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Wearing Monet's Water Lilies
Inauguration of a New Series

Saturday, June 24, 2-6pm

by Laura Honse

After endless enjoyable hours of meditative painting and endless hours of not so enjoyable hand-sewing which led to having carpal tunnel, I have finally finished the first series of my new collection. I hand-paint designs on cotton, manta and silk and then cut the fabric into small pieces, sew them together to form oblong pockets, stuff them with bunting, then hand-sew the ends together to form cushion-like beads. These I string into necklaces of various lengths. Lightweight and easy to wear, these adorning necklaces enhance with their simplicity and boldness of painterly qualities. Choosing to hand-paint textiles instead of using commercially printed fabric allows for a much greater freshness, richness and intensity of color, depth, contrast and texture. Some fabrics like silk are soft textured and others, like manta, are rough. Some are painted very mute, in soft washes, muddy and minimal in color so they resemble stone, marble, terra cotta, a speckled eggshell, wood or a faded wall surface.

Others are graphically painted in vivid, contrasting colors and patterns reminiscent of bits of decorative tile or Morano, Moroccan and African beads. A fabric of an orgy of triangles in various degrees of altitudes and hues, competing with each other on the small space they attempt to contain themselves within. Colored polka dots connected with black lines in dispersed areas creating the effect of a blooming flower or spiderweb. A bold Aztec pattern like mysterious hieroglyphs engraved out of black.

One elegant necklace forms an intricate, detailed surrealist landscape of beads individually painted with pointy thorns, leaves, cloudy skies and earth-buried seedpods in soft green, blues and pale roses. The fabric beads are interspersed with gold coral, malachite beads and shark vertebrae.

Inspiration is drawn from many sources including nature, abstract art, surrealism, Art Brut, Africa, Morocco and Japan. Purvis Young's brilliant paintings at the Skot Foreman Gallery in Fabric Aurora have given me endless motivation. The most recent necklace is a homage to Claude Monet's water lilies, after having recently read a biography on his water lily paintings. One sees the muddy depths of the water lily pond, the colorful water lily leaves and flowers, the water-reflected sky and sun.

Although the focus is mainly on the painterly qualities and most necklaces are free of any ornaments other than the hand-painted fabric beads, I sometimes incorporate other materials such as Morano, malachite, wood, faux pas amber and mother of pearl beads or buttons. Some necklaces are adorned with shark vertebrae, large seedpods, gold coral or even a giant disk of quartz.

The process of creating my fabric beads usually begins by hand-painting a small piece of fabric. Depending on what effect I desire, I will use various types of brushes, sponges or even my finger tips. The idea for a fabric just sort of flows into being as I go along, inspired by some inner vision. Sometimes it will take several layers of paint before I am done, letting the fabric dry between applications. Sometimes the process is messy, getting the fabric wet so the paint bleeds or attacking the fabric like Jackson Pollock. When the painting is done, I cut the fabric in small pieces and sew them into little cushions which are then filled with bunting and finally hand-sewn at the ends to produce the rounded bead shape. But sometimes the process is different and only a wash or light sketch is first painted onto the piece of fabric and later, once the cushioned beads are sewn up, I will go back and further spontaneously paint around the rounded shape of each individual bead to create a one of a kind pattern on each one. A painstaking, elaborate process but one which is worthwhile in its astonishing end result.

Very smooth, light and sensual in form and choice of materials, these fabric beads invite touching. They are soft, warm and resilient and have none of the hardness or coldness to their surface that metal, stone, glass or other materials usually used in jewelry-making have. Either worn draped on the body or at rest on a wall or table, they produce a breathtaking statement about the love of color, paint, pattern and form. In some I see a baby blue sky, in others a dark, stormy midnight sky. They have their own moods. Some are mellow, some scream out, some are just a whisper, others undulate with rhythm, some are dreamy and magical and some are gloomy like a rainy day. But no two are exactly alike.

My first concentrated experience with painting on textiles was while working at the boutique Sindashi, hand-painting clothing. I then moved on to doing my own work, hand-painting huge landscapes of fish and other sea life or Mexican flora and fauna on rebozos two meters in length. Eventually, this led to hand-painting the fabric beads. There are so many ideas, dreams and visions yet to unfold and be realized upon my mini canvases that I am left sleepless nights with anticipation for the days ahead when the world will cease to exist and there will be nothing but color and endless magical possibilities awaiting to be born.

Please join me at my home / showroom for the unveiling of my new collection.

Wearing Monet's Water Lilies
Inauguration of a New Series
Saturday, June 24, 2-6pm

Calle Homobono 2 (corner of Animas, above the pharmacy)
Cell: 415 1190405


Laura Honse, born in the U.S., was raised overseas in Brazil, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand and the Bahamas. She studied painting and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA, graduating with a BFA. After living in New York and San Francisco, she spent twenty years in Germany, where she opened Gallery Atomic Salon in Hamburg. Besides painting, she photographs and make collages. She now resides in Mexico, where she has exhibited her photography in San Miguel de Allende at El Nigromante Bellas Artes and at Art Print and in Leon at Instituto Cultural de Leon.
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