Thursday, 19 May 2011

A portfolio

At the last meeting of the creativity group, one of our members showed us the portfolios she's been doing for two different courses; one on felting and one on embroidery. If you're about to think, how folksy, quilty, girly, stop yourself right there. The embroidery course involves a detailed study of line and design; the felting course an in-depth study of both colour and sheep...

The first series of pictures here show how she gradually develops a design from focussing in on a section of a cabbage, trying out different principles of colour theory at the same time:

The next series shows experimentation with different textures of line, and then design shapes created in various ways:

I love this last one - she spotted the design made by the 'mistake' of moving the image while it was scanning...

By the time I got to the stitches, I was looking at embroidery in a completely different way.  I saw the variety of the stitches and the different wools in a way I would never normally have noticed (thinking, mmm, embroidery, not my thing...).

The next two show experiments with different background wools (apparently some mix up with the colours, whereas others don't, which you have to take account of in terms of what this does to the colour). Most interesting, to me, is the way that secondary colours are made optically - if you look closely, you can see the two primary colours quite distinctly.

This (below) was, I think, an example of how dyes take differently on different colours and types of wool...

The next series show the mixing of threads to make different colours, using different types of wool.

A colour and shape exercise.

Simply colour theory, but until I saw this (below) I had actually forgotten about tertiary colours (mixing green and orange, for example).

The same with tints and tones, it's so helpful to see it all laid out so systematically like this. To say nothing of what you would learn by being so systematic, I imagine.

These colour exercises below are to me beautiful paintings in their own right.

Here are two of the felt experiments, which I also see as paintings in their own right, plus a combination of felt and embroidery.

Someone commented afterwards how different art college would have been for them if they had done things like this. It's true - how different might art college have been for us if we'd spent time playing with materials, learning about colour and marks in a very simple way?

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