Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 15, 2009

No surface designer worth his or her salt is capable of escaping the fascination with texture... but how to capture the original texture and make it a valid visual component? The Spanish moss references the barbed wire. The soft and natural world versus the contained and hard-edged human world. What to do?

Printing is my first love, so I could interpret the lines of the Spanish Moss using India ink, or a fine line marker on paper. I could turn that line drawing into a silkscreen; one of the most versatile of printing tools. Or I could put the photograph in a drawing program, even a simple one like Powerpoint, and change it into a black and white image. The B/W picture could translate into a silkscreen, too. The barbed wire image could also be altered either of these ways.

I call the introduction of an image onto a surface using printing a faux texture. Faux means false in French, and we're all familiar with faux painting - an artist's rendition of a scene so that it looks real - a window, with landscape beyond - painted on a building, for example. Faux texture is essentially the same thing. The printed image references the real texture, but is a flat representation of it.

Three dimensional work could also be introduced to mimic the original Spanish Moss and barbed wire. Needle felting is a fantastic means of applying loose, thready stuff onto a flat surface. Hand or machine embroidery? More intriguing choices.

For me, it always comes down to the most elegant choice. The application that rises to the top during my intentional consideration of the possibilities. It takes time to figure out what the most elegant choice is. But it's always worth it.


3 comments:

Jackie said...

What lovely contrast with the moss and the wire, such different textures but related as well. Thank you for the ennumeration of methods to get that texture down on fabric. I am stymied by that, never having silk-screened and limited experience dyeing. I enjoy and appreciate those fragile lines like Spanish moss--thank you for the insight.

Uniquely Myself said...

Hello Jane! Just found your blog and find it's very interesting. I might just hang around and learn something. Please do check out mine - I am just getting into blogging.

janet lasher said...

Jane! thank you for your great images. this one is particularly wonderfully full of texture!

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

How does color set a mood? The soft gray and white of the carpet, the cat Marshall, and the sunlit window contribute to to the sense of calm repose. What does blue mean to you or me? We all have symbolic associations for colors; some based on personal experience and some instilled culturally. 

The cobalt blue of the vase provides a point and counterpoint to the composition, in addition to providing elements that balance.
Keeping the cat in the lower third of the composition weights the image and is another visual door into the picture world.

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

This picture tells several stories. It references the human desire to order the world around us - the lettering on the wall establishes the alley as a No Parking zone, and the broken glass-  jutting out at the top - is another message of fear and frailty. Whoever lives behind this wall wants to be left alone.

But there is beauty in the contrast of the rough brick surface and the smooth translucency of the broken glass bottles. A contrast of textures makes for an interesting composition. And the abstract nature of the printed letters against the structure of the bricks would be worth emulating in another sort of composition.

There is as much beauty in decay as there is in a bouquet of fresh flowers. And aren't decay and fresh growth just two different spots on the same continuum?



November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

The Hydrangeas offer a lesson in the effective use of color. The pale blue and lavender are roughly the same value, so they balance each other beautifully. I am challenged to mimic that combination of analogous colors on silk Habotai!

This photograph would be considered beautiful even without the red-orange and yellow flowers at the bottom. But the addition of the complements to the blue and purple creates a focal point and generates some nice contrast because of the complementary pairing. And imagine how different this composition would be, were the red-orange and yellow at the top instead of at the bottom. The current placement adds important visual weight.

November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008
Being and Non-being

Substance and Light

November 16, 2008

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside 
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the space inside
that holds whatever we want.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Tao te Ching; Verse 11
Stephen Mitchell translation