Friday, November 14, 2008

Does Good Weaving Have To Hurt? Part 3: Summer 2007/08 Color Sketchbook

I promised I'd show you what I did last summer, so here goes.

When I started store-sitting Sue's gallery, the first two or three weeks were spent photographing everything and anything I liked. But I was determined to spend my time productively, so I decided to do something with colors. My first plan was to analyze her colors, and then reproduce them in paint. Then I changed it to coming up with just as attractive color schemes of my own, reproducing them in paint first, and then try dyeing and weaving in them. But that became too daunting, so I switched to doing whatever I felt like doing, and only those things, as long as they had something to do with colors. And I ended up with a sketchbook full of clippings from about 18 months worth of weekly New Zealand Listener.

At first, I tried to describe, in words and with clippings, Sue's colors and what I liked about them or what I'd change about them for my work.

Then I started pasting clippings of colors I liked, and naturally it started with the blues. Sometimes I had to cut out the faces of people because they can be dominant and distracting, (especially with celebrities or politicians.) Sometimes they stayed. Sometimes I only needed the background or the edge of a photo, not what the photographer was trying to show me.

In the third photo from the top, can you see a red boat passing under the bridge? At this stage, I became fascinated by the use/proportion/distribution of strong reds/oranges and yellows/golds in small amounts to make the pictures interesting without overwhelming them.

Even though I never got my paints out, I did get a tiny bit adventurous towards the end and added some of Sue's yarns to compare,

or to show what I would add to create an accent,

or even doodled with these spiffy new metallic pens.
There's still one blank page towards the front of this sketchbook; on it is a pink Post-It with the words,"Save for outcome". The only practical thing I did based on this sketchbook was to order two lots of cottons based on the pallet I liked, which included subtle blues and greens. Remember this? I was pleased, because they are not the vivid blues I usually prefer, and it's a more nuanced pallet than usual for me. I'd become more aware of these colors in the world, and how small amounts of reds and yellows can enhance them.

You could say the Lie-Down Scarf 4 was one of the results of this study, but since I don't have a good pic, better look at my thrum. (Is that a collective noun, or should it be "thrums"??)

* * * * *

I resumed Sue's Gallery duty this week, and it felt kind of strange and familiar to be back. It was supposed to be just for last summer, I thought; or not, I can't remember what I intended. But Sue's course goes on for one more week, so I'm happy to help her at least until the end of November. She's rebranding the gallery so I need to know what changes there will be to see if it would still suit me.

On Tuesday, I started another lot of color cut-and-pastes in another sketchbook. The beauty of this task is I have to keep clipping, collecting, and revisiting the pages to fill them up, instead of cut-paste-finish in one go. I like my pages; I've even used them as resources for my color/painting courses.

4 comments:

  1. this reminds me of when I used to be a designer and we'd do what we called mood boards, which were not only color studies, but line and pattern and even typograhy that spoke to us about whatever projects we were working on. It's a good practice and one I should pick up again, just as a good exercise in visual acuity.

    I love how you translated the grays in one example into yarn colors.

    p.s. you don't have to be clever, it was just a suggestion.

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  2. I just learned about mood boards earlier this week, so I know what you mean. It could be a fun idea, but I change my mind so very often that I don't think I''ll be able to complete anything. I might give it a go, though, once I clean up my stash room. I really enjoy the revisiting and reworking aspect - I'm very impatient so I tend to finish and never look back, plus I tend to fiddle and do things I shouldn't when I revisit things, but I'm trying to experiment with different ways of doing things, so I might give that a go, Dana.

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  3. Your sketchbook is so wonderful! I love having references like that; I need to get better and keeping mine in one place, instead of ten different places.

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  4. Thank you, Rachel, but shhhhhh, I have between four and eight going at once, and none of these have my proper weaving records - they go on backs of envelopes, receipts and on the sides of bills and such.

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