Sunday, September 2, 2007

Fall, favorites, and fears...

September is my favorite month. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crisper, cooler air. I love changing leaves... I love to gather them and hang them on the refrigerator among the pictures of my grandkids. I love to hear and smell them when they fall and crunch under my feet. That has been one of my favorite sensations all my life - it's one of the few sensations I remember loving as a child. In fact, I had a jolt of that memory last fall, when my grand-daughter told me how she loves to hear leaves crunch under her tricycle tires. That's another favorite: when my grandchildren connect with the child I still am.

I have woven over 60 tapestries. Several of them were fall tapestries. One would think I'd have this down pat.
But, I am beginning the Fall tapestry for the Seasons series, and I awoke this morning with a familiar jolt: I am doing it ALL WRONG! I've woven the first inch, and have chosen colors and ordered yarns. I know an inch doesn't sound like much, but it is a significant commitment of time - not to mention the commitment I made to color by ordering the yarns I chose. But now I'm thinking I should have a dark background on the lower border, and not the muddy middle-value colors I've started with. I do this almost every time. Work and work on the design, decide it's ready and begin the weaving, and then the doubts appear. Unfortunately, sometimes the doubts have proven to be valid ones, and I've changed the design and am happier with it. Sometimes they are just trying to slow me down - stop me even. I have known doubts and fears to totally stop creative people from creating. I refuse to let that happen to me. I'd rather create something totally wrong, something BAD, than to not create anything at all.

The thing is (and here I'm trying to work out my doubts and justify my choices right in front of you - I should be so bold) I chose the background I did for a fairly sound (at the time) reason. In this tapestry, I'm not just designing and weaving a tapestry; I'm designing and weaving the conclusion of a series of four tapestries. So the design choices I'm making must work not only when it hangs alone, but when the four tapestries hang together. Of course, that may not happen often, but when it does I want it to look good, you know? So, I do truly think this tapestry would look better with a dark background on the lower border. BUT... and this is one of those big buts (like the Rap artists sing about)... the tapestries will hang together in a certain order: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. And the lower border background of Winter is light, the lower border backgrounds of Spring and Summer are both dark, so I feel like the background of the Fall one should be light, or at least lighter. See what I'm sayin'? Ah, 'tis a conundrum... and one that must be solved in my mind by the time I sit down at the loom first thing in the morning. Fears must be silenced so fingers can fly. Any input?


Anonymous said...

KAthy without being able to see the colours you have started with, but comparing with the other tapestries, I think the the beginning you have would be fine. Somehow, to me, the alternative would be too dark.
Happy weaving!

meabh said...

Hi Kathy,
I see what you're saying about the light, dark, dark, light but there is going (presumably) to be a huge contrast between the warmth and richness of the fall tapestry and the white/light of the winter one anyway.... Your drawing/weaving style holds them together so the most important thing now is to make the right decisions for the fall tapestry. Every detail counts but we have to see beyond them too. I'm collaging today - might go spill some coffee!
All the best,

K Spoering said...

Thank you both for your comments! They were very helpful. I took the border design back into Photoshop and played with it a bit - doing things I'd already done. Then I realized that my problem with the background I've done so far is that it is so greyed out, not at all like the 'warmth and richness of fall' that I do want and need. I've been concerned that there will be no value contrast between the background and the foreground elements. Then I realized that I've not even woven in any foreground stuff yet. When I do, I will be contrasting saturation, not value. So I think this unsaturated middle-ground background will work - both in the series as a whole, and in this particular tapestry. I'll work on it more today, and hope to be happier with it by the end of the day. I'll let you know!