Monday, June 29, 2009
Painting Gorgeous Hawaiian T-Shirts
Ladies and gentleman, It is so much fun to paint in the watercolor style on T-shirts. People ask me all the time "Is it airbrushed?" I tell them "No, it's hand-painted with a bamboo brush. I developed my technique in 1985 after learning from an Australian girl how to mix acrylic paints for use on fabric. She used only sponge brushes and painted circles and squares on white cotton fabric, which she then cut and sewed into beautfiful jackets, pants, & tops.
I started practicing on old sheets and pillow cases and purchased lots of colors of liquitex brand paints. Light blues, aqua, violet-blue, white and primary colors to create pinks, rasberries, fuscias, dark purples and yellow are my favorites. Sometimes now I add hot colors to the mix like Light and dark orange. I love the new Golden paints because they have such vivid color due to their amazing pigments.
In 1985 I began to paint on cotton as my canvas. I started with abstract brush strokes to get loosened up. Sort of a Japanese calligraphy stroke for sky, earth, land is how I began loosely adding water then paint, then water then paint. I was hooked. I continued with a vintage hibiscus looking flowers, purple orchids that were so soft and amazing to me. I never knew I could paint. It just came to me. I kept going without fear because I was using old pillow cases and sheets that didn't matter if I made a mistake. I could throw it away if it wasn't beautiful. This enabled me to relax and go with the flow of the Paint. Well, with my first thirty pieces I cut them into halter dresses, capris and little cap sleeved tops that I took to a boutique in Wailuku, Maui and sold. I bought a car with my first sale. That was fun. Throughout the years I moved on to t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings and pillows which sold wherever I worked. While working as a registered nurse in California since 1989, my designs would sell like crazy. I tried my first Craft Fair at Cross Creek in Malibu, near "the Colony" and had great success.
I have always outlined my designs as a finishing touch using an ultra fine point permanent marker to enhance all the colors and shapes. Now thirty years later I am finally relaxing and allowing the paint to just be. It is exhilarating to let go and enjoy the freedom. Follow my video demos to see how you too can paint as easy as one-two-three. See www.amaryllisofhawaii.com for samples of hand-painted tees and look for tshirtsbymarilyn.com coming soon for all my Hawaiian Designs Made on Maui. Hope you enjoy and have fun painting. It is great therapy for body, mind, soul and spirit. I teach monthly at Ben Franklin Crafts Ka`ahumanu Shopping Center on Maui and will do streaming live video on t-shirtsbymarilyn.com Class times and dates are posted on my web-sites. Aloha for now. I look forward to seeing you soon. Post your comments ok.