Saturday, May 2, 2009

Live from the Front Lines

I honestly wish those of you who are reading this could have a studio right next door to mine. Then I could call you up and say, "Hey, come on over and talk with me about this." In lieu of that, I'd love for you to share your thoughts and comments as you watch the progression of this piece. I even promise to answer all comments if you do. If some of you disagree with me or each other, even better -- it could make for a good discussion!

First things first. I am wildly in love with the top third of this. I'm envisioning adding an accent or two of a rust/red tone along an edge, but that is all here. If you strongly disagree, here is your opportunity to tell me so.

So now we move down to the bottom. This is the newly steamed, washed and ironed fabric with the additions of rusty orange and a brownish green. I'm liking the colors. They can grow softer and lighter as they move up the surface of this piece. But now I have to decide how much and where to add the additional color and whether or not the letterforms add anything to the composition. Part of me likes the textures, lines and colors on the piece so much that the letters seem overkill.

The other part of me (I'm a Libra, these internal debates go on continually, what can I say) says that the whole IDEA of this piece is ancient letterforms, so I can't very well throw them overboard. Maybe the answer is to add them selectively and very sparingly to the surface rather than use as many as there are here in this sample area.

Since the test area for the orange and dark green is at the very bottom edge of this super long piece of cloth, I folded and pinned the bottom part up closer to the top on my design wall and took this picture. This gives me an idea of what these colors and textures will look like more towards the middle of the composition.

I'll sit here munching my apple, staring at the images on my computer screen and holding this debate in my head for a bit. Maybe I'll have an insight into what I want to do next.

I really am thinking I want to decrease both the amount and shape of the lightest areas in the lower half of the piece. I might sponge some resist on the surface and screen over those areas to soften the value shift and reduce the amount of that very lightest color. That could create a softer transition from the darkest areas at the bottom to the lightest areas on top. Or I can have hard edges in some places and softer transitions in others.

Or maybe a whole new idea will emerge. The day is young! If you have any thoughts about these options, yes I know it's the weekend and you're busy, but please know you are invited to comment!


  1. Hi Jeanne, I like this piece, too. It's rich, has depth, and a lot of interest in the variations of the marks and colors. The bottom part, with the deeper color, has almost a cut off of the deeper colors. You spoke about more color as you move up the piece. Are you seeing the color move up from that cut off line, so that the change is more subtle? As you can tell that section does seem to bother me. It draws my eye to it, without a reason to be there. I do like the ancient letters. That seems to be working well. This piece is on it's way to being another great one. Rosemary

  2. Hi Rosemary, somehow I missed your comment. Thanks! Yes I am envisioning more subtle variations in color rather than the dark swath of color in the sample at the bottom. Matter of fact, I just cut it off when I arrived at my studio today and only left the more subtle application of orange and olive green.