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Natural Dyes? Why Not!

Lately I have been thinking how I could bring a more sustainable aspect to my art, especially my hearts, since they are formed from a synthetic fiber. They yupo paper, unfortunately, so do not take the natural dyes, BUT watercolor paper does, so I have been having some fun with the grounds of my heart pieces!

I made a piece for a fun event in Babylon. NY. It is a café walk, which brings awareness to local business and local artists, Café D'Art. It was put together by Colored.Colors, BACCA, and the Babylon Chamber of Commerce.

It opens this weekend, so if you are around Babylon, NY, you should check it out! If not, the exhibit will be up in six different coffee shops until June 18th!

So why am I talking so much about this event, and what does it have to do with natural dyes? Well, instead of placing an amazing looking heart on a white canvas, I decided to use coffee and coffee grinds to help color the ground of the piece I submitted for this event. The final effect was incredible!

I was in complete shock how this natural dye looked better than any other medium I could ever think of. In fact, the effect was so cool, to me at least, who is addicted to coffee, I made another piece, that was not included in the event. It was too late to submit it.

The white framed piece is the one on display, the black framed piece is currently on the site.

I couldn't get over how magical the grounds came out in the both of these pieces. Especially since I have been getting a bit tired of the plain white canvases I have been using with the heart pieces.

Curious about my process? Check out the video below!

I also tried my hand at blueberry dye, and I was NOT disappointed! It came out beautiful! The only issues is that you have to make all of your grounds at once, cause that blueberry dye bath will begin to mold after a certain amount of time.

What I didn't expect what that once color would make ALL of these colors! What was really cool is that the wash was a vibrant red, and began to dry to a reddish purple. The colors began to change even more over the book pages, and wherever I placed a soft molding paste.

Want to see the process of how I made this ground? Check out the video below!

I really can't wait to see what other fruits, vegetables, and goodies I can make for a natural dye. If I can switch out a few things to help make my art slightly sustainable since I know my hearts are from a synthetic product, I want to utilize it as much as possible!

What are your thoughts of sustainable products being used in art?


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