At a recent guild meeting we watched a portion of Laura Bryant’s DVD “A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color.” She discusses how to arrange colors so that they don’t “fight” against each other. That reminded me of elementary school report card behavior comments:
- Follows directions
- Completes assignments
- Expresses ideas clearly
- Does neat thorough work
- Plays well with others
Do the colors I pick for any given project follow my mental directions in the warp and weft? Do they express my ideas of what that fabric should look like? Do they “play well with others”?
Laura took the audience through several exercises demonstrating how our perception of colors is affected by all the other colors around them. Putting a purple patch over a white background or a blue background affects how that purple looks. Our eyes will “see” it as different when it is actually the same.
Watching her exercises, I recalled a “problem child” cone of yarn I have that doesn’t play well with others. It’s called “Bluebird” and by itself, is a delightful purple which leans toward blue. But just try to blend it with other purples or even with reds and it becomes either a bully by standing out like a neon light or is itself bullied into a non-descript gray.
I can blame some of this on my camera or my lighting, but this cone of yarn is often the culprit when I can’t get a towel to photograph well. It’s a case of the background color either highlighting the accent or pulling all the color out of it. What I need to figure out is the happy medium.
I do a lot of color-blending in my warp and it’s fun to see which cones work together and which ones I have to save for another project. That’s what makes each project unique, each towel “expressing ideas clearly” and “playing well with others.”
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