Thursday, March 31, 2005

What's your canvas?

so we were all sitting around the table on Easter after brunch and my Mom reminded me that i'd said we were dyeing eggs after we ate. Normally our tradition is to dye eggs on Saturday afternoon of Easter weekend. This year, we had things to do on Saturday (to insure we had plenty of lazy time on Sunday). I realized there was no need to cram one of my favorite activities into that busy Saturday afternoon just to satisfy tradition. (everyone's older in this household so no egg hunt was required. We knew the Easter B would appreciate this). So, on Sunday we brought out the Paas, the vinegar, and probably 30 years of saved egg dippers (those wire things) and got to work.
Did I say this is one of my favorite activities? Dyeing eggs. I have loved dyeing eggs since I can remember. I guess there are a couple of reasons for this: first, everyone joined in and second, everyone was making beautiful things.
Every Easter we'd gather round the kitchen table and set about creating our little masterpieces. We always used the PAAS kit. Every once in a while someone would find a fun or silly addition to the Paas kit - one year it was a make your egg an animal kit -feathers and pipecleaners included; another year we dipped a lot of eggs into those plastic melt on sleeves. But the PAAS kit was the basis for all that is and was wonderful in egg decorating. One year i tracked down tools and dyes to do pysansky. (note to self: find that stuff and give it another go). Everyone decorated as i said. Each person had to make an egg with their name on it (someone always made an egg with the current pets name on it) and then it was a free for all. Meanwhile, back in NYC my grandmother would dye her own eggs and bring them with her on Easter Sunday. We always wondered how Mom-Mom (my paternal grandmother) made such amazingly creative eggs with just food coloring. But she did. Her eggs were beautiful.
I could never get enough of egg decorating. I'd love to decorate dozens and dozens but the reality of that would be a lot of egg salad or sliced egg sandwiches, right? I came up with a solution to the problem one year. when we were living in Bowie and the kids were little i went to the local community center and asked if they needed eggs dyed for the annual Easter egg hunt. Strangely enough they said yes! I don't even remember how many eggs I dyed(close to 100) but it was a dream come true. Dozens of little canvases for me to create on.
This year it was just the two kids, husband and my mom. As much as I'd liked to have dyed a hundred eggs we decided on just a dozen this year. Here's a picture of one of my eggs.

Which brings me to the question - what's your canvas? i love eggs but i've tried many a canvas in my lifetime. I've painted on many surfaces, sewn paper and fabric, painted my heart out with oils, acrylics and watercolor. I probably have tried it all. When i was in school i did a lot of printmaking (silk screening and etching) and that process will always be close to my heart. (probably why i adore rubber stamping.. it has many similarities to serigraphy in my mind). But i always return to paper and pencil (an HB will do; my prismacolors when i'm likin some color) or pen (ink jars and nibbed pens are most wonderous but i also enjoy my Kohinoor or my Pitt pen). throw in a crayon or marker for good measure. Yes i love to draw. And maybe i'll share some drawings here soon.
So what's your canvas?

1 comment:

Christa H. said...

well well well...wanted to do some eggs but it didn't happen! Lately I have been playing w/ watercolor papers and pintura board- using PITT pens, oil pastels, acrylics, watercolors, Permopaque markers, water-sol crayons, water-sol oil pastels, chalks, crayolas, gouache....been a fun time getting messy!