*This article was published on the EPA Today website as well as the printed newspaper in October 2015.*
Rule number one: Rinse the paint brush before dipping it into a new color. Rule number two: Have fun!
Artist Linda Gass explained these rules during her class at the Palo Alto Arts Center, where she is continuing as an Artist-in-Residence.
Last July, Gass held a multiple-day event at East Palo Alto’s Cooley Landing to kick off her “In the Field Residency” project with the art center. During the summer event, she invited East Palo Alto residents to learn about the history of Cooley Landing through various hands-on activities as well as to participate in her land art project (Read more about Gass’ summer event here.).
This time, during her class at the arts center on September 26, community members were once again invited to participate and become involved in the creative process, and participate, they did.
They choose Cooley Landing related pictures, like a leopard shark or a crab to work on. They were, then, given an apron, a paintbrush, dyes in various colors and a piece of silk with an outline of the picture they had chosen.
Before getting started, Gass warned everyone that the dye would “move” once it touched the silk. As soon as the brush was lightly pressed against the silk, the dye did, indeed, move. The color spread on the fabric, almost as if it had a life of its own. As they saw how the dye was moving, some class participants let out audible “oohs,” as they began to paint.
“Just go with it and have fun,” Gass told everyone.
The paintings the class made will be used to make a quilt that will eventually be displayed in the Education Center at Cooley Landing. Gass’ hands-on classes will continue this fall. So, it’s not too late for community residents to participate in her art projects! All who are interested are invited to join the hands-on sessions at the Palo Alto Arts Center on October 9, 10, 23 and 24 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to meet Gass and to create their own silk painting.