Assignment 2 Stage 5 A Primary colour sampler

I was not looking forward to this exercise in many respects , having done quite a lot of embroidery over the years I was concerned it may become laborious. At first it did appear to be that way. After a flourish of samples it was put aside until wimbledon! The excuse to sit; there was no excuse not to finish it.

Finished sampler
Finished sampler

I had started this exercise with a thicker cotton thread and simple running stitch. Building geometric blocks with organised stitching.

soft plant dyed cotton thread, working blocks of colour close together in blocks and strips of blocks.
soft plant dyed cotton thread, working blocks of colour close together in blocks and strips of blocks.

The light blue made the yellow recede when dominating the block and the effect was similar for the yellow making the blue recede when the roles were reversed and the yellow was dominating. However when worked on a one to one, equal basis the yellow still managed to create this effect pushing the blue into the background, Dulling its appearance slightly. Although the effect was not as pronounced as in other samples and when building blocks of colour.

Regular running stitch using different thicknesses of threads.
Regular running stitch using different thicknesses of threads.

Seeing the effects from the previous sample I was expecting the blue to recede into the background however, the thickening of the thread and a darker shade emphasized this even more. The effect had potential to be exploited for textural work. An example using the bark formations of trees

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Working bands of blue seemed to behave differently. They dominated slightly pushing the yellow back this time.

Shinmy space dyed silks covering the background. Uneven colour use, using bands.
Shiny space dyed silks covering the background. Uneven colour use, using bands.
sari silks
sari silks

Using the research that I had made from that sampler, blue was then used as the background for a single yellow stitch, This showed how the yellow still managed to be significant  when using colours of equal intensity. Was this because they were intensely saturated hues? would the effects alter with  less intense saturated hues?

Spaced out lines of equal intensity thin threads

Spaced out lines of equal intensity thin threads random and regular.

When thinner threads, wider spaced were used so the background was visible the blue seemed insignificant and did appear to recede to be barely visible. I had used a organised stitch for the yellow which did give more solidity to the colour too. The random placement of the blue thread was of equal intensity but appeared lighter and lacked solidity.  Previous samples had already highlighted the readiness of yellow to dominate unless the blue was in a block.Then it became a contender for domination. I felt perhaps the random stitch contributed to the lack of definition and competition with the yellow too.

changing thecolour ratios
changing the colour ratios

Although by organizing the blue thread in lines, providing more blocks of colour the yellow was still able to push forward sunny and cheerful! Why?

Returning to my research,

Both yellow and blue randomly placed
Both yellow and blue randomly placed in varying intensities.

The lighter blues held their position with all the yellows. However, as the hue became more intensely saturated it receded again until the darkest was insignificant despite there being no solid block this time, supporting my research.

Building blocks of colour
Building blocks of colour

This time exploring the previous outcomes of working the colours in solid blocks against each other I also explored whether different intensities affected the outcome dramatically.  Here you can see the colours fought for supremacy! The blue being able to even appear in the forefront even though it was still more effective  again –  the less the saturation. Perhaps the random stitching played its part….

Slightly more organised blocks of solid colour
Slightly more organised blocks of solid colour ?

At first this appears more organised but can you see how I have been cheeky doubling two experiments… I have indeed made solid blocks but craftily done that by a trick of an eye. The lines have been worked both close together and wider apart illustrating the ability to create illusions by careful use of colour. At the bottom the blue is almost unnoticeable. Any use of blue is thin lines and sandwiched between the yellow we already know to be the dominant colour. So en masse it appears yellow. It is not before nearly the top of the sample the blue is able to match the dominance and even then struggles until a solid block in its own right.

Interesting discovery!
Interesting discovery!

Using solid blue/yellows but changing the yarn to a thicker matt effect wool that did not reflect the light, reducing the luminosity gave the blue more substance quite literally. This discovery could be used to an advantage in my work.

Working the colours to their full potential
Working the colours to their full potential

With all that I have learnt so far, I gave the colours the chance to show off their full complementary potential by working this sample with an intensely saturated blue silk formed in a block form with no background showing and thinner lines of yellow. The yellow stood out as if above the surface whilst the blue took back stage – It allowed  the yellow to sing!

did the blue create the same effect when not in a block?
did the blue create the same effect when not in a block?

This experiment was almost a foregone conclusion as the background was black and gave a very similar effect to the block of blue in the previous sample. However, I felt the previous sample was more intense and gave more prominence to the yellow bands yet the blue had a presence too. In this sample the blue played a relatively insignificant part, perhaps adding a texture rather than a colour value. I did like the effect achieved and could see its potential as a way of bringing textures into a piece of work perhaps adding other colours carefully selected from my experiments in the next exercises.

solid and random mixed luminosity and intensities
solid and random mixed luminosity and intensities

Using paler colours of the yellows and slightly stronger ones of the blues but working them differently I was able to see how this could play an instrumental way in achieving even more textures in more work. The blues faired better and became an interesting participant, not allowing the yellow to steal centre stage. They contributed a lovely effect of their own not comparable to the yellow. The yellow still had much to offer. Some of the blue stitches were oversewn by the yellow in the process and some laid on top. Those laiod on top resumed a recedent postion again as before but when grouped loosely together created a unique texture. Definitely another way to exploit their colour properties in textiles.

Changing their roles.
Changing their roles.

By working with the information I had gained from the previous samples I was able to work another sample supporting my findings and confirming the ability to manipulate the effects to my advantage when working. I increased the luminosity of the blue but this meant a less intense hue. I then increased the intensity of the yellow, subtly playing with the chemistry? The 2 hues were now closer together resulting in a more equal dominance. The use of the ‘lighter’ blues brought them into play more. The contrast in the sample from the other samples where the differences were highlighted was very evident. I now knew how to provide both colours in equal intensities, very useful sometimes in my work.

Slightly more saturation in the blue
Exploring this theory further with chain stitch and slightly more saturation in the blue

Again making a sample reflecting a few of the ideas blocks and space this time in an organised pattern for both colours I experimented altering the stitch to chain stitch. Whilst the blue did start to receded slightly, the solid colour  managed to absorb the yellow in the bottom right, creating a less intense colour. Where the roles were reversed the blue top right seemed to change too.

By this time I had pursued more research into artists, reading and looking at the way they used colour. By trying to explore this in the small sample squares it became more interesting.

Cezanne uses blocks of brushstrokes.
Cezanne uses blocks of brushstrokes.

Painting by stitch whilst reading about Cezanne, an artist I had always felt drawn too. He worked by applying small brushstrokes of colour that became blocks, allowing the eye to blend and colour mix. I worked on the principle in stitch working different shades of blue and yellow of similar thicknesses close together in blocks of 4 strands or stitches per block. I really liked this effect and the blending happened by magic. I could see how strong images could be built up for future work with this technique. It was giving a wonderful texture and life to the sample and I found it invigorating. Definitely a technique I plan to use.

Exploring different combinations of the blocks
Exploring different combinations of the blocks

My final sample I asked what, if and how different combinations of the colours in the blocks were affected by each other. I made this sample with blue and yellow of equal intensity and similar properties in the threads – thickness, cotton/silk. When the small single blocks were moved it affected the colours with the blue gaining a grey tinge to it when moved away from the yellow, perhaps needing to compensate for  some of the background/yellow differences? It was not as pronounced when moved closer to the yellow (bottom right) although it did seem to be still affected.

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Heritage through textiles

There are artists I have recently come across that have helped to identify and start to clarify  beliefs and a lifestyle I passionately feel.  Today it was establishing a sustainable heritage for our future generations to have.

Diane Savona was introduced to me through the power of social media. An image of a ‘dress’ dis -assembled and embroidered shown in the  facebook group I have subscribed to https://www.facebook.com/groups/textil.art.design/

Initially I was attracted to that one piece of work for the materials and methods used.

By kind permission of Diane Savona.
By kind permission of Diane Savona.

I adore vintage cotton/linen especially embroidered with heritage and craftmanship. Tiny stitches, imaging how the creators lived worked and created something so beautiful. I have been loathed to cut up, re use anything so beautiful but live in awe of those that can and do so beautifully. I wouldnt want to do it an injustice. Taking it away from future generations being able to see the history.

By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.
From the collection ‘ Fossil Garments’ By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.

On researching her further I found her work fascinating. The ideas and belief systems behind her work is very inspiring and really did make me think more intensely about how, what and why we are creating as a legacy for future generations to learn about our time here on this earth. I re examined my reluctance to use vintage ‘damaged products, though still believing that I would need to believe I could seriously enhance not detract from the item before I could commit to the scissors!

By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.
From the collection ‘Fossil Garments’ By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.

Diane takes it further and physically uses objects, many obsolete  and enshrines them in the fabrics.

By Kind Permission of Diane Savona
By Kind Permission of Diane Savona

A Very original idea. Diane purposefully stitches to teach, tell the story of stitch, textiles and life here right now. A truly inspiring legacy and food for thought. Diane has exhibited her work in unique ‘collections’ with very organic titles such as ‘Fossil Garments’ and ‘This to shall pass’.

From The collection 'This too shall pass' By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.
From The collection ‘This too shall pass’ By Kind Permission of Diane Savona.

Another interesting artist from a similar perspective is Mister Finch. All references are taken from http://www.mister-finch.com/ and pinterest. I have been drawn to this gentlemans work originally again through social media but this time http://www.pinterest.com links.

His style and ethos appeal to me on many levels.

By Kind Permission of Mister Finch  the image was taken from www.mister-finch.com
By Kind Permission of Mister Finch the image was taken from http://www.mister-finch.com

This time the  attraction was some fabric mushrooms simply put together that led me to feed my addictive hunger was for textile fungi.

By Kind Permission of Mister Finch.
By Kind Permission of Mister Finch. Taken from http://www.mister-finch.com.

Mister Finch uses vintage fabric finds to ‘tailor’ his creations. Hand stitching from delicate to more enlarged pieces. On researching him further there are many other items from the natural and imaginary world he captures with his needle.

By Kind permission of Mister finch
By Kind permission of Mister finch

His love of the fairy tale world dances with mine although I am yet to find my level. I love his eccentricity I may be not as bold to admit too! I admire his work with great awe.

The image was taken from 'Portfolio' on www.mister-finch.com by knd permission of Mister Finch
The image was taken from ‘Portfolio’ on http://www.mister-finch.com by kind permission of Mister Finch

I have found through researching other artists there are  important things I really resonate with. Here the use of vintage recycled fabrics as a way of expressing and capturing history and indeed history in the making. The recording of detail of the world around us. With technology ever present and expanding at a very fast pace, it brings many  positive things but some things are becoming lost and my concern is that they would be lost forever. To use recycled even vintage fabrics, weave stories and tell a tale is an exciting way to keep history alive for future generations. Provide our children and children s children with a heritage and give them a skills reference they may not want now but possibly will find in the future. The way things are put together, stitched is evident in Diane and Mister Finch’s work deliberately. I love this concept.

Connections with nature

After spending a very stimulating few hours at an exhibition this weekend The Wisdom of Wool, the artist Sophie Wellan left me exhilarated if not temporarily overwhelmed by the possibilities for connecting my work to nature.

Several things sprung out of it for further research and ultimately getting past the bones of my theme to the infinite starting blocks and definitions of a theme.

This idea of connectivity with mother nature, the natural world surrounding us yet going further to the worlds beyond. Folklores, stories and powers where nature plays the leading role. I have had a love of fairies fond memories of playing with my children in the woods when they were small and moving to such a rural location; a forest was an enormous adventure. Many tiny holes in the base of trees we eagerly wanted to believe held the tiny creatures. Whimsical perhaps but yet in seriousness plants, cycles of nature, potions, lotions, lost and found loves are true enough. They provide the food for many a book and many are based on folklore travelling down the generations. A local heritage both personal and yet universal. One possible avenue to explore; traditional legends and stories connecting nature to us.

Secondly, the physical tangible, tactile world using and understanding what role the materials we use have to play. Why do we choose them above others? What do they offer? Where do they come from and ultimately give and take from the environment?

Sophie had used wool, copper, silver, plant materials and could identify with these materials. They held symbolic treasures incorporated into  to her work. The work then held an identity incorporating all that had gone before. Is it this identity that an artist strives to convey ? I have a feeling it’s more than that but a very important part nonetheless. So for me another possible area is the connection of the material to nature.

The Wisdom of Wool

This entry is written and photographs displayed here with the kind permission of Sophie Wellan. You can see more of her work HERE

With my young textile travelling companion, my son George; The National Wool Museum drew us to an exhibition this week end of a local artist, Sophie Myfanwy Wellan; The Wisdom of Wool.

The Welsh heritage is steeped in this raw material. However, it is so much more.

I wanted to visit this exhibition as Sophie uses natural materials in her work. From my initial research, visiting http://www.thewisdomofwool.co.uk I realized that was beginning to be an over simplification of the attraction to her work for me. The power of the inspiration travelled into me very easily!

Sophie incorporates a philosophy into her work that I felt in tune with. Using the physical, spiritual and folklore of the materials ‘felted’ in to the very fibre . The work for sheer scale and technique is admirable and impressive alone but married with philosophy behind I felt a definite ‘connection’ with her work.

The body of work is aptly called ‘Connect’ 1, 2, 3 respectively. A series installations where the connection between  the materials to the physical, spiritual and folklore were explored.

On entering the Exhibition room ‘Connect 3’ was the first installation. A crib made of woven Teesdale fleece using a pegloom technique. The warp threads, copper wire running through the crib suspended onto Hawthorn branches. The curly locks hanging down from the woven ‘mat’.

Connect 3  Sophie Wellan
Connect 3
Sophie Wellan

‘Connect 2’ and ‘Connect 1’ were the initial draw to the exhibition. I have an interest in fashion and the robes made of felted wool and dried plants was something I wanted to explore. My reason for being here today.

These next 2 installations were stunning and everything I imagined.

Connect 2 Sophie Wellan
Connect 2
Sophie Wellan

A list of materials accompanies the display, which was held in a glass cabinet with spotlighting more than adequate to enjoy the treasures.

White Welsh Mule Fleece

Red Deer Antler; Naturally shed.

Pea seeds

Sweet Pea Seeds

Roses

Yarrow

Red Flannel

White Fleece

To describe the dress and robe myself – it is a long felted white ‘A’ line dress embellished with dried flowers. The dress is shrouded with a long flowing red robe/cape, edged with white fleece. As a head dress? the beautiful red deer antlers tower out from the neck of the garment.

‘Connect 1’

Connect 3 Sophie Wellan
Connect 1
Sophie Wellan

Connect 1 is Side by side in the glass display cabinet next to connect 2

The detailed materials listed on a placard;

Shetland fleece

Gotland fleece

Red Deer Antlers

Peas seeds

Sweet Pea seeds

Silver Leaf

Silver wire

Brambles

Yarrow

Red Flannel

White wool

Mule Fleece

To describe the garment myself – The dress is a long ‘A’ line style with dried plant matter embellishment. A red robe and antlers complete this display. The shetland wool offers the dark duplication of ‘Connect 2’ in basic construction the use of silver leaf and wire offers a contrast.

Walking on, the generosity of the artist was enveloped in a continually visual running video travelling through the process of her work. For a Textile student this was a true gift! My son even provided a chair, whilst I devoured the process inspired, stimulated and encouraged. I began to be acutely aware of inspiration v plagiarism. To be so moved it is so easy to duplicate ideas but an artist must remain individual. What makes individualism? I explored my thoughts. The reasons; the philosophy behind your work helps create your individualism. This can never be identical to another but must be built on your own firm foundation. What are you wanting to say? What is your message in your work? To tell the story. Sophie’s message was beautifully given by combining the use of the visual objects themselves, written descriptions, a running video and the website http://www.thewisdomofwool.co.uk where you can find insights to her work on her blog.

I arrive at a display cabinet, which complements the video, packed with stages of samples and materials. Sophie explored and offered me lots of avenues to travel in my own work in the future. The use of metals/wires and plant material in a tactile way has been something I have been researching . Sophie gave exceptional clear definition in the technical skills needed and I felt empowered. I have the necessary skills. For me what is ‘holding me back’ and  is essentially the reason I choose to study this course, is the ability to think around an approach and find new ways to create exciting work using those skills.  I took away from this exhibition many things but the importance of my own philosophy, my own message within my work will stay with me and I hope encourage me to be more adventurous.

I became very aware of a large dark ‘space’ to my left as I approached the cabinet, not initially aware it was to do with the exhibition. I was drawn to marvel at the space, beautifully lit to identify a constellation. A very large, dark hand felted sheet, which I know from experience to be no mean feat that she has achieved, suspended and embellished with wispy white wool.  ‘Beads’ covered in silver leaf, twinkling in the light. Those beads, silver leafed encrusted ‘peas’;  a theme used throughout Sophie’s work.

What I had not expected on a personal level today was that Sophie’s work gave me an opportunity to explore many pockets of dilemmas on a technical, spiritual and professional level as a student. Being able to identify my ‘self’ in my own work. Extremely thought provoking in so many ways.

My understanding of the philosophy behind Sophie’s work was gained through a journey. Using and taking information from  all of the mediums she communicates through including technology and more traditional methods.

Symbolism and Folklore.

Sophie uses symbolism and celebrates folklore in the materials used with references made in her blog that can be read fully HERE

For the cloaks  in Connect 1 and 2 Sophie loves

‘….. the idea of the healing qualities of red flannel used as a cloak in this context. The cloak is also a symbol of power,wisdom and protection,all these attributes are connected with nature.’

Connect 3 Sophie Wellan
Connect 1
Sophie Wellan

The symbolism of copper; of connectivity.  The native Hawthorn is found throughout Wales. I have many trees and hedges on my own field with their captivating scent from the May flowers. They are steeped in folklore and symbolism. Indeed Wales has its own individual folklore with regards to Olwen; a welsh goddess who is said to have once walked the empty universe her white track of hawthorn petals becoming the milky way. Ah ha Sophie. Its properties offering  protection, sacred marriages with the securities of fertility within the male and female union. It’s power was also feared; the strength of superstition that to bring a hawthorn branch into the house would result in the death of the mother of the house was hard to shake off.  Medieval ages guarded their woodland sanctuaries with this talisman believing the protection to be spiritually cleansing.

I love the relationship between creative work and the natural world. Both using Nature’s materials to be creative but then  ‘connecting’ their identity to my work. Sophie helped to develop my thoughts with this. I was already interested in the folklore and healing properties of plants. Her exhibition of connectivity to these properties offered a starting point for further studies. Whilst not ‘welsh’ I have welsh heritage, with my grand father being a welsh man and many hours spent here. I now  live here and have done for 14 years. I feel a strong affiliation with the country, its nature and its stories of heritage. Time always runs away. The opportunity to nurture my interest  in depth has not presented itself til now. Here I am presented with an opportunity to explore some stories of my own. Perhaps further studies might develop from this. The exhibition offering branches with which to begin.

Sophie Wellan’s The Wisdom of Wool Exhibition will be held at The National Wool Museum until Tuesday 30th June 2015. My thanks to Sophie for her communication and permission to add material here.

Layers upon layers everywhere I look

Whilst an awareness of developing an idea for a theme later on in this course plays, dances in the background, certain things are becoming apparent to me. The things I am attracted too. The ‘themes’ that keep presenting themselves to me. I sometimes look for, feel drawn too or I fall into time and time again throughout my work.

In every way I can think of ‘layers’ are there. Emotional, physical, sensory and socially. The act of ‘peeling away’ the layers to find that what is hidden beneath. Is this course not a peeling away and a building up of layers to find the creativity, ideas and ways of working?

The change of the seasons has always fascinated me. The drama of winter yet for me the subtleties of spring and autumn that takes us to that drama. The sensory overload through the seasons. Even someone not to overcome with nature can find sensory connections to a season.

The seasons extend through other areas of life. Through age, work, marriage and relationships. We attach the ‘autumn of ‘ and ‘spring chicken’ to imply an age, a stage and we all appreciate the analogy. We are gardeners of life.

So for me a feel ‘themes’ are finding or have found me. It is for me to put them together personally, individualistically, creatively. I feel a real connection with this idea creatively but also personally. Life guides us, influences us but ultimately we can choose which bits have a greater impact. We also get to choose how we respond to it’s influence.

Becoming my own constructive loving critic ?

I do not know about you but I can easily pick holes in my own work. Compare my efforts to others and insist I fall far short even though the aim of each person may have been entirely at juxtapose positions. That would be on a normal day!

Doing this course has in a way took me back a stage I do not seem to have the time for one thing to work let alone play with my own ideas. That leads me beautifully on to just – What is that ‘own’ work? In trying to expand my skill base, ideas and approaches I have come to a no mans land again today. I was following exercises dutifully, diligently but somewhere along the way I lost the ‘me’.

I started working for myself creatively a few years ago to use natural fibres, learn to dye, weave and spin, not necessarily in that order I hasten to add. I have been to the classes and workshops, taught myself to dye and it is a work in progress but very exciting. I hold workshops myself to encourage people to indulge in their own creative side. To share my knowledge. I had a clear out when moving house last summer of all undesirable synthetic ‘stock’ resource fabrics I just was not into. Leaving me with cottons, wool and linens; natural fibres, patterned and plain. Sounds wonderful. Mmmm its still not quite there.

As I work through these exercises what is becoming more and more clear to me is my love of creating my own fabrics to work with. When ideas come they  seed themselves in the very basic level of fabric. How am I going to create the fabric colour, texture or pattern. I suppose that is what the course is all about; to learn to do just that. I have always had an interest in taking the raw material from basics and being creative.

However, even at this level; only just starting the second assignment the rumblings are there. It is just not good enough. The work that is. Its not me. It is not my materials, my natural colours. However, to achieve a bounty of fabrics to work on at this stage is so time consuming. I do as much as I can and feel inadequate.

I need to bridge this gap between my priorities on my experience and time versus my ideals, wants and wishes for my work. I find that very frustrating whilst exhilarating at the same time. So I resort to fishing and ferreting in my commercial fabric baskets and choosing fabrics that once held appeal and now I cringe as the fabrics I really want to use are homemade ones. Time; there is never enough!

Positively, It is so rewarding to come to this crossroads, turn around and look back. Remember the issues that gave concern at the beginning. They quite often are forgotten whilst contemplating this new challenge or have progressed at the very least. This log does provide a comprehensive idea of the challenges, the development and the evolving of the ‘you’ I remind myself that THIS is a very important part of the course. To evolve, re define and progress. It is not static and just as you get those comfy slippers on of ‘I am’ you really need to be asking ‘really?’

So I welcome the restlessness of today. I know that now this has been spoken out loud and is no longer a niggle gnawing away, it will be addressed albeit slower than I may like. A transformation through small steps more each day I will build on the existing ‘me’ ‘fabrics and work. The power of knowledge cannot be underestimated. It is power. By acknowledgement, reflection and then incorporation into my daily work, I am authentically ‘Me’ Accepting of time, health, family constraints. reminding myself of how far I have come.

Stage Four Colour Moods and Themes Exercise One

This exercise caused me uncomfortable episodes when first visited in Project One and I was determined to overcome this. Being able to express feelings. I was aware my lack of art skills held me back too. This said I spent longer than the recommended half an hour to compensate for these weaknesses.

first attempts
first attempts

I was pleased with elements of the first attempt to take three pairs of opposite words hot/cold; fast/slow and calm/busy I also worked initially on happy and sad but they were the examples I was least happy with. I loved the hot/cold circles and really felt for me they captured the essence and feel of heat and cold, what it feels like to be them -red and blue ; the primary colours. The calm blues, greens and lilacs against the hectic reds, oranges, yellows  dots and dashes frantically ‘being busy’.

I wanted to explore feelings that evoked colours and shapes more intensely. I choose anger and then acceptance. Layering appeared a theme again. Being locked in by a building of feelings of anger. The colours becoming more intense the more angry you become. In contrast ‘ acceptance’ also gave me the feeling of layering the feelings of calm. The greens, blues, purples, yellows which ties in with the spiritual recognition of the colours purple. The enlightenment of yellows and natural colours of greens. Bubbles in both. Sharp quick movements in anger with slow flowing movement of acceptance.

Anger with colours of intense reds and oranges the restriction of dark blacks and brown purples.
Anger with colours of intense reds and oranges the restriction of dark blacks and brown purples.
Acceptance with colours of blue, green and blues, yellows and whites.
Acceptance with colours of blue, green and blues, yellows and whites.
Hot and Cold
Hot and Cold

I was reasonably pleased with my response to the hot and cold. It was also an opportunity to use different media; Gouache, acrylics and water colours which all have a variety of appeals.

mixture of media
mixture of media

Project Three Stage Three Recording Colours accurately Exercise Four

I choose a few items to work with a lemon, Lime and 3 stones and some golden yellow background paper.

chosen items
chosen items

I decided to concentrate on the stones as only 2-3 objects were required and felt they would push me further with this exercise.

3 colourful stones
3 colourful stones

I was expecting tonal values to change in the shadows and approached the colours confidently but was surprised to what degree they were affected. They were also paler than I anticipated, more subtle.  There were many colours in the items themselves despite seeming on first glance a red/black, a blue/green and a black/white stone. There were all the tones in between too on closer inspection and found myself engrossed for over an hour. The shadows were the most enlightening very often not representing the background colour of golden yellow at all, more lilac-pale violet and blue green!

recording colours from 3 dimensional objects
recording colours from 3 dimensional objects

It felt strange to not be creating an object and I still wonder if I have approached this accurately. I believe only brush strokes were needed. It did make a primitive piece of ‘art’ in its own right which also had its lesson to teach me. Analogies work as a progression of an idea albeit based on the colour, texture, patterns or a combination of some or all. It really started to loosen my head up, which I always knew would be an issue!

You can see by the strips of colours and the palette the wide range of colours used. I found the strips very useful in comparing the colours up close before committing to the colours.

making colours
making colours

I found this a very useful exercise to give me confidence in my ability to identify the colours and translate them effectively and give me the opportunity to do this. I found mixing on the paper in the background colours helpful. I am developing methods that work for me.

Stage Three Recording Colours accurately Exercise 3

Really enjoyed this one. I spent time finding an image, a fresh one from my gardening magazines as I have been a bit lazy in the sketchbook. I wanted some new material. I have been really thinking about my personal stamp on things. What I want to translate into textiles. It always comes back to nature. The colours the textures and shapes, particularly the layers of the seasons. The image I choose reflected this beautifully. I made a choice of acrylic paints today, adding the gloss of the magazine and the shiny leaves.

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pink roses, green and bronzed leaves

On first glance I dismissed this one as although it seemed colourful to me , I was concerned it did not fit the criteria of ‘being rich in colour’. I looked closer and realised it was a perfect example. So many colours in a 5 cms square and colours I love and feel work so well together from a gardening point of view.

I used one of my sons recent birthday card envelopes as a tester strip, only cutting it into strips to add to my finished work after the exercise.

Cut up strips of an envelope to act as tester strips to match colours accurately. they could be put alongside the area I was working on.
Cut up strips of an envelope to act as tester strips to match colours accurately. they could be put alongside the area I was working on.

I found that many of the shades/tones were made up of several colours and subtle changes gave the shades I needed for adjacent areas. For example the browns were a combination of crimson red, violet and/or ultramarine blue and yellow ochre. These colours were added in larger or smaller quantities to achieve the varying tones. White was not always applicable maybe flesh tone or lemon yellow was more appropriate.

Using the masking frame to ensure colours were mixed accurately!
Using the masking frame to ensure colours were mixed accurately!

I decided to use the edge of the masking square to make absolutely sure I had obtained the colour I wanted before adding in a flat brush a mark to the edge of the page. I did allow some artistic licence where there were lines of colour in the image dissecting the colours I made this same lines in my brushstrokes of the final colours.

Varying the coloured marks to reflect the image
Varying the coloured marks to reflect the image

Stage Three Exercise Two

I choose a very colourful piece of fabric keeping in my love of greens and browns or so I thought. The piece on closer inspection had reds, blues yellow- greens! There were many tones of each of those indivdual colours too. I was initially working inside the house but it was difficult due to low light levels to appreciate the subtle differences. I decanted outside in the sunshine!

matching fabric colours
matching fabric colours

I really enjoyed this exercise. The subtleties were challenging but gave me an appreciation of what tones made up the colours and a slight adjustment could make significant colour variations. The previous exercises on different tones of the colours helped in my choices. You can see may explorations into achieving the right colour on the edges of the finished experiment. I also found the drying of the paint affected the colour and had to be accommodated when considering mixing the colours. Different artists techniques could be appreciated doing this exercise such as The Impressionists; Van Gogh where they mixed their paints on the canvas using their eye to assist more acutely in the mixing process.