Nellie Zimmerman

An artist that references the Australian landscape in her dimensional painted works. They are highly colourful and look almost like quilts, and so are quite relevant for my proposed Australian outback Ebb and Flow quilt. Viewed 31 December 2017

I have moved away from my initial idea of circles to squares but I am drawn to circles like these and have used them previously. In this she references aboriginal dot painting to some extent which I alway find a bit fraught. I guess you are unlikely to inadvertently use aboriginal symbols that belong to the songlines of a specific indigenous group, but I still feel it’s difficult to distinguish yourself from indigenous art. Whilst appropriation is considered legitimate, it may be considered inappropriate to appropriate from indigenous works.

Rebecca Baumann

When I was in the city heading to the Japanese Grocery store I noticed a colour artwork high on the wall in the mini shopping mall of Trafalgar Place.

As I was thinking about colour for this unit I photographed the work and went to the internet to find out it was by an artist called Rebecca Baumann.

On her website Viewed 31 Dec 2017 there is an article about this type of artwork which is called Automated Colour Field

Click to access 7.Cavaniglia,-Consuelo,-‘Automated-Colour-Field’,-essay-from-NEW11-exhibition-catalogue,-2011.pdf

In this article Cavaniglia discusses Rebecca as having researched the connections between colour and emotion, and an artwork like this is referred to as describing a ’24 hour emotional cycle’. Each little colour chip flicks over every minute or so creating a constantly changing interplay between colours.

A couple of extra little projects just for fun.

In Mount Gambier I was taken by the colours of Blue Lake and Valley Lake. Blue Lake ranges from a bright teal to a deeper royal blue in summer, compared to the normal winter steely grey. In contrast Valley Lake does not do this and appears a muddy green when we were there.

Using a photo of Blue Lake I created a series of watercolour puddles trying to match the colours of the photos. For the photo I had first tried to edit it in situ to match the colour. It was a real struggle and the result was only a rough approximation at best.

Valley Lake was even more of a challenge. I had many goes trying to match the colour and in the end had most success using a green base and adding some purple and white. You can see by the bottom right attempt that some of the puddles became so heavy with pigment to become almost black as I added green and complementary over and over in a futile attempt to get the right shade of green. Still it was fun.

Outback palette:

I took this photo thinking it depicted most of the outback colours I had observed. It included the blue grey stormy sky and the clear blue sky, the orange/red earth and the olive and gold of the bushes.

This was the result from experimenting with Adobe Capture to create this palette by sampling the photo. Now I went to all my fabrics that I had spent time dyeing from life in the outback and tried to do my best to match this palette.

I was pretty pleased that I had these colours in my stash that I had dyed. I also have many more dyed fabrics that are also variably true to this palette.

I plan to include a both of these additional exercises in my colour book and this last one should then lead on to my Ebb and Flow Quilt.

Ebb and Flow Art Quilt

Planning here for the Ebb and Flow themed art quilt to go in the TQG art prize. As usual not much time left so need to get going.

I have started making a range of fabrics by combining my dyed fabrics from the outback with rough raw edge appliqué in the following configuration based on the composition of the following photo. The collage technique in the coursework has inspired me to start with a fabric collage technique to create a unique fabric and then move on to cutting that up in order to abstract the idea a bit while staying true to the colour combinations.

I’ve left this black and white so I can introduce the appropriate colours based on the changing weather.

Next the plan is to cut these fabrics into 5 inch raw edge approximate squares. Because of the nature of my sloppy appliqué the squares are not all perfect but I plan to leave them raw edge and apply them with space in between to a further dyed batting background. I’ve ordered some woven batting because my cotton batting went crazy with shrinkage and shredding in the washing machine after dyeing.

Next the plan is to grade the squares from the different weather states across the quilt in some way. Sort of similar to a colourwash quilt. I’m doing this because I always enjoy working on small individual pieces to create a series of mini landscapes within the larger landscape. But also as a bit of a nod to traditional quilting.

I’m not sure of the shape yet. I am bound by the constraints of max 150 x150 cm when I would have like to do something more like 50 x 300 cm so that it would read left to right and I could emphasise the ebb and flow idea. I’m thinking now about using a golden mean rectangle with the long edge close to 150. That would make the short side around 90 cm and the long edge 146 cm.

I’m not sure how to flow the blocks across so the ebb and flow of water, land and foliage is best illustrated. Possibly diagonal so that it reads across with a forward leaning diagonal?

Plan to individually embellish each square to make them tiny works of art in their own right but hopefully also work together to read as I planned.

Finally I would like it to hang fairly stiffly rather than drape like a painting with texture rather than completely as a crinkled quilt. For this I may apply the lot to unstretched canvas and quilt heavily in diagonals over the top. Don’t want this quilting to be too dominant so I may use fine red dirt coloured thread, just to apply the haze of red dirt over my landscape.

Will need to find out what the rules are about binding. I’d be happy not to bind and just maybe seal the edge with paint? Or can it be stretched on a frame? I like stretched on a frame because it can be removed afterwards and used in other projects that need drape. I just don’t like the drape of a quilt on a wall. I think the surface is better displayed stretched. Maybe I could stretch over a board?

Had a range of other ideas since then:

-Interfacing to back of individual blocks making them stiff enough to felt through. I have a woven fusible interfacing so should be able to do the felting through that.

-Once individually felted will hopefully be quite stiff. Plan is to add stitch at this stage to try and enhance the mini landscape feel of each block. Then can then be attached to dyed woven batting and backing and further embellished with quilting.

-Revisited the outback photo I have that highlights all the colours of the outback with storm and blue sky, orange dirt and trees. The palette there does not include anything that is truly green. Today I sorted out the fabrics that I dyed from life while there and selected that palette. It does look harmonious and natural and has made me rethink how much of the brighter green I need in the quilt. Think I will make a collage of this colour scheme for a few more blocks and then make one with very small amounts of brighter green only. I think the bright green is present in the landscape in close up and needs to be included as part of the ebb and flow.

Collage studies (3.4) Part Two

I have chosen this collage to further develop. I know it is simple but I am attracted to the colour combination of blue and brown and the contrast between the colours and texture.

Black and white collage:


Here I have used thin tissue paper over a black card background. I have tried to create different thicknesses of white tissue in order to create some areas of grey, but now I’m thinking about it, I think that the brief actually called for strict black and white. If I get time I may try this one again to stick to black and white. My decision about whether the triangle and the background would be black or white was largely based on viewing a range of black and white versions of the colour collage and making a decision about which one was the most aesthetically pleasing.

I chose this one, but I now realise that I was meant to develop the collage using only black or white. I will try and find time to do this one again using white opaque paper on black background but using a sort of ‘threshold’ approach where the areas are divided into blocks of black or white by making a decision about whether an area is closer to black or to white.

Another photo placeholder:

Monochrome collage:

In this collage I have more successfully created shades of blue but adding various thicknesses of white tissue over the blue background. It too is not as successful as I would have liked in that it the number of shades is quite limited before it becomes simply white. I have tried to improve the situation by sanding but that was only minimally helpful. Again if there is time I might try painting out papers to try again.

Collage studies (3.4) Part one

Simple Collage:

I have translated my digitally drawn sketch book image into a collage. The rules I have set for the simple collage is that the colour is flat and saturated and I have simplified the image down to seven colours. No colours overlap except for being placed on the background so they are all largely seen as interacting with the brown background only. I have tried to use flat colour paper but I was a little limited by what colour papers I had and a couple of the papers were shiny which I would have liked to avoid. The colours are all primary or secondary colours and I have tried to make them as “simple” colours as I could, meaning they pretty much correspond with colour made up of only one or two elements, i.e. I have chosen from red, blue, purple, yellow, green, orange. I have used brown for the background because it was the best match for the photo but I guess in order to follow this rule I could have simplified that to orange. I’m also not happy with the purple because it is really a bit more “complex” in that it is not pure saturated colour but a tone or tint and possibly also includes some complementary.

I have had another attempt here and stuck strictly to primary or secondary colours. For each colour in the image I have chosen the closest primary or secondary to that colour. I created the papers used by painting with the process colours in painting and creating the secondaries from these. So the papers were made with magenta, blue, yellow and black.

Unusual colour combination:

Here I have attempted to create a background with a range of thin tissue papers in various bright colours in order to create an organic brown representative of the earth and earth tones and over this I have superimposed a bright glossy geometric blue. I think of it as unusual to combine organic earthy tones with artificial vivid tones and I felt that this suited my image, where the blue rubbish stands out harshly against the background earth.

This was my first go at the unusual colour combination. I was trying to use coloured tissue on an earthy background in an attempt to get more subtle earthy tones as background. I don’t think they melded as well and the tissues I had to hand were not really earthy tones but more brights.

Complex colour combination:

For this collage I have used all the colours I could see within the image and included some patterned papers as well. I have used primary colours and mixtures, as well as a variety of tones.

Robert B Mitchell

Collage artist from Australia that spent time in the UK and Canada, before returning to Australia for retirement and to work on art works that included collages with techniques that he called ‘interweaving’ – the combination of textile, paper and other mixed media in full colour imagery.             Link Viewed 14 December 2017. Contains imagery and information about this artist.

Suns and Moons

Thinking of the above as a simple colour collage. Fairly clear delineation of primary vivid colour. Probably actually also simplified by black background

Dreams in Space No 2, 1982-5,
Mixed Media

And this is perhaps a more complex colour combination. At this small size on the computer there is blending of colour to make a more brown appearance, but this is actually quite a large scale work I understand, and there are bright colours and unusual juxtapositions within it.

Here are a couple from the Art Gallery of NSW Viewed 14 Dec 2017

Better quality images than above but similar comments apply. No death date is given above but it seems he died in 2002.

Research Point 2

Adobe Capture:

This was a really exciting find. Link 10 led me to this app which I can use with my adobe account. It is an app for creating colour palettes (as well as lots of other things) and I started by using the internet version of it to try and capture the colours of the outback from my memory.

I was really happy to find that I could change the colours in to a CMYK format, as I wonder if this could help me mix the colours myself in dye or paint. I have been trying to mix colours based on a six colour system of warm and cool primaries with moderate success, but don’t really understand why the four colour system of cyan, magenta, yellow and black is not used for mixing paint. It is the printmaking standard and obviously can make a big range of colours for use in printmaking. I’d like to try doing that and I could use printing primaries in screen printing ink to try. I’d also like to try it with dye.

I then discovered that I could take a photo on my camera and use the app to try and analyse the colours in it. I have been trying to edit photos in the field to match the colour on the camera whilst I have the landscape in front of me, but I’m not sure whether the limitations of the screen match the data input. I understand from speaking to a man in a camera shop, that you can get a tool, like a calibrator I guess, that can match your screen on the computer to the printer profile that the camera shop uses and then should be able to print accurately.

But at least this adobe capture app can get you in the right ball park for the breakdown of colours in your photo, and I’m excited to try and mix the colours using CMYK suggestions. I’m not sure if this tool allows you to vary the number of colours or create a weighted palette with different amounts of each colour and that does limit things a bit but for my purposes I can create a number of palettes to combine in my work if necessary.

Here is my first go at outback palette which I am trying to develop for my quilt show quilt. I was surprised to find that there is not the strength of green in the photo that my eyes are seeing. I often find that my palettes are much too primary and maybe I impose my own perceptions on the actual colours I am seeing. For example I see green in this photo because in my mind trees are shades of light and dark green close up. But in this landscape view the app tells me that this is not the case and that the trees are much more brown and gold. It makes a more harmonious palate than the one I created from memory above.

And here is the breakdown into CMYK

This is taken from my photo of the greenish lake at Mount Gambier, which I was using to contrast with the famous Blue Lake there. I spent a lot of time trying to match the colour in my lake photo with a puddle of watercolour and it was very difficult. I hope to use the CMYK breakdown to try again and see if it makes it easier. One thing I don’t fully understand is the role of white. The colour wheel seems to suggest there is “white” with the dots placed towards the centre of the wheel, but I guess this really just represents the density of paint/ink in relation to the white substrate. So in watercolour it would equal water and in screenprinting ink it would have to be clear or white print paste without pigment. For dye it means a higher water to dye ratio, or really just less dye related to substrate. In painting it could be achieved by actually adding white. This is what I did with my watercolour which did also provide a white pigment. It gave an opacity to the watercolour which suited the lake colour.

I’ve done a number of colour matching studies with the green and blue lake photos and I will write them up and include them in the blog soon.

Finally Adobe Capture allows you to play with patterns based on your own photos. This is a manipulation of a photo of one of my glass watercolour studies.

Has great potential for designing my own quilts with unique patterns and colour palettes

Valerie Goodwin

Valerie Goodwin is a quilt artist inspired by mapping and architectural forms, which she abstracts and uses to create what is essentially a fabric collage. 

Viewed 9 December 2017

I was attracted to the apparent complexity in this quilt which appears to have been created by applying lots of small fabric pieces to the background. This suggested to me that I may be able to create my ‘complex’ paper collage in a similar fashion with smaller areas of colour interacting with each other, and lots of detail. It also highlights how you could move fairly seamlessly from collage with paper to collage with textile.