dorisL

New textile painting in the Fineline series

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.

small textile painting being quilted by doris lovadina-lee

doris lovadina-lee's machine quilted textile painting

fineline textile painting with oakshott cottons

detail oakshott minimal modern fineline series textile art

It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?

Clothing labels

Labels are attached to objects to identify and describe that item. I am happy to have received my woven cloth labels from the Dutch Label Shop. These silky, soft labels are now going to identify my hand dyed scarves long after the package they arrive in is gone. 

snow dyed scarf tied around a handbag with doris lovadina-lee textile arts labelBoth of these snow dyed scarves have my new logo: Doris Lovadina-Lee Textile Arts label attached. The labels are small and soft, so they are unobtrusive when the scarf is being worn. Of course, I won’t mind if you flaunt your designer label!

clothing label doris lovadina-lee textile arts on blue wool shawl with hang tag

Dutch Label Shop is an online shop that specializes in creating small quantities of custom supplies for people who create with fabric, just like us! 

Dutch Label Shop clothing labels and hang tags for doris lovadina-lee textile arts toronto artist

You can design your own label or select images and text from a library of designs. Small quantities as low as 30 pieces up to thousands can be ordered in the design you create. Stock labels indicating clothing sizes and fabric care labels are available. Dutch Label Shop also prints hangtags

Wool arashi shibori shawl on snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario textile artist

Nui shibori wool scarf hand dyed with snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada clothing label

To receive a coupon code for 15% off your labels, sign up for my newsletter on my homepage or on the sidebar.

Show me your labels! Post photos of your labels on your beautiful handmade items and tag me: @lovadina.lee or send me a link to your blog.

Looking forward to seeing your creative new labels!

Snow dyeing photography shoot

I am working on a final photography project and have shot a lot of images. Thank goodness, my camera is digital. I can’t imagine how much film I would have had to process and then discard! red blue yellow black dyes in pewter cups on fence doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

These are three photographs I took this weekend that won’t be including in the final cut. 

yellow dye in pewter cup on fence with branches toronto ontario canada photo shoot
Although I won’t be using these photos, I am very happy with the results and wanted to share them with you.red dye on ice close up doris lovadina-lee toronto textile artist photo shoot

My plan is to take photographs in natural light. But, with the weather not cooperating, I will need to think creatively in order to finish this project. Unfortunately, moving to sunnier, tropical climates is not an option at this time!

Self Portraits

How do we see ourselves? This is one of the questions I needed to answer in order to create a series of self portraits for a photography assignment. There are so many ways to answer the question!

We often define ourselves by our work and our family. There is truth that we see ourself in relation to others. We are multifaceted and depending on the day and the person we are interacting with, who we are changes.

I changed my mind a few times during the process of photographing this assignment and I finally submitted a total of seven photographs, four of which I am posting. 

dyed hand holding blue hand dyed rayon linen scarf by doris lovadina-lee

hands stitching a fuchsia red scarf doris lovadina lee

hands holding coffee cup with moka in background by doris lovadina-lee

hand caressing a young boy's head by doris lovadina-lee

Artist Statement

Creating a self portrait is a daunting task. How much do you reveal of yourself?

Portrait photography is a photograph or series of photos that captures the essence of the subject. Through this series of photographs I am capturing myself as a Maker.

I was told that my hands are ‘golden’, they create beautiful things. Taking ordinary materials, hands transmute them into objects that are greater than the parts. Hands produce, fashion, create, soothe, and comfort. 

The photographs reveal glimpses of how I view myself as a maker. I Placed myself in the same window with the same background and isolated my hands so that the focus was on the various tasks, some that I do routinely. Others are not tasks, but are essential to nourishing my creativity. Light plays an important role in making, as it is vital to see clearly what your hands are creating. Daylight is used to capture and highlight each image, revealing and shadowing the images. 

Finally my hands create what my mind has already conjured.

 

What would your self portrait look like?

Snow dyed mandala

There is very little snow left on the ground here in Toronto. I wanted to do some more snow dyeing, so I quickly prepared a couple of pieces of pfd cotton before all the snow melted. I folded one of the pieces of cotton so it would result in a mandala shape. The other was folded into a triangular shape.

shibori folded fabric snow dyed blue green toronto doris lovadina-lee

The mandala that emerged is beautiful. I sprinkled the snow topped cotton with a couple of blue dyes and a bit of yellow. I am not a methodical, scientific dyer, so each dyeing session is an experiment.

green mandala snow dyed toronto canada doris lovadina-lee

circular hand dyed cotton fabric mandala design doris lee

The triangular folded cotton is similar in colour, so I could use it in conjunction with the mandala. I really like how the colours are most intense on one edge, fading to a softer more watercolour effect.

shibori hand dyed with snow cotton quilting cotton toronto ontario small batch for sale

Since there was still one tiny pocket of snow left in the yard, I pulled out the last few metres of pfd cotton from my stash. There was just enough snow to cover the two pieces of cotton. I used the same colours of dye in different proportions. The fabric was also arranged differently from the first batch.

snow dyed quilting cotton pfd arashi shibori doris lovadina-lee

The piece above is 1 1/2 metres long and the pattern that reminds me of agate. The photo below is a detail from the piece.

hand dyed with snow cotton pfd toronto artist doris lee nui shibori available to buy

The itajime shibori cotton piece below is from the same snow dyed batch. It is quite different in design and the pfd cotton has absorbed a little more of the yellow to create a beautiful turquoise and green.

itajime shibori snow dyed cotton fabric toronto dorislovadinalee for sale

 

snow dyed itajime shbiori pfd handdyed quiting cotton for sale

I expect that we will not be receiving sufficient snow fall now that we are heading into spring. I do have a couple of other options I am considering to continue ‘snow’ dyeing all year-long.  Now I just have to buy some more fabric to do just that! 

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

Mid-century modern reupholstery project

Last summer on my way to an appointment, I spotted a mid-century modern two seat lounger on the curb. The upholstery was awful, but the lines of the piece were sleek and modern. When I reached my destination, I called my husband and asked him to look at the piece and to bring it home if he thought it was worthwhile salvaging it.

midcentury modern wooden sette teak doris lovadina-lee

When I arrived home it was sitting on our back deck. The upholstery fabric shouted 1970’s and called for shag carpet. The wood was in great condition, but only three strips of the webbing were not broken. Sitting on the piece was a very delicate matter!

mid-century moderntwo seater teak vintage sofa Toronto doris lovadina-lee

We purchased new webbing and easily fixed the seat. The wood was cleaned and waxed. The upholstery fabric absolutely needed to be changed! I decided that instead of four cushions I wanted to have two. That way I only needed to put in two zippers instead of four and two cushions would look more modern and streamlined.

doris lovadina-lee itajime shibori snow dyed handdyed canvas upholstery fabric

I had been hand dyeing fabrics and scarves and wanted to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric. I was certain I could create an interesting hand dyed piece to use for the cushions. I split the canvas into 2 pieces one for each cushion and cut off a long narrow strip that would be used on the sides. The piece above shows the two ends of the same long strip!

teak midcentury modern sofa snow dyed canvas upholstery toronto dorislovadinalee.com

I snow dyed the fabric and am so happy with the results. The cotton canvas was fan folded and then folded into a triangle. The result of the folding was a tall stack of fabric. I decided to rest the stack of fabric on the bottom of the plastic tub instead of having it suspended above the melted snow.

Danish teak 2 seater lounge chair itajime shibori snowdyed canvas upholstery doris lovadina

As you can see when looking at the photographs, there is a distinct difference in the fabric. The part of the canvas stack sitting in the melted snow absorbed more dye. In the photo above, the cushions show the portion of fabric resting above the melted snow. The design is sharper with more white visible.
hand dyed itajime shibori canvas upholstered mid-century modern two seat teak sofa doris lovadina-lee

In the photo above, the seat cushion shows the part of the cotton canvas that was eventually submerged when the snow melted. This created a softer less distinct pattern. In the photo below, it’s the back cushion fabric that was submerged.

danish style teak lounger snow dyed upholstery doris lovadina-lee

We will be placing this mid-century modern lounger outside on our deck when the weather turns warmer. This summer we will be sitting in style!

Radiant Light Quilt in Quilts and Health

Quilts and Health is a newly published book exploring the connection between textiles and health.

The authors are:

  • Marsha MacDowell, professor of art at Michigan State University Museum
  • Clare Luz assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine at Michigan State University
  • Beth Donaldson, Digital Humanities Project Asset Coordinator at Michigan State University.

Quilts and Health book by Marsha MacDowell, Clare Lug and Beth Donaldson with radiant light quilt by doris lovadina-lee toronto quilter

These three authors have written a scholarly book that is beautifully illustrated with hundreds of quilts as well as the stories behind them. Through their research they discovered that they could not name a disease that could not be connected to a quilt. Quilts are given as to comfort and memorialize those suffering from so many diseases. The AIDS Memorial quilt is an iconic example.

Radiant Light chakra quilt by doris lovadina-lee toronto artist in book quilts and health

I am thrilled that my quilt: Radiant Light is included in this book.

My quilt appears in chapter three: Individual Experiences of Health and Well-being Through Quiltmaking. Radiant Light is the third in a series of chakra quilts. The first was made for my sister-in-law who was diagnosed with cancer. The second quilt was made as a commission for someone who had seen my first one and had survived this disease. I have since made a fourth quilt: The Vibrant Path.

Quilts and health table of contents with Radiant light quilt by doris lovadina-lee toronto quilter

Excited to see my name and Sandy’s name in the index!

index page quilts and health doris lovadina-lee and sandy lindal

Radiant Light is an original design. The background is pieced as are the leaves. The outline of the woman and the chakras are appliqued. The quilt was beautifully long-arm quilted by Sandy Lindal of Scrappy Gal Quilt Co.

Artist Statement submitted to the Sacred Threads Exhibition:
This quilt embodies the divine life force in women. Chakra centers correspond to seven centers of energy in the human body. These spiraling wheels of vibrational energy channel power into and out of the body. When this vital energy flows easily, we remain in physical, spiritual and emotional alignment. The portrayal of the chakras superimposed on a female figure honours this divine/vital/transformative power. This quilt is a reminder to us all to be nurturing of ourselves, to be present in the moment, and to be in tune with the creative life force within us.

Radiant light art quilt by doris lovadina-lee toronto artist

Radiant Light was accepted and displayed at the Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013. It was purchased by a health professional and is currently on display in their offices. I can’t think of a better location for Radiant Light.

Wax & Wane Exhibition – Encaustic artwork

I attended the Wax & Wane: Exploring Encaustic & Cold Wax Paintings Exhibition at the Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West, Toronto just before it closed. Artwork from eleven local artists were on display. The style of art ranged from representational to abstract and a few incorporated other mediums, such as photography.

twist gallery toronto ontario canada exhibit of encaustic art
Wax & Wane Exhibit at Twist Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Twist Gallery is located on the second floor and has three large windows letting in the light. It is a great space for a gallery.

encaustic paintings in wax & wane exhibit toronto twist gallery 2018
Wax & Wane Exhibit at Twist Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Ian Varney Squiggle Coast 15B and 15A at twist gallery
Squiggle Coast 15B and 15A by Ian Varney

 

Maggie Doswell Floor and Reflecting encaustic paintings twist gallery
Floor (top) and Reflecting (bottom) by Maggie Doswell

 

Ann shier Return to Innocence encaustic wax painting by canadian artist wax and wane exhibition
Return to Innocence by Ann Shier

 

inside by Dania Al-Obaidi wax painting at twist gallery toronto
Inside by Dania Al-Obaidi

 

playful Intersection by Kato Wake canadian artist wax and wane art exhibit
Playful Intersection by Kato Wake

 

Dry Bark by Carolanne MacLean twist gallery encaustic wax exhibit toronto
Dry Bark by Carolanne MacLean

 

Encaustic wax exhibit with Canadian artist Carolanne MacLean detail of Dry Bark
Dry Bark detail by Carolanne MacLean

The photographs above represent a small portion of the artists and style that were on display.

I am captivated by the use of wax as an artistic medium. I admit to having purchased supplies and am eager to start working with encaustic wax and photo image transfers.

Snow dyeing “pashmina” shawls

I purchased two shawls this past weekend so I could continue to take advantage of the snow that was still accumulating. One was labelled 70% pashmina, 30% silk. It was had a nice shimmer and was soft. The other shawl was labelled 100% pashmina. At both locations I asked specifically if the fibre content was wool and was assured that it was.

Not wool scarves hand dyeing experiment dorislovadinalee.com

 

Both shawls were washed to remove any finish that might deter the dye from adhering to them. They were soaked in a vinegar, salt and water solution to prepare the wool for dyeing.

snow dyeing ice dyed pashmina scarves toronto ontario dorislovadinalee

One of the shawls was folded into thirds and wrapped around a PVC pipe, the other was rolled around a string. A combination of navy, turquoise and yellow dye powder was sprinkled on top of the snow.

shibori scarves in dye toronto ontario canada local dyer doris lovadina-lee

After the snow had melted, the shawls were steamed to set the dye. In the photo above they had just been removed from the steamer, the colours were vibrant!

snow dyed scarves pashmina washing synthropol doris lovadina-lee local hand dyer

The shawls were rinsed and washed with synthropol to remove all the excess dye.

hand dyed pashmina scarves hanging to dry basement doris lee toronto ontario

Here they are drying on the line after all of the dye was removed. I could see as soon as I began rinsing them out that there was a problem. In my experience pure wool absorbs dye beautifully resulting in deep, rich, strong colours. So, these two supposedly wool shawls don’t contain any wool at all!

Nui shibori snow dyed not wool scarf toronto ontario dorisleehand made pashmina not wool shibori scarf dyed with snow toronto ontario canada

This is the nui shibori shawl after its final wash. It’s a soft ethereal blue.

pleated arashi pashmina shibori hand dyed scarf not wool doris lee toronto artist
The arashi shibori shawl has a bit more colour, and the steaming has set the pleats! Although the colour differs quite dramatically from the shawls just out of the steamer, they are a still very pretty – an icy blue.

Arashi shibori blue snow dyeing not wool scarf doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario

Well, this experience has taught me that not all labels are accurate! The results are not the rich deep colours I personally favour but the finished shawls are still lovely. I am still looking for 100% pure wool scarves. I have a lead that I plan on pursuing. Hoping they arrive before all the snow is gone!

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