After doing the ruglet Blue Sweep, I thought I'd like to do more shaped works, which engage space differently than an image on a rectangle. I did lots of thumbnail sketches with a circular theme and kept coming back to the idea of an incomplete circle, so I did a watercolor sketch using a gradual color and value shift from one end to the other.
Richard Tuttle, Letters (The Twenty-Six Series), 1966, galvanized iron; 26 parts, each approximately 6 x 9 inches
When discussing Blue Sweep in comments, I thought of Richard Tuttle's piece Letters, a wacky take on the alphabet. Though I didn't use his shapes for this work, he continues as an inspiration (as I wrote about here). An aside: I recently watched Herb and Dorothy, a documentary about an unusual art collector-couple which included an interview with Tuttle. At one point he said, speaking of Herb "something goes from the eye to the soul without going through the brain", which is a lovely thought; even though I mull everything over, I love the idea of a mystery at the heart of the art enterprise.
Here is the wool for the project, which I dyed by dipping a long piece of fabric in a pot so that one end got much darker than the other. I added some blue to the red at the darkest end and some yellow at the light end; this increases the color change so that it's not only dark to light but also cool to warm. I hope this creates an illusion that the right end of the curl is moving forward in space. Below is the start of the project; I have to pay quite a bit of attention to my colors as I hook, to try to get smooth transitions of color: no auto-pilot on this one.