January 21, 2011

A New Textile: "Pink/Yellow Ground"

Pink/Yellow Ground, hand dyed wool on linen, 11 x 10 inches.

I've completed the second in my series of figure/ground explorations, the first being Purple/Green Ground. With these works I am trying to equalize the colors and shapes so that no one takes precedence over another, so that you notice the yellow arch, then the deep pink semi-circle, then back and forth as each demands attention, with the corner triangles chiming in. I'm not sure I am entirely successful here because it seems that the semi-circle pops out too much, perhaps because the dyed wool in more variegated in color than the deep yellow, so dances about a bit. (you can let me know what you think.)

I do like the combination of a warm yellow, tending toward orange, with the cool sharp dark pink. As I'm working with the dye pots, I keep carrying them over to the window to see the color in natural light, lifting the wool to see one color next to the other in order to get a good balance, but it's not until the wool is dry that I can see the final colors. Often there are surprises, most that I enjoy living with, while there are times I have to put the wool back in the pot and re-dye it. I like the uncertainties and challenges, very different from those of my paintings.


  1. this looks terrific with the thumbnail under 'visit my website'!
    do you mean you want the neg and pos to switch back and forth, neither taking precedence? to me this one is very suggestive of lettering - a detail of a letter, but which one? could be several, so it holds as a form - provocative - without revealing any answer.

  2. rappel, yes that's exactly what I want to happen: the positive/negative, or as I've been calling it, the figure/ground, switching back and forth.
    I hadn't thought of lettering, but you're right, it could be part of a letter.

  3. This one is also great. And I kind of feel like it is successful in achieving your goal, if I understand it correctly.