5 Days of Painting Play with Mickey Lawler and Friends

Sunset at Horseneck Beach State Reservation, MAPitching my tent at Horseneck State Reservation, the sunset provided perfect inspiration for painting fabric at ProChem in Fall River, MA.  Mickey Lawler, the life force of Skydyes, distilled her thousands of yards of experience into five days of inspirational play time.  If you have yet to enjoy either of her books, “Skydyes” (now out of print) or Skyquilts, find them now, if only for the eye candy factor.

I have fond memories of attempting to create a particular sky for a quilt in spring, 2000, using her Skydyes book.  My garden in the Castelli Romani was awash in attempts using fabric paints, dyes and marbling.  What fun that was!   Despite the fact that I  layered several solid organzas instead of using any of the mountain of skies I created (look up at the banner and you’ll see some of the reject pieces that were perfect for another quilt), creating my own fabrics has been an important step in my quilting journey.

With this class, I wanted to renew that joy in a more guided setting.  Mickey is a gracious, fun, and spontaneous teacher who encouraged each of us and tailored the class as the wind and sun shifted.  The wonderful class members included many interests, representing New England, the Mid Atlantic and Florida!  ProChem was a great classroom host, and Vicki Jensen tended to our ProChem shopping sprees, many questions about the area and of course, our lunch!

Mickey says that her 80 percent of the time, she gets the results that she expected when painting.  Makes sense, with her experience.  The other 20 percent is serendipity, and she lives for that!  By the end of the class, I got the results I expected about 10 percent of the time. The other 90 percent was serendipity, thanks to my inexperience with the methods and techniques, and I’m not sure I was always content with that!  Here’s a few sunsets and fabrics that highlighted my week.

Opening the curtains this morning, I looked out at the band of pink edging the faraway Boston skyline and thought… Vermillion with pearl, watered down quite a bit, topped with ultramarine and perhaps a touch of black.  Landscapes may never be viewed with the same eyes again!