Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Art requires my best creative effort

My watercolor original "Serenity"

I've been trying to design a Tapestry for
my large loom for weeks now!
I'm eager to start weaving my first large Tapestry!
"Felicity" (my Dryad floor loom) and I
have been getting used to each other for awhile now.
So the time has come to get serious about
all I have learned with my weaving!

I began looking through magazine and catalog pictures,
(Anthropologie and Sundance are my favorites)
 my very own photos, and looked at cards I had saved.
I was searching nature, my collage work,
going through my old art journals
for ideas, designs and inspiration.
I finally re-discovered
a watercolor I had painted
many years ago!
It was totally inspired by my favorite
Watercolor Artist,
I had taken a workshop on her techniques
in Newbern, North Carolina in 2008.
My heart skipped a beat
and I knew that I had found
the inspiration for my Tapestry!!!

I have always liked to journal my thoughts and ideas.
I have different journals for different things.
So I began spending some time trying to decide
what I wanted to do
how I could make it all work.
Could I perhaps decide on a title? 
 What design techniques would I be using? 
I wasn't even sure if I would be weaving
my tapestry straight up the warp or sideways 
for the best weaving design.
Thanks to all the tapestry weavers
in my student Facebook group,
I will take their wise advice and
actually weave the entire tapestry
There is so much to think about within
the weaving process long before I come to my loom
and can actually start weaving my piece.

This is going to be such a learning experience for me,
I can hardly wait to get started!

 A small sketch with my notes

I began to free form sketch
a cartoon for my tapestry on a large
sheet of 25 x 36" paper.
(This will be the actual size of my weaving)
The next step was to loosely paint
the colors that I wanted in my weaving!
I would primarily be using roses, oranges,
greens and some white/beige for the birch trees.

Working on my Cartoon

Close up of my cartoon sketch

The next step for me was 
deciding on my color choices for the weft.
This took me awhile,
I just began picking skeins of colors.
I left them on the loom and
observed how they blended with each other.
I kept coming into my studio for a fresh peek
 to see how the colors were interacting,
then finally made my choices.
I can't wait to blend the yarn colors
and weave them into my design.
 Weaving those green leaves will be my favorite!
I can already visualize the hatching process.
I will primarily be using Harrisville Highland yarn,
and setting my tapestry at 8 epi (ends per inch)
with a beautiful linen warp.


Once the cartoon was sketched and watercolored,
my cartoon was sewn to the woven header on the loom.
Now that my yarn colors and fibers were decided
I wanted to try a color wrap.
 I had learned this process in my Tapestry Class

My color wrap on foam core board

It has all slowly and carefully come together!
I love the design process
and it does require my best effort.
What Art process doesn't?
I want to do my best,
create my best work
and that requires thought and planning.

Tapestry weaving has taught me
patience for sure,
it isn't a quick art at all.
Perhaps that is why I love it so much!
It is so worth the effort that is put into it,
including all the weaving samplers
I created to get to this point!

Practicing on my Mirrix Loom!

I have been working on my online course
with the amazing and talented
Tapestry Weaver,
she has taught me so much!
I love online learning and going at my own pace.

There are some amazing Tapestry Artists
in the world today;
each adding their own creative style
to a very old art form.
Each is willing to share their talents and knowledge
with others through the online community;
for that I am truly grateful.

So yes, my Art, whatever it is
requires my best creative efforts.
Reaching a little further,
going the extra mile,
not taking any shortcuts,
and being proud of the end result.

This Tapestry hasn't got a name yet,
I am sure it will come to me with all 
the hours we will be spending together.
I promise to keep you posted!
The Watercolor Original was entitled "Serenity"
perhaps that name will carry through to my Tapestry.

 Whatever comes your way this week,
give it your best, you won't be disappointed.
Take the time to explore something new,
and don't be afraid to try,
it's how we grow!
With all the time that went into planning my Tapestry,
I wonder just how long it will take to weave it??????

Donna Lee

Photo taken May 2015 ... I've come a long way!