Quilting Arts Magazine August/Spetember 2011Monoprinting techniques for finger-painted fabric.

I always thought of finger painting as child’s play until recently when I met Parks Reece, a protégé of Ruth Faison Shaw – the originator of modern finger painting in Italy in 1926.  Ruth started a movement to use finger painting as a therapeutic tool in psychiatry and patented her formula for finger paint by 1935.  Within a year, finger painting was introduced to the general public by Crayola®, which began mass-producing and marketing Shaw’s paints to children.  Over time the gestural, expressive form of finger painting as a fine-art medium grew to receive worldwide attention from galleries, collectors, and museums.

Today Parks Reece uses finger painting, along with lithography, to create unique artwork.  As I admired the gestural quality of the finger-painted art in his gallery, I began to wonder how I might create a similar process on fabric.

I remember finger painting on slick paper as a child.  Finger painting directly on fabric seemed impossible due to the texture and absorbent quality of fabric.  However, it is possible to create the look of finger painting on fabric using monoprinting techniques.  Through experimentation I discovered that three monoprinting approaches work great to create the look of finger painting on fabric.

For more information visit Cynthia St. Charles online at http://www.cynthiastcharles.com/.