Friday, September 5, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

What follows is a series of musings, the kind that can happen when one keeps a journal. These led me seemingly inevitably to the last paragraph.  In that paragraph I found myself at a place I never wanted to find myself.


I stumbled recently upon a tapestry self-portrait. Go here to view it.  It is very abstract, created by tapestry artist Patricia Dunn in 2002.  Here is her statement about the piece: 

"Using colors, the palette, to express an idea of myself"

Go here to view it. To see her entire web site, go here.

Looking at her piece I see much that looks like the kind of 8-blocks-on-four-shafts crackle I have been engaging with.  Perhaps my next set of art pieces could be a series of self-portraits.


But how would I choose the colors?  Clearly I love red.  But I am not that kind of out-going, exuberant, devil-may-care type of person that I would associate with red.  And much as I love color, I don't associate myself with any particular colors.  Red and black strikes emotional chords.  I love red and black.  But that is for a dramatic personality with lots of flair.  Perhaps there is a side of me I do not know?  Perhaps there is wish to be something I am not?


It would be interesting to issue a challenge to weavers to create a self portrait. Any structure except tapestry. Include a brief artist statement.


Back to Patricia Dunn.  I also looked at her landscapes.  Go here to see those.  Though these too are tapestries, the effects of many of them remind me very much of my current crackle studies.  Canyon 6 #2 I find especially crackle-like in appearance. Perhaps I, too, could use landscape to inspire my crackle studies.

Finally, what may be my favorite tapestry by Dunn. Under a heading called Zacatecas there is a lovely crackle--like tapestry all in shades of red.  It is called Zacatecas 3:Desert Dancers.  Go here to view it.  Yes, red does speak to me.  But why?


Perhaps I am getting to the point that I need to start thinking like an artist.  By this I mean, or at least I think I mean (!), looking both inside and outside of myself for inspiration and then trying to express what I find.  This is a strange point to find myself.

Related Post: 8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts

"Self Portraits, Landscapes and Crackle" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 4, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Leigh said...

Interesting. I can think of "art pieces," but a self portrait would be exceptionally challenging. I'll save the idea though, as I'm beginning to think more about the art side of weaving.

bspinner said...

I've never thought of a self portrait in color, pattern or weave structor before. Interesting idea. And certainly something to think about.

Fiber Notes from Nicki said...

Interesting thoughts today...I think there is a self portrait in every artist...just wait... in time yours will emerge.

Susan B. said...

This would be a challenge, one I am not sure I am ready for!
I do think we imprint ourselves on our work - I'm just not sure what that looks like yet for myself!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you all for your comments. Yes, a self-portrait would be very challenging, but I think I probably have more weaving and designing to do from this new vantage point I have found myself moving towards. Nicki, you are right to use the word time. Patience and work, letting things reveal themselves in time.

Meg in Nelson said...

Peg, I didn't expect you the last paragraph to be somewhere you didn't want to find yourself - to me it wounds like a natural progression of what you've been thinking about.

Can red mean, also, passion and desire even if they are hidden from the surface? Would that be you?

Self-portrait is a jolly good proposition, but like Susan B, I'm not ready for it. Mine is bound to be of so many colors and structures that altogether would seem discordant. A yucky, messy piece I don't want to contemplate making!

Leigh said...

Peg, I've nominated you for a blog award. Come pick it up when you get a chance.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I happened across your blog from the statistics of visitors to my web site. It was fun to read of your adventures in weaving. I use a block weave on four harnesses learned from Peter Collingwood. I then weave with discontinuous weft using two sheds. The colors I used were not necessarily colors I liked rather colors that reflected how I relate to my life. This is fun. Patricia Dunn

Peg in South Carolina said...

Meg, yes it is a natural progression, and it all just kind of happened and it all seemed so right and that is very scary because now I have to make the choice to do something about it. Well, I already have made the choice and I am only sorry that I have to weave the dishtowels for our daughter's Christmas present first..........

Peg in South Carolina said...

Patricia, I am fascinated by your distinction between colors that you like and colors that reflect how you relate to life. My assumption is that they would be the same, but apparently not? Thank you for stopping by my blog. I have been fascinated with discontinuous wefts and once did a bit when I wove some rugs. To get the kind of effects I want at this fine a sett, I would have to start working in some weft ikat, something I know about and have done a little bit with in a workshop, but which I have not truly struggled with in a piece on my own.

Margaret said...

Thanks for alerting me to the pathway to your blog, Peg, by visiting mine. I am not much in the crafty department (despite my Martha Stewart background)...more a gardener or cook that someone who can sit still long enough to make textiles as beautiful as the ones here. I do love the loud, rhythmic sounds of a loom though,and have been mesmerized watching a long-ago friend, Sam Kasten, work magic on his looms. Me, I'm better put to use weeding. :)

Peg in South Carolina said...

Margaret, thanks for dropping by. There is not nearly as much sitting still as you might think. Being in good shape is a definite asset for a weaver. But weaving is an inside activity and I love being outside in the garden. So gardening (including the never-ending weeding) and weaving are delightfully complementary activities.

Jane said... a painter, I've done self portraits in various media but have not done one in fiber. That could be fun and or daunting.

Red -- it is the first color of the rainbow, so perhaps it symbolizes a new beginning for you.

It also is a color of life giving energy -- fire for warmth and the blood that pumps from our hearts --symbolizing, perhaps, how weaving is not just something you do, but it is something from which you draw life energy.

It can be peaceful and serene, as in the last rays of a beautiful sunset.

Maybe you will find yourself working your way through the spectrum, and your gorgeous reds are just the beginning?

In any event, I love your reds and the way you use them. They are beautiful, not garish or muddy.