Tapestry weaving... landscapes
I've been busy working on this landscape again. Making good progress but I have not posted in a while because I'm lost in it. When I'm not working on this tapestry I'm working on my stitching so back and forth I go between the two. I have several things going at once and all are so close to being done; I think, but then they are not. So I'm really feeling the need to finish something! This happens to be the way I work. I've tried to work on one piece and only one piece until completed and it does not work for me. So I have just decided to go with the flow and then they all come together and get done in the end. It's just the way I'm wired. Sometimes that can be a good thing because one idea here and another there and all of it work feeds off of each other. A painting here, a stitch there, a weaving sample etc. and each has it's purpose even if it doesn't become a "finished piece of art" in the end. So I plug along...and Spring is here so my painting will kick in a bit more as the little painting studio is not so cold now so the windows can open and I can breathe and feel the sun on my face and mess about in the paint.
Landscape tapestry off the loom
Well, it's off the loom. Now for the finishing. First it needs to sit and rest a little. That's always a good idea when the tapestry comes off the loom and is no longer under tension.
So I've got looms to dress and I must get back to work on my watercolor tapestry asap. And as always more paintings to go thru so I can decide which one will become a tapestry. That is always a challenge because I want to weave so many of them but I know that is never going to be a possibility. It has to be the right one, I mean face it, this is an image that I'm going to be looking at in progress on the loom for weeks or mostly months. So I must choose wisely. More pics of this tapestry will go in the Tapestry section of my site when it's all finished.
Landscape tapestry weaving
I can see the top of the cartoon and I'm inching my way along. About 2 or 3 inches to go now. This is always really exciting for me when I can see the end is near. Well, the end of the weaving is near but the finishing still has to be done. I have a stack of paintings waiting to be laid out to see which one makes the cut for the next tapestry on this loom. I have 2 more looms waiting for warps as well. I was hoping they would be ready to go by January so that deadline came and went. So much to do. Here are a few more in progress pics.
Out for some fresh air and a Winter Walk for some mind clearing and inspiration. I find that I'm often ready to tackle the task at hand and get busy in the studio after a quick walk with my camera in hand. I really need that in the Winter when I find myself camping out in the studio for days on end. Today the sun came out for a bit and the temp was not so bad. I love making these collages for inspiration I often refer back to them for color ideas when dyeing yarn etc. This will probably make it over to my inspiration walks page too but sometimes I like to put them on the journal as well.
I'm back to these small paintings when I can get a block of time away from the loom. Really pushing to finish up the current tapestry so my painting has been on hold for a bit. I'm thinking some of these small paintings might be fun to weave as well, maybe small or perhaps blown up. I'll do some scale testing and see what I like. Just looking at this pic it's already much bigger. The original is only 4 inches. It's painted on a ceramic tile. I love the texture of the tiles. These would be great woven and then shown with the original tile painting next to it. I'll post more of these soon. The more I look at this one the more I'm talking myself into weaving it.
Only about 5 or 6 inches to go.Yay! Well, in the land of tapestry weaving that is still going to take a chunk of weaving time but I can see the end is near. Only the weaving is almost done. Then all the finishing work which really takes quite a bit of time too. It's not my favorite part, that I can say with honesty. But it will have to be done. Between weaving I've been dyeing yarn and thinking a lot about the next tapestry. But before I can dive into that too much I have to get back to the Watercolor tapestry on the black pipe loom. I call that loom hopping, which I do often. Actually, I love doing that. Having several looms going at the same time keeps me from getting bored. I like it but I can only do so much without getting a little crazy. You start to feel like nothing is ever going to be finished. So I have to curb myself. So here she is at her current state...why do I always refer to them as "she" maybe one day I'll weave something that is a "he"...
Not the greatest shot with the daylight bulbs glaring but it's getting late and I can't stop weaving just because the sun goes down. If that were the case I would never get done. The glam shots will have to wait until she is done but for now you get the idea. Woven sideways as I seem to do about 95% of the time.
And a few more shots from the dyepot sessions. And for those that have been asking I'm not selling hand dyed yarns again. These are for me. I know so greedy am I.
Warming my heart and home with the Dyepots. Cold Winter days...grey skies, rain, drizzle drizzle drizzle. What better way to add some warmth and color into my days than firing up the dyepots. Dyeing for me is very similar to cooking. A pinch of this and that just as I handle spices in the kitchen. I hardly ever cook food from recipes and I don't dye that way either. Especially now that I'm dyeing only for myself. I don't have to bother with trying to create multiple batches of the same colorway. Which is not easily and frankly not much fun. Now I'm back to dyeing the way I started years and years ago. Whatever moves me and I can be extremely experimental because reproduction is not in the vocabulary anymore. Sigh... to that. My heart sings again....I can pinch of this and that all I want. As a tapestry weaver and a weaver of cloth nothing is better than being able to create your own palette. I feel it's essential, well, it is for me. But I do supplement my colors with yarns and threads from industry. And that's all good, but nothing out there really compares to hand dyed yarns. They have character, soul and that one-of-a kind feel that takes my breathe away. Well, I better get back to it.....
Small Tapestry Weaving
Small drawings, paintings, weavings and so forth. I find when I'm working at a small scale I can test out ideas rapidly. It's fluid....what is that exactly.....changing readily; shifting; not fixed, stable, or rigid.
Not rigid. I like that. Drawing and painting small can go very fast if you wish but these small tapestries they don't go so fast. Tapestry never really does. So is it still fluid? Yes, it can be. How to stay loose and fluid when weaving tapestry? Hmm, maybe weave free form without a cartoon and let the textures and colors lead the way. Have a concept but keep it simple. I'm always asking myself these sorts of questions when it comes to tapestry weaving. It is so different from painting. That damn gird that I have a love/hate relationship with. Maybe let the grid dominate....but back to the idea of working small helps open my mind...it does with painting but does it really with tapestry? I'm still thinking about that one. It is intimate, very much so when you have to get so very close to a 2 or 3 inch wide tapestry. I like that it's a small almost precious object and that the viewer has to really get close to it physically.
The weaving starts at the bottom always and you work your way up. Art is not linear...or is it? If you have to begin at this point and end at this one. Questions...always questions.
It is better to ask some questions than to know all the answers __ James Thurber
Do you have days as an artist where you just need to rest your mind a bit. You need comfort food or I should say comfort art. Sometimes you need a little bit of what comes easy and effortless. Comfort weaving like weaving a beautiful piece of tabby cloth in linen or drawing only trees, or just dyeing some stunning colors. The dyepots always give me comfort. After years and years of dyeing and having a business dyeing yarns aka Saffron Dyeworks. I got burned out but now I love it again. And it is pure comfort for me to dip the skeins into the pot. It's like eating your favorite food, so easy, so natural. It just comes easy. When it's a cold dreary day out and I need something to warm my artistic soul, I like to dye. And when I feel like I'm taking things too seriously well then it is time to do something that is pure comfort. Being too serious can kill your spontaneity. Doing something that just feels like second nature really helps me open up, relax, and clear my mind so when it's time to tackle that new tapestry or painting I feel charged and ready to go to the next level. What is your comfort art?
If you know anything about me you know I love tea. Not only for drinking but for dyeing yarns and fabrics. I also paint and draw with it. It is very versatile. Black teas just might be my favorite. I'm using these for some handwoven cloth and also in one of the landscape tapestries that is in progress now on my Fireside tapestry loom. I haven't used Linen in tapestry weaving as much as wool and silk but I'm finding I like it. So I'm going to do more sampling and small tapestries with it. I'll post my progress when I have a few small ones ready. I love stitching on Linen so maybe I'll try some stitching on the tapestry samples and see how it goes. Let my intuition guide me....
Perhaps loving something is the only starting place there is for making your life your own.... Alice Koller
Well, this little journal is almost full. Time to get a new Moleskine. There is nothing like cracking open a new journal. Oh, the possibilities. The fresh crisp pages, the new smell. I love it. But holding a journal in your hands that has been used and loved and carried around with you for months, well, that is very special. They say sometimes that most Artist can get blocked because they may have not too few but too many ideas. I haven't found this to be true for me yet but I do have to say "is this just an exercise or will it become something more"? The thing is sometimes you just don't know. Drawings in my little sketchbooks way never become more but sometimes they do. They are a great resource to come back to as well. And if I'm having a hard time getting myself going in the studio I will often just pull out a pencil or pen and draw, make marks and just let my mind go. It relaxes me and calms my mind. Of course this is always done with a hot cup of tea and great music. Then I feel ready to tackle the task at hand. I started keeping an art journal in art school many moons ago and I haven't stopped since.
Small tapestry weaving
Playing around with a very fine sett of 22 epi on this little tapestry. The warp is a button and carpet thread that is very strong. So far so good...no broken threads. These might be great for stitching accents due to the fine sett. Experimenting continues.
Neutral colors for tapestry weaving
Warm inviting neutrals. I can't seem to get enough of them lately. Greys, taupes, creams and bronzy tones are calling to me. Is Winter having an effect? Maybe? I can never seem to have enough of them stocking my yarn shelves or in my paint stash. Time to fire up the dyepots for more greys. I love dyeing yarn in the Winter months.
Well, it seems that when I made some changes to the site and did an upgrade and I lost my journal. Maybe that is a sign. A new fresh start for 2018. So pictured above are some new paintings that I'm working on. Painting on ceramic tiles and Aqua board. Some might become small tapestries as well. Still thinking about that.
Also back to my sewing machine for some stitching on these mixed media paintings. I'm keeping the palette fairly monochrome and I really like the feel so far.