love a light summer cardigan on a breezy evening!

I love them so much but rarely find what I want in the shops. So I’ve begun making my own. Problem solved!

Ages ago my mother in law gave me I light rayon summer cardigan thats a one size fits all thing. And I loved it and wore it heaps but rayon is not my favourite fabric to wear. When I had a look at it I realised the pattern was so incredibly easy that I just had to make one in a fabric that I find more comfortable, which is just a simple lightweight cotton jersey that I purchased online from www.remnantwarehouse.com . Their fabrics are great and way more affordable than at a Spotlight store.

I set about dyeing the fabric first using the low water immersion technique, which is one of my favourite tie dye technique mostly for it’s quick batching time. I planned for it to be a big double spiral so that when you lift your arms it appears like a butterfly image on your back.

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The pattern is one big rectangle with the top and bottom hemmed as well as the sleeves. So Simple! and The results were amazing. I am so happy with it. Although I’m waiting for Autumn because Brisbane Summer is just a bit too hot!

If you would like to order a summer cardigan like this just contact me and we can arrange it with your choice of colours and patterns =)

You can also find instructions on how to tie dye with the low water immersion technique on Paula Burch’s website http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/lowwaterimmersion.shtml