May 11, 2016

A New Textile: "Red/Brown Ground"

Red/Brown Ground, hand dyed wool on linen, 11 x 10 in.

I had a yen to revisit an occasional series that I worked on in 2012 and 2013: my figure/ground series. You can see an example here and here. My aim is to have shapes and colors equally balanced so that no one shape takes precedence as the "figure" which then relegates the other shape to the background. In this piece the circular brown shape pushes into the red, a red which would ordinarily be much stronger because of its intensity of color; here, because of the sense of movement of the warm brown, I hope they are equalized and become interlocking. 

Red/Brown Ground detail

I hook a line around each shape––both the red and the brown––so that one doesn't appear to be slipping behind the other, and use horizontal and vertical lines of hooking to keep the shapes differentiated and flat. This is a fun and interesting challenge.


  1. Subtle coolness: the interface between the two is aligned, one "cell"-deep, producing an organic liveliness, and my eye perceives a diagonal bridging the brown protrusion, much like a "river" in printing/typography.

    1. "I hook a line so neither's a sinker"

    2. No longer puzzled, Altoon saw that the jig was up.

    3. Thanks, JBS, for the appreciation and the witticisms.

  2. I am not clever, but am delighted by this process & piece.