Illusion of Depth & Painted Bowls with Esterita Austin 2010.04.28/30

Esterita Austin, a very talented Artist and inventor with good humour from New York, teaches in many different parts of the world a variety of courses including capturing light and “Creating the Illusion of Depth”.

Creating the Illusion of Depth

To the right is my rendition of this course.  We started with a cartoon traced onto a black background.  Choices of fabrics were made from a variety of multicoloured pieces that would help create the illusion of depth coming from an outside light source into the cave.  Patterns were traced onto the fabrics using Transdoodle and cut pieces were fused with Mistyfuse (Esterita’s inventions) onto the black background.  Quite effective don’t you think?

“Painted Bowls” – as my second experience with Esterita, this course was definitely a stretch for me.  Not quite understanding the concept behind this course, and basing my fabric choices on the knowledge aquired from the previous course, I chose beautiful pieces of mottled fabric to create the bowls in illusions of depth, or so I thought.  As now came the nightmare I had never invisioned, the next step; to cover up these beautiful pieces of chosen material with paint.  Why had I not clued in that the course was called PAINTED bowls?

Painted Bowls

I had no previous experience with mixing paints and colours except for a course taken a month earlier where the subject of painting on fabric had been touched on in little doses.  Nor did I have enough material to re-create the bowls for a test piece and thus in my absolute FEAR of ruining my beautifully orchestrated piece, had a temporary nervous breakdown, right in the middle of the course, sobbing uncontrollably.  Totally overwhelmed, not thinking that I could go on, I was ready to pack it in and go home.  But thanks to the encouragement of other students, watching Esterita for an hour or so paint on other student’s pieces while I composed myself, and Esterita’s willingness to start me off step by step in the right direction on my path of painting, I prevailed and cautiously dabbled bits of paint onto my bowls.  The piece is not yet finished as I am practicing my painting skills on other pieces first.  Up close I think it looks terrible but Linda Sharp, our local Master Artist, assures me it is a very good start.

My highlight, above and beyond what I learned before, during and after my breakdown, was that at sometime during her classes, Esterita likes to give everyone in the class an award.  An “Artistic License” signed and awarded by Esterita Austin, stating – This official license permits the bearer to: Simplify, Clarify, Distort, Enhance, Exaggerate, Lighten, Darken, Eliminate, Complicate or … Do Whatever the Heck You Want!!!!  This certificate is awarded to (Name of Recipient).  There are no mistakes, just happy accidents!

I would like to give Esterita a heartfelt thank you for her patience! and my license.

Along with a couple of other courses taken after this one, I have overcome my fear of painting on fabrics and am well on my way in my journey of mixed media arts.

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