Friday, December 24, 2010

At the center....

When you learn about design, you find that the 'center of interest' is to be the place that the eye is led to by the use of value contrast (putting the lightest light areas near or next to the area of the darkest darks); by the use of saturation (using the most intense, or least greyed colors); by the use of repetition of pattern or shapes that lead to the area you want the viewer to see first and look at longest; or perhaps by the use of lines that literally point the eye to the area. And, of course, the 'center of interest' should not be smack in the center of the composition.

I use all of those contrasts to lead a viewer's eye where I want it to be led; to the center of interest, or the place where I am telling my story in the composition. But I don't think I have ever really used them all at once, or quite so obviously, as I am doing in this tapestry. And, yes, the center of interest, where all of these things are happening at once, is smack in the middle of the tapestry. It is making me a bit apprehensive... have I done too much? The tapestry is a subtle one, with lots of greyed blues and browns everywhere except in the middle 4 inches, or so. There, there are bright, intense (non-greyed) blues, the only whites and blacks, and the only red in the whole piece. It is also the area where there is the most linear and shape movement. All of those things will lead the eye straight to Booker's face, so I really need to get the face done well.

So I am back to the place where I need to trust my design process. Yesterday, I put in the bright blues: Oh, my! they were blue! Too blue? Should I unweave and select a less intense blue? No. Keep going... it will work.

I often reach this point. In almost every tapestry there is a place where everything looks 'wrong' - too little or too much. But if I trust in my maquette and in the color choices and decisions I made before I even began weaving, it usually works out to be 'right.'

At least that is what I keep telling myself....

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