Thursday, June 11, 2015

Color-full days


Yes, it's that time again.  Class preparation time.  Well, it's been that for some weeks now but other events of life are occurring as well, including lovely visits from family and friends who we don't see often enough.

The class that's coming up soon (June 28-July 11) is at Arrowmont.  I've written about it before so won't say more than the title:  "For the Love of Color--And More!"  I do indeed love color--even through my husband asked me a couple of years ago, "Why have you abandoned color?" I didn't know what he was talking about!  I hadn't abandoned color (in my mind)... just because I'd been working for months on two tapestries with black, white and gray as the color choices.  Those grays were quite colorful, I thought.  Cool grays, warm grays.  Grays leaning toward violet or toward ochre.  Anyway--it's all perception, isn't it?

Here's one of those "colorless" tapestries.
Perception of color is what I work with all the time as does any artist in any medium.  I'm constantly challenged to perceive color effects in selecting yarn for tapestries.  I almost always use more than one strand of weft yarn of different hues, sometimes very closely related in hue and/or value.  The effect I get with a bundle of weft containing more than one color is similar to what I achieve when using colored pencils or oil pastels together.  Lots of visual activity and, to my eye, this is is what I want to happen in my tapestries.

Here's a bit of what I'm sampling this week:

Yes, the chair seat is a spectrum range of cloth tapes... the chair is by Lyle Wheeler, a Southern Highland Craft Guild member.  I've had it for many years and love it. In fact, it was featured in a tapestry of our cat, Raymond, woven in 2003:




Here's the progression of the color study as I left the studio yesterday.  I have one more color transition to make to finish this off.

The yarn is Mora, a wool from Sweden that I've recently ordered through Glimakra USA.  It's a smaller worsted wool than I've used before and I'm interested to see how I can combine it to make blends of color.  First, I'm using it as single colors, moving from one to the next with hatching to have spectrum range from violet to yellow.  These colors aren't "true" color wheel primary, secondary and intermediate but as close as I could come with these yarns.  This is a similar study as I did last year using two other wools and different setts (link here to last year's post about those studies).  So far these colors seem to be more subdued, toned down a bit.  It will be interesting to compare to the others once this is finished, off the loom and place side-by-side with the other two.

I'm also reading about color and making notes.  I've got lots of color references and have made lots of samples through the years.  Last summer when I was the Peters Valley class one of the students, Cathie, mentioned the Munsell book for students.  I've gotten it and quite enjoying the read.  I haven't started with the color exercises using the color chips included with the volume yet but will do that soon.


There are several tapestry artist/teachers who offer workshops about color and other aspects of design.  Rebecca Mezoff, for instance.  Her work with color is amazing.  She dyes beautiful colors both for her own work and to share in her workshops.  She's teaches in person and online... here's a link to her workshop listing.

Elizabeth Buckley also has courses to offer about color and design for tapestry.  Here's a link to Elizabeth's workshop offerings.

Kathe Todd-Hooker has an article in the American Tapestry Alliance Educational site at this link.  And Kathe is working on a book about color in tapestry.

There are several tapestry artists' thoughts about their use of color in another ATA article, found at this link.

Teaching and learning...a pair, always together, forever joined in a delicate dance.  

1 comment:

Rebecca Mezoff said...

I love seeing your posts about color! Thanks for the shout-out and I am sure your class is going to be amazing. I have an old version of that Munsell book. Actually, I'm not sure it is the same one, so I'm going to look into that one.