Work Update and Leafy Seadragon Painting Progress

Sorry for the delay! It has been a busy few weeks on my end. I’ve been balancing my day job, creative explorations, general up-keep and chores around the house as well as cooking every meal that I can for my fella and I. (It wobbles the mind when I think about how much time the last two things take.)

In the time since I last wrote, I have continued to tinker with my leafy seadragon painting. I have researched about 18 potential sources of project funding. I have also reached out to about 15 fabric artists who specialize in making dyes from plants and mushrooms and hope to start a series of guest posts, interviews and book reviews based on this research. It’s been wonderful to have people get back in touch already!

Next month I will be attending Judith Kruger’s nihonga workshop in Connecticut. (If you’re on the west coast, she will be leading another workshop in Laguna Canyon, CA in October.) I will be posting up a crowdfunding campaign to cover these costs soon!

Last week I made more dye from red and yellow onion skins I had been saving. I also boiled some artichoke leaves for green dye.

I had forgotten about it in the back of the fridge, and it had begun to rot. It seemed like such a waste not to try using it. Ugh. If you want to make this dye, I suggest making it the same day you buy the artichoke. That way you can make the dye and cook / consume the heart. Win-win. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck with something that smells like angry animal urine.

So far I have put in a smidge over 34 hours on the leafy seadragon project. I don’t normally take this long to make work, but this has been a back and forth process in a new medium. I suspect I might take an extra 2-3 hours to finish painting its body. I thought I would create a slideshow illustrating my progress so far. (Click the X to expand the slideshow to full screen.)

Before publishing this piece, I thought I might put out a request for information. There are two things I would like to learn more about and maybe you can help!

(1) I’m still searching for artists who make their own dyes and paints from plants / mushrooms / minerals. If that’s you, please drop me a note! If this sounds like a friend or family member, please let them know about this project.

(2) I have invested in a simple pair of lights for lighting the vlogs I hope to start shooting soon. But I’m still on the hunt for clamp lights to use while photographing art. Do you have a brand or product that you love?