Remember Mr. Dressup and his Tickle Trunk from which he pulled an array of costumes for his skits? I may be dating myself but it was a show I grew up on, and I've always loved the concept of the Tickle Trunk.

I feel like I have a tickle trunk of my own now, only it contains a bundle of techniques I've learned for my art.

I've taken many workshops over the years in techniques and artistic concepts and am self taught in others, working with traditional and non-traditional materials, giving me not only many approaches I can draw upon but an eye to look on almost anything as a surface on which to create and to embellish. 

Sometimes I feel like I have too many techniques in the collection. It can get confusing after all to decide which to use and has left me feeling at times that I don't have a specific "style" for my fibre art.

But I'm learning that I do have an underlying style, the root of all my work. My artist friends tell me they recognize my work when they see it. The image I'm creating determines the techniques and materials to use as the base, then I draw upon additional modes for embellishment and details. Beading may be used for the frothy image of water on a painted background, painted tissue paper for a sky, embroidery for plants and flowers, painted brown paper bag and lace for a background. Thanks to my sister, who had broken her leg last year, I was able to use two of her fibreglass casts as a 'canvas'. 

While I have mastered my skills for some of the techniques I have learned, I am focusing on improving others, rather than adding more to the trunk. But my main objective is to practice building layers with and combining various techniques to add depth and drama to  my pictures, just like the Mr. Dressup's costumes are embellished with hats, shoes & other props, adding to their playfulness and building the character.

The list of techniques I've learned is long enough that I've actually had to write them all down. My "Tickle Trunk" inventory is posted on my studio wall, so I can refer to it anytime to audition the techniques for putting together a script for my art. 


"Music is full of longing and movement.  Painting should be the same." I read this quote in Hundred and Thousands: The Journals of...