This life we's strange, painful at times, but oh so beautiful.

I am a fusion dance artist and teacher, a fire dancer, and a visual artist. I draw inspiration from nature, music, and the amazing people that come into my life. I am also a conservationist who makes jewelry and found object multimedia craft type art in my spare time (when I'm not reading, writing, or lighting things on fire and dancing around with them). I love to dance barefoot on the beach, watch the stars move inexorably across the heavens, and to laugh with the people that I love. I am currently based in Greenville SC, working with Discordia Arts to provide unique and exciting entertainment to the Upstate.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Awaiting Autumn

It has been a long, hot summer, and I've found immense joy in it. Yet, even my favorite season must come to an end, and even though the temperature drop always saddens me, there are many things I love about fall...especially the colors.

Fall Fae Silk Painting
I wrote last about inspiration and how what I make changes as I move through the process of creation. The last piece I made was flowers in autumn colors. As the temperatures drop and the pulse of nature slows, the trees become beacons - golden beech and firey maple. Yesterday and today, I drew my inspiration from autumnal colors.

The temperatures outside haven't dropped significantly yet, but I feel autumn in my soul.

Autumn Dancers Silk Painting
The first piece that I worked on, I hated. I didn't do sketches for these, but just drew the designs directly onto the silks with my resist. Initially, the fae figure had too large of a head, too strangely proportioned a body, and no background. I made the head smaller, the waste larger, gave the skirt extra layers, and added abstract background lines...and filled the entire thing in with autumn colors. She sits beneath a stormy sunset, and I was so happy with the final piece that I decided to do another today.

As with the first, I put the resist directly to silk with no sketch, and as with the first, I hated this piece initially. Once I filled in the entire background with branches and leaves, I decided that it was going to turn out alright and began painting. It took hours to fill in the background, painting each leaf with multiple washes to give the fall leaves a realistic color gradation. I kept the figures super simple, dancing in the filtered golden light of autumn.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Inspiration Evolves

Henna Lace Hands by Jaidra
I draw inspiration from a million places, and rarely is it a linear process. Sometimes, I see something, and it sparks an idea. Other times, I have a dream, read a book, listen to a piece of music, or feel an emotion that just has to be expressed on silk. I write this blog for others to view my creative process, but also as a spur for myself. Writing about my process allows me to analyze it, and draw a better understanding of why I do the things that I do.

In this instance, amazingly enough, there is a clear progression of inspiration that I managed to get photographs of. It began with a henna client sending me a photograph of a henna design that they wanted. I used that photograph as inspiration in creating a design for their henna piece.
Henna Leg by Jaidra
Some of my favorite aspects of the design were the spirals with "leaves" that I think look like fern fiddle heads.

I decided to use the fiddle heads in a larger henna piece that I did on my own leg this past Sunday.

A good friend of mine saw a photo of my leg piece on facebook and suggested that I use the design in my silks. My silk process uses water based resists that block movement of the dye on the fabric, but doesn't protect the silk. I would like to get some batik materials and try out some of my intricate designs on silk, but right now, I can't afford it. So, instead, I painted a small 11x11 silk with blue washes, went over it with stop flow, and then painted my fiddle head design on using black dye.

Fiddle Head Inspired Silk Pocket Square
I followed my small silk up with a larger 21x21 piece. The fiddle heads became less intricate, and I filled the space with these and leaves and chose a fall motif to celebrate the fact that summer is coming to an end.
I was really happy with the final piece, and even though the silks bear little in common with the original henna design, all of them evolved from the same design element. I don't think I'm done with this one yet, either - who knows where the fiddle head may take me next!

Fiddle Head Inspired Fall Silk Painting