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Painting with a Different Brush…… Guest Blogger – Lisa Harkins

May 8, 2012

In April, Pat Spark returned for an encore of her popular class, Watercolor Felt Inlay.  Instead of trays of paints or dyes, students arrived on the first day to find a riot of color in Pat’s medium.

Pat hand-dyes merino wool in a wide range of colors for student use.

Over the next three days, students stretched their color and design abilities as they learned about the unique qualities of wool through a series of small samples designed to teach Pat’s method.  The knowledge from these samples culminated in a final small project of the student’s choice.  Pat uses a range of different sizes and shapes of felting needles to apply merino wool to a soft, pre-felted merino base.

The wool is felted with the assistance of a finishing sander.  Note the GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) cord, an essential piece of safety equipment for this process.

Pat has come to her process through years of experimenting and teaching, and her method is very accessible, even to students who don’t draw.  Her technique is especially suited to subjects from nature.

Cheryl’s final project was worked from a newspaper photograph of a Spotted Towhee.

After a weekend of fast and furious production, it was time to depart.  Perhaps some stopped in the tulip fields for some inspiration on the way home.

A way of life in the Skagit Valley. All photos © Lisa M. Harkins

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