Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Mysterious

Last week some sky fabric was painted.

Here are the last three pieces (roughly 18 x 26 inches), out of a total of six. I'm pretty happy with them.

As for the first three I painted, In my defense, I've only painted sky pieces once before, and that was two or three years ago, so I expected a re-learning curve...and I got it. Pretty bad, huh.

What I did not expect was this, the very first piece I painted last week and the only one that was left in my bedroom to dry:

Here's a closer look:

Do you see what I see? A diamond-like pattern formed on this piece of fabric as it dried. And for the life of me, I can't explain how it got there.

This piece was painted on fabric cut from the same bolt as the other pieces. Beneath it was a vinyl-covered foamcore board identical to the ones under the other pieces.

The only difference is, again, I left it in my bedroom to dry. All other pieces were left to dry in the basement under fluorescent lights.

At this point I should mention that the paints I used are heliographic....light sensitive. They must have light as they dry, or they will turn pale and dull. And in my bedroom, only a little natural light was coming through the two windows, and no sunlight--it was a very overcast day. This easily explains the pale, lackluster appearance of the painted fabric, as far as color. But what caused these diamond-shaped patterns to develop...patterns which would require extra light to appear more colorful than the background? Your guess is as good as mine. There is nothing I can find in my bedroom that would account for this spontaneous design--which would have to be caused by a specific pattern of light shining on the fabric. No sun, no direct light anywhere in the room, and no patterns like these anywhere in the room to bounce any extra light onto the fabric. And no one, not even I, had been in the room the entire time.

A thought just now occurred to me. There is a quartz crystal hanging high up in each window. Each crystal is about 2 inches long. Could the daylight, which is always changing and moving, have been refracting through the crystals and projecting a specific pattern onto the fabric (which was roughly ten feet away and lying on the floor)? Then, moving on as the light shifted, projecting that pattern again and again across the fabric? Some of the shapes do appear to overlap. If that's what is going on here, it would mean that these light patterns are in my bedroom all the time--but I can't see them. Wow!!

Any thoughts?

Have a great week.




  1. Wow, that's really interesting. It looks like the texture on a paper towel, doesn't it?

    1. Thank you, Vicki! You solved the mystery!! Be sure to read the new post. :)

  2. Bet those crystals are the producers of those diamonds. Put a white sheet where the fabric was and take a picture - see if you see the diamonds when you blow up the photo. Beautiful fabrics!

    1. Thanks, Angie. It turned out to be something much more mundane, but now I really want to play around with the crystal idea!

  3. Wow. This is amazing. Can't wait to find out for sure!


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