I’ve been dreaming up new ideas over the past few days. None of them seemed particularly worth exploring, until I got to this one:
This is just an initial sketch, but I like the basic thesis. The theme is the changing seasons, represented by light blue for winter, light green for spring, darker green for the mature leaves of summer, and orange/brown for autumn. The variety of colors comes from three different painted/color gradated wefts; each leaf is woven with one of the three painted wefts and so there are three different color gradations in the piece.
(Why painted wefts and not painted warps? Because the warp is already on the loom, and it’s black. Not much room for messing around there.)
It’s a little hard to visualize the subtle differences in color gradations, so I did an illustrative mockup in rainbow colors to show an exaggerated version of the color gradations:
Here the color gradation is exactly the same but each set of leaves is at a different place in the gradation, so the differing colors are much more obvious.
This sketch is just a starting-point. From here I’m playing with a bunch of ideas/questions. The biggest one is, “What is the essence of this design, the central theme that I want to build this piece around?” Because the answer to that question determines how I answer most of the other questions I have, many of which are basically technical, either in design or execution.
(Examples of the technical questions are, “Can I work texture into this?” and “Do I want to use detail in it, such as shading the leaves realistically using 8-end satins, or should I keep the leaves abstract?”)
I think, tentatively, that the answer to the theme question is that the design has a sense of playfulness, freedom, and change – I actually like the rainbow version better than the autumn colors version, as it feels less constrained.
Revisiting the Convergence theme statement,
Exploration of outside influences, changes in environment, harmony with nature, and the rhythm of natural cycles inspire the work for this mixed media fiber arts exhibit.
I wonder if the theme for this piece might be something like “Seasons of Creativity” and the analogy might be between the cycle of a creative project and the cycle of the natural seasons? I find that when I take on a major project, there is a natural beginning, spring growth, maturity, ripening/harvest, and then a resting phase before the next project starts again. So perhaps there is a theme to be found there. It may not be the theme for this project and these falling leaves, but it seems like a meaty theme, and a good starting-place for new work.
If so, the leaves might be a piece unto themselves, and also the first of four pieces, “Spring,” full of creative freedom and possibility.
Food for thought!