Here you see my fat soybeans. They are bulbous after a night of soaking. After blending them and squeezing them to produce the soy milk, I then use my deer hair brush to apply the soymilk.
The reason for that particular brush is so I can apply the soymilk evenly – not like a house paintbrush with the uneven ridges on the bristles. The way that the soy is applied affects the way the dyes themselves are absorbed: the dye will follow the “pathway” of the soy.
To explain this: the soy is used as a binder. Since soy is a protein and silk is a protein as well, the soy combines with and actually penetrates the fibers of the silk. When I later brush on the dyes, they follow the soy into the silk itself. The dyes cannot be rubbed off. What I get is a permanent (or as permanent as possible) dye and a depth of color that only this process offers.
While I do the soy, I consider David Hockney’s words:
We see with memory, so if I know someone well, I see them differently from the way I might if I’d just met them.“
This happens with me and my art. If I’ve spent a lot of time with it, I gradually lose any sense of objectivity.
But now I’m noticing that, as it gets closer to the day that my assistant comes to help me, all of a sudden, I’m looking at my art through – is it her imagined eyes? I’m not sure, but now I’m really switching it up and understanding my piece in a way that I didn’t before. It’s like a boost just from the expectation of another person’s input.