Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here a mountain there a mountain...

These mountain dunes have been quite a dilemma.
My original thought was to have blended color dunes using the darker colors that I used in the moon. Unfortunately, the result, as seen in the first photo makes your eye go to the mountain vs the moon which is the focal point. It is even more apparent when standing and viewing the entire piece. So, I ripped that out...

My next thought was to keep with the original colors in my first concept but get rid of the detail and go with large sections of saturated color. This too did not get my approval. You can see the results in the second photo. It looks like a comic book...not a bad thing...just not what I had envisioned. I really do want the moon to be the focal point.
I think the issue is that the yarns I am trying to use have values which are too dark. The darkest draws the eye toward the dunes vs. toward the moon. I initially thought these colors would make the moon pop. The blue surrounding the moon makes the moon pop. The dunes are competing for the viewers eyes. I would like them to set back and just be there to provide context. You can see the value contrast in the black and white photo I took.
I now am going to rip this stuff out and try sand colors. Eeek...making the sand dunes actually the color of sand dunes...what is my world coming to. I will try adding a bit of those saturated colors from the moon here and there. Check back in a couple of days and see how the latest version looks.
And I thought the mountains would be the easy part!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Moon on Saturday Morning

Whew! The harvest moon is complete but for a dot here or there to be added later. The colors worked well together and contrast nicely with the blue sky. Now its time to take on the mountains...or actually the dunes of Death night but lit by the harvest moon. I have the colors and the yarns...just no firm idea on what it should look like. I need to wait for the vision to appear in my brain...then back to weaving.

ps I flipped the photo so the outlines of the dunes were more obvious. Yes, I seem to always weave upside down and backwards.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Blue Weekend

See the blue sky? It's all new...every little piece of blue.

As I was weaving the next six inches of the moon, I was stewing about the aura I had woven around the moon. I had done a uniform hatching with two values of a blue, the name of the blue escapes me at the moment. I kept weaving however. Weaving and stewing. Weaving and stewing. My DH will tell you I really don't care for stew. I don't have a picture of where I was when I finally stopped stewing but I remember the time.

Let's see, I think I stopped stewing Saturday morning when around 3:30 am I decided to take some of the sky out...first I was going to take only about four inches out -right to the one spot I found particularly offensive...but within thirty minutes every little piece of blue yarn was out and I could start with a fresh palette. Today I replaced it all with a new aura. This one had a formula based hatching but with less uniformity than the first one.

I like this aura better than the previous one. Here's a close up of the new and improved aura...

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Mother Loved Van Gogh

It may have taken awhile to get the frame just right...but I finally have my challenge tapestry ready for preview for tomorrow's meeting. Nothing like a looming deadline to finish up the details.

My challenge was to be inspired by 1) a Van Gogh painting, see postcard bottom right and 2) the year of my birth. This is a portrait of my Mother at a time when she was still weaving. She loved Van Gogh and had lots of Van Gogh prints around the house when I was growing up so it is fitting she is shown in Van Gogh colors. I also wanted to incorporate a maze like structure to include a little bit of me into the piece.

I enjoyed weaving the portrait even though certain parts were excruciatingly difficult. I may do another portrait someday but definitely without the maze border. It is interesting how a face can come together with just a few lines here and there. No need to put in every detail...the brain fills in the empty spaces with what is missing.

I self dyed the silk yarn; some in solids and others a variegated hand painted technique. With silk it is always a challenge to get the colors desired but here they worked out quite nicely. I wove with three strands at a time so I was able to achieve a lot of subtle and no so subtle color changes in the final piece.

I enjoy looking at the piece...

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Waxing Moon

I have been back from vacation in Molokai for one week and my moon has progressed from here to here:

I forgot what a joy it is to weave on a wide sett with thick yarn and a relaxing design. The moon design is such that each and every dot of color does not have to be in a specific shed for it to come together correctly. Hence the weaving goes smoothly and is a pleasant break from the smaller more detailed pieces I have been working on.

I think this piece has been waiting on the loom since late Spring for some inspiration or a deadline. Both have arrived. I am hoping to finish this by the end of the month along with three other pieces in the final finishing stages.

The one downside, if it is a downside to weaving this piece, is that I seem to have to re-fill my bobbins about every half hour or so. The bobbins are the eight inch gobelein ones with a three inch section for the yarn. Since I am doubling the yarn...there is not that much yarn on each bobbin. And I must say, this piece seems to suck up the yarn. I think I should have enough yarn to finish the moon...fingers crossed. The dunes are in different colors - rich, deep blues, greens and purples which I also hope there is enough of....

As I said, this is quite a different weaving experience than the smaller pieces I have been working on where the placement of each dot of color makes or breaks the design of the piece. For example, on In Search of a Kiss each and every dot through the maze and the exploding dots at the exit of the maze were carefully placed, studied and often re-placed in a better spot before moving forward to the next one.

I am trying for a watercolor look to the piece with colors blending into each other and seemingly to wash over themselves. So good.

Back to weaving...