Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gulp!

When I started thinking about this color combination, it was more theoretical than an immediate plan. I fully intended to incorporate these colors in my warp, eventually, but certainly in a intricate, subtle way. It was a dare to myself.

Then I got a bit excited with the Heian Era look of the booboo scarf yesterday, and after finding out this is the 1000th birthday of The Tale of Gengi, our first known novel, I knew I was meant to weave these regular, shocking stripes, in diamonds. I even did something I never do to make sure.
So promptly first thing this morning, I started making a warp. Each stripe will be appxorimately half an inch wide. Shouldln't have pulled out all the thrums from the previous warp last night. Ouch!
But, but, but... doesn't it look a little too Bob Marley? Ouch! (Gosh, is it me, or is this pic super blurry? And my lovely purple looks so blue...)

Too bad/Lucky there's no time to worry, I'll just warp on. I clipped my fingernails this morning, and that's made it harder to count the warp ends.

And no more Sudoku-until-1AM just because Ben's on holiday this week. Even though it's a good way to unwind, I can't keep my eyes open.

OK, back to the warping board.

13 comments:

  1. Yeah, R U sure? I'm ... gob smacked. Never done anything like this. Arguably the most hilarious mistake I've ever made???

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  2. WEAVE ON, WEAVE ON I want to see it!

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  3. Gee... right-o. In a little bit...

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  4. Meg are you fighting yourself over colours? I've just been reading through a few of your posts and discover that you have a great feeling and understanding for soft and muted tones. But, you're working now with rather bright colours.

    I've been reading all the books on colour theory I can find recently. I don't really like these books, they are full of rules and I have spent my life reacting against rules.


    However, the one paragraph I like best in all of them was in Itten's Elements of Color, p.23, about an experience when he was teaching colour theory and he said to the students "let each of you paint whatever combinations he finds pleasant and harmonious". An hour later, "each student had painted several original, closely similar combinations on his sheet. But each student's work was very different from the others.
    "It was realized with astonishment that each had his own private conception of color harmony."

    Must get around to writing more about this in my blog, I've been doing the background research for weeks, including playing with paints to explore what I like / dislike for myself.

    In conclusion, I'm all for playing with colour, go ahead and play, but I'm sure there are things you know that you like - could you start from there and introduce extra colours, or swap colours, just one at a time?

    best wishes, Dot
    of http://fibre2fabric.blogspot.com

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  5. Hello, Dot. Yeah, bright, aren't they? I can't stop thinking of the Caribbean sun and reggae singers, though from a distance, it still looks Heian banners and interior fabric to me.

    I've tried to 'explore' ways I've used colors and to extend from there, but I think the 2000 course was such a shock I really freaked out and retrieved. I don't necessarily agree with what the theories and books say, (and I do shout out "YUUUUCKKKKK" on many occasions), I gather there's a common consensus of sorts and I feel it's a good place for a kick start. With the painting courses, I've been able to give names to schemes I like and in a way it helps me understand why I like certain color combinations, which I hope will help me weave the kind of things I like. However, as regards weaving and especially with colors, I don't understand what I read or am taught until I try them out and see them with my own eyes. And though there are color schemes I've always loved, I am finding some news one I like just as well, but only by experimenting, and in the end, with fibers rather than paint. (I find working with paint even harder, but that's another emotional block and a friend, Jo, is helping me trying to get over it.)

    What I find far more astounding is the connection of places and the colors. When I went to the US from Japan when I was 16, I thought it was more of a East/West thing, plus we'd been plenty exposed to Western/American colors beforehand, so it was a smooth transition. I think the first time I became alert to the local colors was when I visited Beijing, Xian and Shanghai in 1986; I used to abhor the combination of gold and orange red, but in the Chinese desert sun, it is a beautiful combination and takes your breath away. Then we went to Scotland in 1990 (and 2003) and I appreciated the smoky colors and gained a real appreciation for grays; I always liked them but my single most favorite "color" since.

    Until recently there was a woman in Picton, about 90 minutes east of Nelson, who used to produce her brand of yarns. She's Swedish, and she used to carry lovely, muted salmon pinks, dusty blues and spruce greens. Again, it reminded me of my mother and my aunt's preferences for these.

    But by far the colors I struggle with are New Zealand colors. The sea is teal green here in the summer, not blue or navy as in where I grew up. Foliage tend to be dusty, not-bluey greens. Here in Nelson, the sky is expansive and there are lots of cloudless days, and the sun very strong, so there are lots of strong pinks, purples, oranges and yellows in the local paintings and pottery.

    Even though New Zealand is a nation of many immigrants, many of the weaving/textile friends I have are Kiwis and English, and they seem to have a silent agreement on what color combinations are commonly considered beautiful, and it feels as though I'm not privy to the information. Whilst I don't intend to imitate them, (my emotional attachments/repulsions to certain colors are too strong!) I would still like to understand.

    In the end, you know, Dot, you're absolutely right. We'll never know if what I'm seeing and calling red is the same "color" you perceive. I can only go by my own instinct and penchant, but at this time I still need a bit of a kick start to trying new things...

    And who would have thought there'd be a common thread between reggae singers' head wear and ancient Japanese interior fabric! I might have been the first to connect those two, you know!!

    I'm so looking forward to your post/s on colors, Dot.

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  6. I like the combination on the right, Meg.

    I agree with what Dot says - everyone does have their own concept of what colour harmony means. But I think it's healthy to make yourself move out of the box from time to time - and that's what you're doing with this piece. I'm going to be very interested to see the result.

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  7. Yeah, that's where I was going at first, Geodyne. More or less the exact same colors, with a bit of blues and greens... But the colors come in one warp end at a time and from a distance it all looked shades of brown. Which is fine, except it wasn't where I wanted to go.

    OK, don't hold your breath for the Reggae stripe, though. And have I mentioned it's really bright?

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  8. Hi Meg,

    I was thinking more about colours last night and it's interesting to come back and read your comments about your kiwi and English friends having a different colour concept.

    I've also been thinking recently ..(aside: funny how as you go thorough live new big "?" appear)..
    I've been thinking about what we learn when we are so young we don't even know we are learning things. How much of our understanding of colour is learnt like learning language, before we are about 6 or 7 years old? Is this partly why different cultures use colours differently?

    Now here you are saying that you grew up with an understanding that the sea was a certain colour, and now it isn't, and that doesn't seem right. That makes entire sense to me.

    One of my friends has a theory that the modern western fashion for primary colours for children's things means that they don't learn about subtle colours and the relationships between them.

    I have also noticed we live and what the light is like does effect the way we use colour.

    I've noticed that people who live in urban environments seem to crave bright colours that shout out, but out in the rural places in England the garish bright colours look out of place and traditional country style is for a softer look.

    By the way, I very much enjoyed reading your posts about the colour weaving classes.

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  9. Hi, Dorothy, oh, you of perfect selvage.

    I came up with this new theory that certain colors and the local sunlight produce some kind of a pleasant reaction in the brain, and that combined with cultural/natural association makes certain colors and combinations popular in that locale. Something like that.

    Babies and children wearing black in Japan look morbid, because of the many gloomy overcast days, but here in New Zealand, it's not only the national color, but the sun is so strong you almost need to wear strong colors so you don't fade away. The opposite of England, I'd imagine. Some of our own T-shirts, when we go home, startle even us because they are so bright.

    I've also been wondering whether the proliferation of "screens", be they TV, computer, games, phones or digital cameras, and choices offered by software, (let's face it, no matter how many gazillion choices they offer, it's still finite and pixilated ) is going to A) influence our preferences, or even the ability to see colors, and B) make us have similar tastes, in the same way teenagers dress alike around the developed word, or even Kiwi kids sometimes talk like American teenagers?

    Or will we all spend much too much time in front of the screen and go blind together?

    I remember when, on the telly, the majority of footage, especially news footage, switched from film to video and I couldn't take the glitter and didn't watch the news for six months. But I got used to it. I wonder if technology is going to narrow our perception and choices, or enhance them.

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  10. I've just realised, re-reading these comments, that I didn't mention in my weaving blog, something that I did put in my private journal.

    I was watching a television programme the other day about the explorers of the Australian desert. And I suddenly realised, looking around my living room, that my 'native' colours had changed. When I lived in Australia, I surrounded myself with soft neutrals - white walls, dark wood, soft neutral textiles with the occasional spot of chocolate brown and burgundy. Since I moved to England, I've been surrounding myself with textiles in riotous reds, oranges and ochre yellows - and it's taken three years and a documentary about the desert to realise why!

    My next project is going to be quiet, subdued pastels - which is a move for me, in the opposite direction to you but just as brave!

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  11. Geodyne, that just reminded me of something. You know we get BBC programmes, American programs, (see, I even matched the spelling!), Australian shows and a little of our own. I'm always amazed at how colorful the interior of houses and flats are in the BBC programs. Not so much the Coro St and Eastender type programmes (though I don't really know because I don't watch them), but romantic-comedy-with-young-people stuff of the 90's - everybody lived in flats with very vibrant colors, whereas with the exception of Monica's apartment in Friends, walls are often white or muted tones in the American shows, decorated with paintings and stuff. I could be wrong - it could be only in the kinds of shows I watched. In NZ, in the 90's quite dark colors were in fashion, (aubergine!) as well as this feature-wall thing where one wall is in a different color, but now, let me see my notes, I have it on good authority that something like 20% (?? I can't understand my own notes!) of New Zealand residential walls are this one color called Spanish White, or Half Spanish White and a little bit of Double Spanish White. Just like that. Quite suddenly.

    So dear friend, be brave and enjoy pastels! I think I need to get a Marley CD to go forth. Though there is a good New Zealand reggae band called The Herbs that I've always been interested in. Maybe this is a sign!

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