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Sewing Repub

Getting to Know You.

29 Nov 2009

I love color and color mixing. I just bought a new palette of gouache and have been recreating the tools and methods with which I have been working. Pencil cases for figure drawing sessions, a smaller pencil case for everyday use, a new palette of paint. I am no longer going to use my much loved and well used Pelikan paint set (it is time to use grown up paints and tools and I am ready.

Moving into a new manner of approach can be daunting. I don't know some of these paints or pigments. My 'go to' colors are new new and improved. And although I have been hunting and gathering supplies I haven't been using them as much as I want to. So I sat down and began to be methodical.

When I first started to sew, I told myself to learn the 'right' way, then let go of it and do it my way. This is a fantastic approach in all endeavors. It allows you the learning curve that is needed in order to move into a new idea or thought process.

I learned the basics of color mixing in school. Color mixing was my nemesis in school. The teacher loved nothing better than to tell us what to do then leave the room and get tea for 45 minutes, leaving us to struggle without being able to ask questions.

But we were asked to take each new open tube of paint and to swipe it off the edge of a piece of watercolor, grouping all of the reds blues and yellows together. Then we were asked to apply each color to a page in gradation from pure color to as light as we could get it. This teaches a lot. It tells you where the color will go when watered down, it lets you know what to expect. It is a great start. Learn the 'right' way, then find your own voice.

So these are the new colors that I have at my disposal. I now have an idea of of what they will do in gradation, and their placement in my palette,

and what they look like straight out of the tube. The photos above are my current palette using most of Roz's suggestions and are mostly M. Graham Gouache.

This sample is my original palette from the Fashion Institute, which I have kept in a 3RB (3 ring binder) for the last 10 years. This set of samples is Winsor & Newton gouache and Luma watercolor dye (which I think is extinct- Dr. Martin is another brand name for this type of watercolor).

This is a sample that I made for my book, which can be found on page 17, though in much smaller format. This is thickened Procion MX dye on cloth.

And this is the color wheel that I created for my book, also Procion MX, also on cloth. I am pretty sure this is Golden Yellow, Mixing Red and Intense Blue.

I show all of this to reinforce what it takes to learn color and its use. These are the mediums I have chosen to use and I think this is a great way to inform myself as to how to use them and lto earn their idiosyncrasies.

I know that working in this manner may seem intense and protracted, but it is thorough. Besides, let your art know you are serious about getting to know all about it!

Just in case you haven't watched this: please do (the link is #6 in the Inspired to Quilt Video Series:Color Mixing with dye). It is worth it.

Here is another picture of Arrow. I lub 'im and his boxer paws.

And can I just say? A few weeks ago I got it in my head that Arrow needed a new bed for my sewing closet, I mean room. I wanted a pet store type soft walled item but decided that until I found myself in that type store, I would plug in his cat pad (6 Watts of kitty happiness) and create a bed with stuff I had around the apartment. This is his blanket, made years ago, placed over his kitty pad and wrapped around a dye bin (clean of course). This bed has such MOJO that Arrow has been loving it exclusive of the cat tree and sometimes even my LAP!!! And ARROW is a LAP CAT! It doesn't bother him one bit that it is too small. No sir.

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on 30 Nov 2009 9:48 AM

Aw Arrow looks so comfy!  

I remember doing the same color exercise in my watercolor class and having the kids in class (I was married and had babies when I went back to college so they were all kids to me)complain about the exercise.  I learned a lot from it.  The other exercise I learned a lot from was when we took a sheet of watercolor paper and marked it off into a grid of one inche squares.  We then filled one sheet with "ugly" colors and one sheet with "pretty" colors.  I love my ugly painting more than my pretty painting.  I think I felt more free with my ugly colors.  It was a lot of fun.

dipart57 wrote
on 1 Dec 2009 12:07 AM

I love that making a cosy bed for your cat is a priority for you. I have just moved house and one of the first things I did was set up my cat's bed in my new sewing room. She is happy now even though the rest of the room is still in disarray, and I can get on with sorting out my fabric etc knowing she is settled. Cats are such great quilting companions!

MellyT wrote
on 1 Dec 2009 5:55 AM

Cats also like new beds, changing things up is a good thing, as far as they are concerned! So yes, Arrow's happiness is a priority. Just last night I woke and he was sleeping up against me, such a comfort!