17 May 2012

From Cuffs to Colour

After my second intense dyecation it's been rather quiet in the dyeing department. True, today I did some dyeing, but it was just overdyeing a pair of sun-bleached cargo shorts. Nothing much to blog about there. Last Sunday was Mother's Day, so I spent the weekend with my folks up north. On the train journey there and back I knitted and crocheted a pair of cuffs. I bought a kit with patterns and materials for a scarf, cuffs and a brooch from a local craft shop, Taito shop Helsky. Everything apart from the brooch is finished and ready to wear:


This is what the scarf looked like when I started. It didn't look very promising at that stage, but it turned out fine.

A couple of days ago artist Melanie Testa's new book Dreaming from the Journal Page. Transforming the sketchbook to art lay on my doorstep when I got home from work.

It's been a long and impatient wait, and now I'm eager to immerse myself in her wisdom. I started today by jumping straight into a couple of the colour exercises in the book.

First I did a colour chart of the watercolours in my palette. I use Royal Talens's van Gogh watercolours, for no other reason than that they suited my budget at the time I wanted to invest in watercolours.

The other exercise I did was to grab a pile of magazines and select a colour. I then flicked through the magazines and cut out swatches of that colour in different values and leanings. I didn't analyse too much, just cut out colours that suited my mood and that I felt were related. I was quite surprised by how much colour I found in these magazines. It wasn't difficult at all to fill a page, but perhaps it was because I chose pink. Pink is pretty hot this spring, it seems. We'll see what happens when I do the next colour.

Next, I glued the swatches onto a sketchbook page in an arrangement that was pleasing to me, and then I studied the different values and leanings and tried to mix them with my watercolours. This will be a really useful reference in the future, and I wonder why on earth I haven't done this before. I guess I needed someone to point it out to me.

For a good reason Melanie calls herself 'agent provocateur' on her webpage. She's very generous with her knowledge, and through her blog and video challenges on YouTube she has done much to help me along on my own creative journey. Anyone who wants to learn some really cool things to do with their sketchbook or visual journal, and who wants to learn how to use what they have in their sketchbook as a starting point for textile work should check out Melanie's new book, as well as her first book Inspired to Quilt, which I have mentioned many times before on this blog.

Thanks for visiting, and stay tuned for more of my explorations into colour and cloth. - Annika

1 comment:

  1. Your scarf and cuffs are gorgeous! They look like they would be so much fun to wear. Isn't Melly's book fantastic! I love every word. Like you, it took Melanie's book to get me to committ to doing the exercises. Looking forward to seeing what pops up here next! Wishing you a beautiful weekend.