Thursday, January 12, 2012

Colour Theory - hours of focus and crossed eyes =-)

a very small pad of colour chips, to become our focus and best friends over the next 5 days.
So in my life there is Linda M. She is a fellow tapestry weaver, weaver, fibre enthusiast and focused person. Every now and again she comes up with excellent ideas. Like about a year ago when she emailed me one tired afternoon and said, hm, I am thinking of going to this workshop "Michelle Wipplinger, Long Ridge Farm, NH", what do you think, would you like to come, does it sound interesting?
Ha, the thing is, when I hear enticing invitations like this, then ..... my heart jumps and I scurry to the confuser to find out more about the course, the teacher and the whole scenario.
One of our exercise books, pages and pages to fill out, I used a whole glue stick in 3 days and had to ask to borrow one from Linda, who had been smarter about the size and number of sticks she had brought than me.
And thus it was that it was late January or perhaps early February and we were already planning for all the fun we could find along the road from Nova Scotia to New Hampshire.
There is a goodly amount of fun to be had, just so you know it. Yarn stores, woolen mills, both the ones that are open and the ones that are closed for 1 hour exactly when we come through, but...... never the less we saw the little wool tufts floating about outside the entrance way.
And then we focused for days on end. Blessed be the Ott-Lights we had been asked to bring. I didn't know why, really, but once we were in the room (the birthing barn for the pregnant ewes in the spring) it became abundantly clear why this had been such a magnificent investment.  No other light source would have been able to keep us on track, finding just the right hue on a small colour chip, to be able to analyze what it was that made this particular piece of fabric so vibrant and enticing to look at.
It was tiring and it was fun and hard to understand right then how much we would appreciate our hard earned new knowledge later on.
Another page, the book opened up at the hotel room at night after 8 hours of hard staring. We did rest our eyes for about 45 mins every night, sitting by the little desk in the hotel room, eating our microwaved supper on paper plates, staring directly into....... a textured very neutral very white wall. It made us laugh - all that colour all day and then.... this wall of 'nothing', which wasn't really nothing, there was the texture and the patterns there-in to contemplate instead. It is risky business to allow ones brain to rest for too long you see.
A piece of fabric from a child's jacket, a piece which Michelle had picked up on a trip to China - she had done a lot of traveling over the years, lucky for us!
All these beautiful colours blending and soothing each other to make a perfectly fabulous piece of cloth, which your eyes could rest on for hours and find new topics to think about.
And the fabric from another jacket at another table, they had been gathering a few more articles of interest and I couldn't resist the photo opportunity. I love Orange!
Then there was the blessed heat of this part of the world, New Hampshire. It was HOT and we had a fan which ran most of the time. Saving energy was not the top priority at those hot moments, although we did try to sit as still as possible to do our work. One can sit very still and drip - that was another lesson of this trip.
Playing in the paint tray, Linda was having fun and I was 'spying' on her with the camera. I am not sure if these are cup cakes, or buckets of mud for dyeing yarn or .... just that, dobs of paint and a playful hand with the paintbrush, making use of the enamel surface of the tray and the way in which it received the wetness of the water colour paints.
And finally, one of my exercises on the last day, how to make colours pop or fall into the back ground paper. It was fun, and I couldn't resist the little gizmo which allowed me to cut out maple leaves, nice and uniform in whatever colour paper I chose.
There was so much more to this workshop. It was magnificent, the inspirations, the colour discoveries - the joy and the opportunity to play all day, for although it was hard work it was essentially play - we chose to go there, and ......
It was splendid.


  1. This sounds like a magical workshop and fun road trip! I love that you call it the confuser, made me laugh!! Hugs from grey Toronto... xoxox

  2. and hugs back to you, it was magic and fun and ....delightful!