Whenever I remember I now put a piece of fabric underneath anything I am working on when I am using paints and dyes. It absorbs the wet paints better than paper but also gives me a ready made surface for wiping my fingers or simply taking the excess off a used stencil. Often I use up the paint that is left on my palette on my drop cloth, never thinking about what I’m doing, just adding layers as I go. Recently I realised that I had a rather nice piece that was already the basis for a picture.
Using some items that I made some time ago – a flower pot stamp made from funky foam and a lemon stencil that I’ve used many times before – I set about quickly composing a picture, using the frame on the drop cloth as a window. I used my old favourite of bubble wrap to create the impression of geraniums in the pot – as you can see, the paint is rather thick.
The original drop cloth was a thick piece of curtain lining fabric, so I was able to free machine straight onto it without a frame. I used one colour thread all over, a dark brown/burgundy and sketched quickly with the machine. Stencilling and stamping took about half an hour, the machine stitching an hour. Quick and easy.