Our guest speaker for this evening was Debra Davies-Russell, a local artist from the south of the county. Debra has a background of teaching art, having gained a Bed, and has taught all levels of art from primary school up to fine art. Her passion is oil paints in particular, but she likes to work in all mediums and enjoys experimenting with colour and texture.
Debra brought along some of her works that had been painted with dyes and resist, to demonstrate the versatility of the medium. Her works were inspired by the patterns and colour made by petrol on water. Debra talked about the use of Procion dyes and wax resist and how she likes to experiment with different techniques to see how far she can stretch the boundaries of a particular medium. She was taught many years ago that there are no wrongs in art, and this has given her the confidence to experiment.
Debra talked about different ways of using the dyes, such as using them on a variety of different papers, fabric, cardboard, muslin, paper towel, tissue, newspaper and virtually anything else you can think of. Her advice was to not throw anything away, but to use it in art in some way! Dye can be used with PVA glue, acrylic paints, pencils, oil pastels, pens – many of these can be used to work into a piece of dyed medium when dry.
After the talk and refreshments, members were eager to try using the dyes. Debra had brought along a variety of ready-made dyes, different types of paper, canvas, fabric, cardboard and oil pastels and much fun was had experimenting with colour and texture, to create pieces to take home and play with!