Thursday, July 9, 2009

ArtCloth Mastery Program

I am one of 12 participants in Jane Dunnewold's 2 year ArtCloth Mastery Program for 2009. The program is geared for those who are serious about their art and want to move to the next level. It provides an intensive, in-depth approach to creating artcloth. The group meets twice a year for one week and has a number of assignments to complete in between sessions.

I was able to learn a lot about the program from Laura Beehler, a colleague and fellow artist at ArtCloth Studios, who participated in the first class that started in 2007. I often stopped by the studio to pick up my supplies while class was going on, so I had an opportunity to see what they were working on. It was only last fall that I felt a strong pull to take the class. The turning point came when I saw the projects the group was working on. Each participant had become a stronger artist over the first 18 months of the program. I felt that this workshop would help me grow as an artist and I felt ready to make the commitment. And it is a big commitment. We have to complete four pieces of artcloth before the next class, along with a number of color studies and a research project.

We concentrated on color during the first week of class. We dyed fabrics in the color wheel, using pure (not mixed) Procion colors. There are only a handful of the Procion dyes that are pure colors. Most other colors will split out during an immersion, which can make color mixing somewhat unpredictable. Being somewhat obsessive, I dyed cotton and two types of silk in each color. It was helpful, because the colors came out quite different. I expected a difference in the cotton and silk, I didn't expect as much of a difference in color between the silk habotai and the silk noil.

We also worked with color in fabric paints. We painted some color wheels in class, and I have continued to paint them over the past month. For every color on the color wheel, we painted a color wheel showing that color blended into black and then white.

Before I took the class, I wasn't convinced that I would benefit from painting color wheels. I felt pretty comfortable with color before going into the class, because I have always mixed my dyes and paints from primary colors. I was surprised by how valuable I found the color wheels to be. Here are few of my observations.

  • Trying to get a color wheel that was as close to the true primaries as possible was difficult. I tried three times before I felt good about my results.

  • Mixing a color with white really shows any undertones in a color. And mixing with black can yield some unexpected results. Yellow turned green when black was added.

  • It was very helpful to have the experience of painting different values of a color. It is harder than it looks to achieve an even color gradation from light to dark.

Another study we did was to blend complements together. That was very helpful for me, since I typically use more subdued colors. Now I know what colors to mix to achieve a wider range of earthtones. I'd like to repeat these studies, to try to get a smoother blend from one color to the next.

The series of four pieces that we have to complete by October are also color studies. I have dyed the fabric for them and will report on my progress each week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I am in the 2010 class and will be following your blog with great interest.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...