Today’s Voice is Beth Berman’s

Pre-Treated Cotton

Hello and thank you Janis for inviting me to share on your blog. I love surface design and my two favorite tools are thickened dye and hot soy wax. The idea just popped into my mind one day to mix up both black and grey thickened dye. I thought it would be interesting to take globs (technical term) of thickened dye, smear it here and there on the fabric then scrunch up the fabric and see how it came out. First of all I wanted crisp lines so I had to apply the thickened dye to dry fabric. I knew if I used the light grey color first, the viscose print paste would color the fabric and at the same time act as a bit of a blocking agent to keep the black from overpowering the grey. This is what I did:

oneI rarely NEED pre-treated cotton since most of my dye work is wet. This was the perfect occasion for nice dry pre-treated cotton. I wanted the thickened dye to “stick” to the spot I put it and not wick like it might on wet cotton.


I used both grey and black (MX Cotton Black 602a). I made the grey with a scant plastic knife tip of MX 602a and about 2/3C of print paste. The black was also 2/3 cup of print paste with a level tablespoon (dark) of MX602a. Below you can see I hadn’t blended the MX powder well with the print paste. Colors are splitting out. Hopefully it won’t be distracting.


I LOVE this grey and will do more with it later. I only applied the dye to one side of the fabric, crumpling it and doing a small amount of smearing. I want CRISP lines.

FourI covered it with plastic and let it batch under heated rice bags.

SixI absolutely LOVE the outcome. It was just what I was going for.

SevenFront above, back below


NineFront above and back below. Either side is a winner.


Beth blogs at

Linking up with Off The Wall Friday.


Painting and Texture

Hi everyone, and thank you Janis for including me in your First Friday Voices for 2016! I am a mixed media painter. I use acrylic media as a base and include a variety of other media in my work. Over the past year I’ve been exploring using texture more effectively in my work.

Admirology – mixed media (acrylic mediums and metallic paint, cotton) on canvas, 36″x48″, 2015

My hope is that texture can be used as expressively as colour, but perhaps with very different effects on the viewer.  By that I mean I don’t expect to be able to produce an impression of passion using texture, like one can create that impression with the right combination of reds on canvas.

Texture produces different kinds of impressions.  By the time we are in kindergarten, each of us already has a huge body of knowledge regarding how something looks and associations with how it is likely to feel. Some textures are comforting, like human skin, or a soft warm fibre like knitted alpaca socks; some are cringe-worthy, like sharp glass or thorns; and some are enticing, like smooth glass, or very short trimmed hair. And there are secondary associations as well: the texture of a teddy bear’s fur or a feather may be more evocative to some people than others depending on their personal experiences with teddies or birds.

So in the hope of using texture in my own way, I set off on a series of relatively monochromatic (white and off-white) texture paintings. In the early explorations, paintings were most successful when using  several textures.  However, like colour, texture can very quickly get out of control. There is a balance between including enough contrasting textures to create interest, and involving too many for the composition to remain cohesive.  Another similarity is that textures can get mixed together too much or be too similar, becoming muddy and indistinct. Without a clear contrast of one texture up against another, the composition must rely on some other means of creating contrast to be interesting.

After decades of theoretical and applied research, we now think of colour as having three key attributes, hue, value, and saturation, and this has allowed fine artists and commercial artists to develop tools like the colour wheel, graphic art colour pickers, value sketches, and distinctive colour schemes and palettes of colour. I’m hoping to explore texture deeply enough to develop my own tools for using it evocatively in art work. So I’ve been doing a series of studies of textures, simple square compositions, but using several textures to explore how textures interact:

Homage I WEB    Homage IV WEB    Homage III WEB

If you are looking for some inspiration regarding how you might involve texture in a new way in your own work in the future, here is my brainstorming of words related to texture. When I am at a loss for what to try next, I look up at this Wordle posted on my studio window:

texture wordle

Best wishes to all of you for your own explorations and creations in 2016!

Rick Rogers.


Link up: Off The Wall Friday

New Feature Coming in 2016!

One of my goals on Turtlemoon Impressions has been to share the work of other artists, besides myself.  Toward that end I’ve shared a lot of work, mostly by fiber artists at various exhibitions and the work of classmates scattered here and there. I’ve also had a couple of guest bloggers.


This year of 2016, I’ll be bringing in the new year with some new voices!  Beginning  January 1, I’m going to try to have a guest blogger on every first Friday of the month .  So stay tuned to meet some new, some old, some talented, some bold, some shy, but all unique voices of artists who use various mediums in their own words on First Friday Voices.