Taking my inspiration from the painted collage above, I pulled some of my hand-dyed cottons in blues and oranges
and assembled some of my jars of ProChem fabric paint
with the idea of making some patterned cloth to assemble into a larger piece. I always enjoy spending a day making collage papers, and this is much the same, except I'm beginning with hand-dyed cloth instead of paper. Of course, I have lots of printed cottons in my stash, but doing the patterning myself results in something a little different, with the "hand of the artist" more evident. It's like the difference between handwriting and using a computer-generated font.
When stencilling with paint, sometimes it's effective to flip the stencil and press the painted side onto the cloth, transferring the wet paint and producing a negative image. You can see three examples of this above. I use a brayer to do this. It's a good way to use up paint that would otherwise be washed down the drain.
Applying paint using a stencil and a stencil brush results in an uneven application of the paint, which adds interest.
For these next two, I first applied white paint, and then followed up with a different colour, to add a sense of depth.
The hand-dyed cotton I chose for a base has a marbled variation of colour intensity, and applying an opaque paint to that makes for an intriguing contrast. See below.
These next two were stamped with an African hand-carved wooden block.
By limiting myself to working with blue, orange and white, in a wide range of darks and lights, I hope to have created a useful collection of patterned cloth that just might find its way into a larger composition.