I’ve been reading The Art of Abstract Painting, by Rolina van Vliet. It’s an interesting book, and guides you through a few different ways of taking an image as a starting point and working it in the abstract. It seems like an interesting technique to use for designing tapestries. (Just in time for the class!)
I started with this watercolor:
None of the quick studies I did are anything I particularly like, which is fine, as that isn’t the point. Rather, it’s the difference between the last image, and the original watercolor, the way there seems to be almost no connection between them, that really interests me:
An unexpected week in TX kept me from participating as much as I would have liked, but here are a couple of others from the July challenge:
I belong to a lovely FB page, Sketchbooks and Experiments for Textiles, full of talented artists, where there is a July challenge to post something daily. I won’t bore you (there is a you reading this somewhere, right?) with all of them (I certainly haven’t managed daily contributions!), but here are some experiments I did on making the background with tea leaves or ground coffee:
I wetted the paper, sprinkled the tea leaves, then sprayed them with water. After it dried, it looked like this:
A whole page, ready to use:
Same technique for the background, only using ground coffee instead, then sprayed watercolors around a stencil:
Next, using a piece of cotton fabric:
It just looks sort of old and dirty, though more interesting in real life than in the photo. Perhaps another dyeing session, Shibori-style?
This is my starting image, from our recent trip to Ireland:
I like the last one best, but the others give me more ideas to work from in the samples I’m working on for the Fabric Manipulation section of the course. Especially when they’re all viewed at once:
Describing the relationship between the arches and the view, framing was the obvious choice, but also limiting, revealing/concealing, focusing, obstructing. One of the themes I’ve chosen for my samples is Stacked & Layered, and my material is tulle. How, or even if these images will inform those samples, I’m not yet sure!
Whenever there’s a point where we have to wait for something to dry, he suggests it’s a nice time to get a brew, my kind of guy! I see the potential for an art class drinking game. One shot each time he calls a color juicy, chug a beer when it’s brew time…
Seriously, the videos are well done, and as a complete beginner, I’m learning some much-needed basic techniques.
One exercise calls for a solid colored background, and I decided to create that with watercolor. Then went on to watercolor and cut papers for the mountains and cup. Again, I don’t care for the end result at all, but still think the idea has potential.
I chose the Teatime theme.
Experimenting with shapes:
That raised the question, once cut out, does the shape need to stay together?
I am happy with this one. I felt the prints on the pot, cups, etc., balanced well with the bright orange-red of the ‘tea’ and it has the slightly chaotic feel I wanted. Originally I used more pastel/floral papers for the crockery, but felt the steampunk style paper lent more to the overall tumultuous feeling.
The next one did not work well. I liked the notion of the teapots hunting, but overall it’s too busy, with no real focal point.
I was thinking about the next exercise, Line, in my journal:
I wanted to contrast the innocuous teapot and cup, as well as the fading primary colors with the mesh of dark news in the background, and I’m pleased with the result. You might notice that the cups are completely glued down, and the pots are not. I’m not sure which way is better, though since texture is not a part of this exercise, I suppose I will eventually glue them all flat.
I’d still like to try some version of my original journal idea!
My first forays in watercolor.
The view from our sunroom:
Looking out from our friends‘ lovely place in West Virginia:
I’m enjoying experimenting with this medium!