January 3, 2011

A New Textile: "Three Ovals"

Three Ovals, hand dyed wool on linen, 12 x 11 inches.

When I first did the thumbnail sketch for this piece, I had the three ovals enclosed within the rectangle, with the lowest one cut off at its edge. But since I've been doing shaped works lately, I decided to have the shape flow outside the traditional confines. I thought this might enhance the sense of movement, of three paramecium-like shapes swimming in a textured sea. The idea for the color came from walking over fields in late fall, where the few remaining greens of ferns stood above varying hues of dried leaves and grasses.

You can see the subtle variation in the color of the background in this detail. The way I dye a variegated piece of wool is to place the wool, crunched together, in a wide flat pan, below. Then I drop the different colors of dye in spots here and there on the wool. I used a couple of warm ochers and reddish ocher and, in a few spots, some of the green of the ovals. The results are random, always something of a surprise, fun to work with.


  1. what happens if you disrupt the strong visual logic here by turning it clockwise...?

  2. It's very interesting, rappel. The piece, now hanging as you suggest loses any spatial sense and becomes a more quirky distribution of shapes.