Assignment three – Reflections

Reflection on Colour Communication assignment:

I expected to really enjoy this assignment and I did. Colour is the thing that brought me to quilting, then to bead making, and subsequently to Tafe and then Uni. It was my pathway into art and the thing that still gives me the most pleasure in creating. Choosing colour for quilts was always my favourite bit, and then learning colour mixing in painting really opened my eyes to the possibilities of experiences all nuances of colour. Even as a child colour fascinated me. I remember pondering over my experience of colour as compared to others and wondering if everyone in fact saw the same colours, or whether what I learnt to call red was the same as what others learnt to call red. As it turned out both my sons are colour blind and so my question has been answered. What they see as red is not the same as what I see.

During this assignment I expanded my knowledge of colour mixing. I found the matching of colours quite challenging but there was definitively a learning curve and with time I had a better idea of what colours and amounts were needed to achieve the hue I was after. I realised that tone was also quite important in matching and used complementary to darken colours and white to lighten.

I discovered that blending colours with thread was possible and opened my eyes to how this colour matching could be further translated into textile. I used some of my new knowledge in parallel with dyeing work I was also doing and had much more success than previous in getting colours that I wanted in fabric.

The digital programs that created palettes gave me a better idea about creating the particular colour by looking at their breakdown into CMYK, and also suggested harmonious palettes based on a photograph. I had been trying to match colour in the landscape but found that what I thought I was seeing was not in fact what the digital program saw. It turned out to be a tool I will continue to use.

Seeing the nuances of very pale colour in the glassware was also a different experience for me. Previously I tend to gravitate to bright jewel tones but here I found pleasure in the subtle shades and flecks of colour amongst the glass objects.

Working with collage and colour suggested ways of translating this to fabric, and how applying blocks of colour could be used in textile work. I am currently using the technique of translating a photo into fabric collage and then using the new fabric created to further manipulate to create quilt blocks. I’m excited by the potential for collage, and translating some of the collage techniques I tried into fabric. I did feel I didn’t have quite the range of techniques and composition I would have liked in the final collages, as I chose quite a simple composition to work with. There would certainly be more work for me to do in this area.7

So all in all I feel like this unit has really moved me forward in working with colour and helps me to consolidate colour knowledge that I have from a number of sources.

I found the display element to the assignment challenging, as clean presentation is not my forte but I did find it surprisingly enjoyable and again it got me thinking about presentation in the context of some of my other textile work.

Reflection on work against assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill (40%).

I tried to use a wide range of materials and techniques within the brief, and closely observed the colours to try and analyse their make up. I did find that I imposed my own ideas of colours on to the actual colours present and I tend to gravitate closer to the primary jewel tones than colours often really are. My compositional skills are a bit limited and I find I struggle here and often tend to choose the simple composition because I don’t manage more complex compositions well.

• Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%).

I used knowledge gained within in the course and previous knowledge to develop the colours for the works which I was happy with in the main. More work could have been done on the watercolour works and the collages, but I felt they were presented in a coherent manner which illustrated each exercise without additional words. Not sure there was much conceptualisation of thoughts on my part in these exercise and the idea communicated was fairly straightforward analysis and enjoyment of colour.

• Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (20%).

I love experimentation and so always try to push the boundaries of the brief to create works that come into being by partly serendipitous means, creating works that come not from my imagination but as a function of the process. This creates an excitement and sense of exploration for me, that makes me get up early in the morning to see what the dyepot or the kiln or the printing press can reveal. At the moment I would say that my personal voice is not well developed as I leap from one technique or process to another, although chance and serendipity in my work is a constant. For this assignment there was more restraint in my attempt to complete the exercises as requested but the final inclusion of the watercolour lakes did show my love for process driven art sneaking in to the book.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (20%).

As always I tend to research process more than other artists work, which is a limitation of mine, as I find that other artists work can send me in new directions and lead to the creation of new work. I reflect on what I am doing and try to evaluate the success of communication of my idea or concept. I can overthink some aspects of this and in effect sterilise my work to the point that the inclusion of conceptual elements overshadows and destroys the aesthetics. Not so much in this assignment which was more straightforward but in other works.

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