ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Week of Professional Development

Last week I engaged in a week of professional development. OK, I just happened to do it in a beautiful place: Haliburton, Ontario. I returned Friday night mosquito and bug-bitten.

It was lovely to be by the lakes, and for the most part we had glorious summer weather.. 

It was equally lovely to be in the woods. I love the way the leaves in the forest often seem to emit light.

My goal for taking a class on Screen Mono-Printing, was to learn more about the use of silk screens, and to loosen up a bit. I confess that I resisted getting down to work for about three days. Fear? Perhaps. Out of practice at creating anything? That too! I finally did apply myself and produce a few pieces. We painted on screens with Procion H silk dyes, waited for them to dry, and then screened with wallpaper paste onto paper.

This piece was inspired by boats and reflections I photographed in Greece.

Leaves created from my head. I had this vision that they would be outlined in black ink. My instructor urged me to go loose and bold using the printing press for the veins. I was stubborn and stayed with my ink idea. A calligraphy marker in fact. Unfortunately it overpowered my leaf.

I painted and screened leaves again, and this time they turned out much bolder and they ran more due to heavy use of the silk dyes. If you click on this photo you can see better that I outlined with a lighter marker this time.

This piece was inspired by my travels in New Mexico. The background represents the maze of structures at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the ladder is inspired by those that lead up to the rooftops at Taos Pueblo. For the ladder, I actually carved the design on a plexiglass plate, inked it, and printed it on a printing press. 

I got lost in painting this piece. The first photo is the result from my first pull on the screen.

There was still a lot of colour on the screen, so I decided to pull a second image (at left). This is called a "ghost" image. Unfortunately I lost a bit of my design on the right-hand size due to not pressing enough on that side. To save this piece I painted another screen with just the dark left and right edges to kind of frame it. I think I like the ghost image better than the original.

This was the last print I produced and was quite fun. It involved laying torn newsprint paper on the paper I was about to print on, which produced the white tree-like structures. After the first pull I pulled these pieces of paper out and screened a second ghost image over the white trees. The newsprint resists were later used to add additional colour surprises throughout the image in a collage-like fashion.

Here is a photo of my class ... they inspired me a great deal! To my right is our instructor, Michael Earle.

Thursday afternoons at Haliburton School of Art + Design are always an exciting time in the summer program. Classes end at 4 pm and a two-hour "walk-about" takes place. Visitors and students can see what goes on in other classes.

I always find the class where students are carving their own totem poles quite fascinating. Quite different from anything I've done.

Across the hall students were building their own musical instruments.

Now I'm back and finishing preparations for my two weeks of teaching in Haliburton beginning next week. I will be sure to blog about them.


  1. Each piece got better and better. Stunning results. What a beautiful way to spend a week.....mosquitoes aside.

  2. I am hoping to try this on fabric Jo. Thanks


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