Thursday, April 13, 2006

Can't See the Trees for the Forest

The last couple of days I've been drawing from photos I took last October in Brighton, UT. I've posted several of these on the blog already. I need to get out and get some new photos, do some hiking and some sketching but we have had so much rain and snow in the mountains that the trails are either muddy or icy. I've used these photos for lots of drawings and a couple tapestries already but I took another look at them because this was what I had. Sometimes looking at something again and having to dig a little deeper gives me ideas that I didn't even know were there.

Clearly, to draw a landscape, it needs to be simplified. There is just too much to ever draw everything in a scene. But to weave a tapestry, it has to be simplified even more. In the new drawings, I'm picking out the interesting forms of trees leaving out as much of the other details as possible. Focusing on a few trees and then giving the impression of the others is interesting drawing but now I have to work out how I can weave this. I have found that it is easier for me to simplify from a photo rather than drawing from nature because I sometimes get overwhelmed and a photo has already made the transition from three dimensional to flat which probably helps too. But I like to draw outside and will keep working at that when the weather gets better.

This week, I have woven a little but have taken a lot of time for designing. It's funny that I feel like I haven't accomplished much when I do this but if I didn't do any designing and experimenting with that, the weaving would really suffer.


Yesterday, I was reading Fiber Scriber's blog and she gave a couple reviews of her favorite color books, neither of which I have seen. One was Living Colors which has palettes of color from historic sources. I have been thinking about this and how it would be a great learning experience to take various paintings and analyze their colors and how the artist used them to come up with an idea of the palette they used. Many years ago when I was still going to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the beginning weaving class we did something like this. Else Regensteinter was the teacher and she described it in more detail in her book, The Art of Weaving, but we had to go to the museum store and pick out a postcard of a painting we liked and then match up yarns which gave the impression of the colors and feeling of the painting we chose. We wrapped these yarn on a card about the size of the postcard for the assignment. It's an old idea but still has a lot of merit for learning about colors and developing new ideas for either dyeing or weaving. I'm going to work on a few of these in my sketchbook just for fun.


At Fri Apr 14, 06:49:00 AM MDT, Blogger Charleen said...

Not having any color training I like hearing about these exercises. I'll take a look at Living Colors.


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