Monday, January 19, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Burnt oranges

A book I recently purchased is called Confident Color: An Artist’s Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity, by Nita Leland. I have enjoyed her earlier work and now am finding this book to be quite interesting. Or at least I find that it stimulates my thinking about what I might do with color in weaving. It is probably the photos in the book that are most important, but they are in the context of commentary, which is also helpful.

The picture at the top of this post I created in Paint Shop Pro, using a picture on page 44 as my inspiration. I used two processes. First I created the various squares and rectangles (but not the yellow not the little red square at the top right) with the rectangle tool and filled them with various colors using the flood fill tool. Then I did some blurring and applied some filters. Last I put in the yellow thin rectangle with its square at the end and then the dark red tiny little square at the top.

What is here is far less subtle than what is in the inspiring photo, but it gives me the general idea. The major issue, which I see only now since I have inserted it into this post, is that the yellow line should be farther down. There should also be a bit more pure black.

Despite the limitations of this interpretation, I still like it and think it would be possible to create a piece based on this idea. Not a literal interpretation, any more than this is a literal interpretation of the piece in Leland’s book.

What I am taken with is the use and placement of yellow and dark red. It could work in an art piece, but I think it could also work in fabric meant to be worn or used in furnishing. That would require repetition. But I would like to try it with crackle and see what I can do.

Here is one attempt with my weaving software:

Crackle interpretation

The visual effect is far too much of a plaid and also the background colors are too spotty. The only colors which I want to stand out sharply are the black warp stripes and the bright red and yellow weft stripes. It is difficult for me to get this in the weaving software. But I could do better.

Of course, I have some other irons in the fire to deal with first.

"Playing with Color" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 19, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Jane said...

Oh those other irons in the fire! So many wonderful creative ideas, and so little time to execute them all. *sigh* I feel your pain. :) :)

You're an old hand at using Paint Shop Pro and it doesn't surprise me at all that you're off and running with color/design ideas, using it as your drawing board. Excellent program.

From the most expensive to the least expsive -- digital art software really offers us a great, quick, and forgiving medium for noodling and stimulating the creative process, and you set a good example for the many applications.

I agree, that the yellow bar could be lower and that there could be more pure black to give more contrast. The graphic, as a whole is excellent -- and it's something I'd hang in my home.

Why am I not surprised (oh Queen of crackle) that you feel your initial design in your weaving software is "too plaid"? Were you a rule breaker as a child? hmmmm?

Seriously, though, the way you work toward weaving "out of the grid" is inspiring. Can't wait to see what's next.

Jane <--- who has been weaving completely in the grid these days

Peg in South Carolina said...

Jane, absolutely not a rule breaker as a child! I often wish I had been. Perhaps I am making up for lost time. Thank you again for a wonderful comment that I very much enjoyed reading.