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.

http://www.robertmitchellartist.com.au/12.html             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

https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/10.1988/?tab=shop 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. 

Farnaz Jahani

The Interrupted Beauties   Viewed 23 November 2017

This visual artist comes from Iran but now lives in the US. She employs surface design in her work and cuts and compresses work to create some degree of ‘accidental aesthetic’. 

The idea is to represent the vagracies of life and its fractured path. 

As I am doing the colour section of this unit I’ll comment on the colour use in the above work. 

The use of a quite bright and pure tone palette of blue, red and green contrasts with the background brown and serves to highlight the broken lines down the work. It results in an imperfect irregular edge not unlike the Ikat weaving in my kimono. 

Research Point 1: Colour work of Textile artists and Designers

Voyage Decoration

Marimekko

Mary Katrantzou

Wallace Sewell

Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Viewed 7 Nov 2017


Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Harriet Wallace and Emma Sewell create woven scarves and throws. They have many projects illustrated on their web site that show their methods of colour choice. They take inspiration from the distinctive colour choices in the work of other artists as above, as well as directly referencing the environment to facilitate choice of proportion and colour.  These woven textiles are put to functional use which is something I am very much drawn to. Here they are created using artistic design making, as works of art but then sent out into the world to be worn or sat on or to protect book pages, in a way that has a greater impact on the lives of others, compared to a painting in a gallery.

They are not preserved and protected, but instead used and worn out eventually, to make way for new work.

When I get home I’ll try and remember to insert a photo of the bus seats in Hobart. The fabric is particularly disgusting and I’ll see if I can analyse why.

Cole and Sons

Norma Starszakowna

Paul Smith

Viscous

Ptolemy Mann

Liberty Prints:

Before I came to the outback I looked ahead through the course materials and I saw that I needed to bring some printed fabric to use for colour palettes. While I was in Melbourne I went to a fancy fabric shop called Tessuti fabrics and bought five Liberty Print fabrics. The Liberty company was established by Arthur Liberty in 1875 and was initially a homewares shop dedicated to the popular oriental theme but subsequently branched out to printing the famous liberty prints in England. The prints are an English made product that initially took inspiration from the orient. 

https://www.libertylondon.com/uk/information/the-store/store-heritage.html  Viewed 7 Nov 2017 for some of the information about Liberty.


The fabrics I chose from the Liberty collection to bring with me. 

Lisa Solomon

I came across this artist on textileartist.org which is a great site for all sorts of interviews and information on textile artists. I was looking for knitting and crochet artists because I’d like to think about using knit or crochet as a substrate for some of my work. I’m often thought of also using weave but I need to get past my block that I have in regard to weaving. It’s just the set up and the more complicated equipment used. I balk out even getting my loom out, in contrast to the ultimate simplicity of knitting and crochet – a circular needle or a crochet hook and yarn and I’m ready to create. 



 Images from  http://www.lisasolomon.com/index.html.   Viewed 28 Oct 2017

This example is not actually knitting or crochet but embroidery, but turned out to be my favourite. Her crochet was mostly doilies and not what I was thinking of. I’m looking for a way of crocheting or knitting an organic substrate to further work on. 

Part Two Reflection on the course so far and my evaluation of my works against the assessment criteria. 


I’m really enjoying the course so far and the graded entry into textile work has been good for me. Closely observing my textiles has resulted in many ideas for my own textile work as well as simply seeing interesting lines and detail that had previously gone unnoticed to me. 

I gained a lot from the paper manipulation section of this unit. The ease of manipulating paper made me push harder to entertain ideas about what could be done with textile beyond my cut and paste quilting background.

Similarly attempting to draw with stitch rather than embroidery gave me a new perspective on stitch and freed me from the constraints of regular embroidery stitches. Although I did use some traditional stitches to achieve the effects I wanted, I also realised that I could stitch freely and loosely, simply applying lines and texture with thread rather than thinking of it as embroidery. I tried to relax and to some extent let the stitches fall where they may as the lines do in expressive drawing, rather than keeping rigid control of the stitching. 

I was a bit less happy with my final textile works, than I was doing the paper manipulation and stitching on paper. This often happens to me when I try to work on a single large work that is intended to be a more resolved work. I seem to freeze and am less adventurous in my approach compared to when I am working on “testers”. I am fearless when it comes to experimentation in the lead up to attempting more resolved works, but final works tend to be more contained and often less interesting.  One way I try to get around this is by prolific making of smaller units. Following this I can make choices about inclusive or not of these smaller units directly into the larger work. I have always been drawn to textiles as they allow for this way of working more easily than paper. It would be good for me to try and allow the same freedom and experimentation to come through in my larger individual works.

Evaluation of my works against assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials at my disposal here have been somewhat limited, but I did plan ahead and bring materials I thought I could use, and as such I believe I was able to make good use of locally sourced and my own materials. I think I have quite good technical skills with wide ranging experimentation and lots of technical ideas. My observational skills and visual awareness have been developing over the course of this unit, but probably more generally over the last few years in the context of my other tertiary visual art study. I have found that I am quite amazed how ideas based on observation are now generally too many rather than too few, and I’m in danger from leaping to one to another without fully resolving anything. As far as design and compositional skills go I am pretty two dimensional in my ideas and often forget to consider depth and interaction between design elements fully. I am not as accomplished with composition and design as I would like to be and tend to think in terms of rule of thirds from photography and containing  geometric design within a frame as in traditional quilting. I have tried to push beyond this a bit with my current works but it is an area I find more difficult. 

Quality of outcome – Here I am pretty dubious. I was not very happy with my final works, although I did manage to improve them to some extent as I went. If I am ruthless I could describe my works as a messy jumble of rag, a kindergarten wall hanging and a tatty scarf.  The series holds together in terms of colour, and has resulted from an application of techniques and ideas previously developed through the course, but I can’t really see much communication of ideas in this work and as such it leaves me a bit cold. Possibly I have overanalysed the inclusion of ideas from the drawings to the point where they do reference the drawings but don’t go further at all to be expressive or meaningful works. 

Demonstration of creativity – I love to experiment and invent new techniques or adapt old ones. This is the area where I feel confident and relaxed, and the area that is most pleasurable to engage in. I’m not sure that these works show much development of a personal voice. They are not expressive, complex, serendipitous organic works which is what I gravitate towards, but I like to think of this as just a start, the tip of the possible iceberg. 

Context – Another area in which I struggle. I often find I want to be making, not researching, and yet when I research I do find that it opens up unimagined possibilities to forward my work. I haven’t done enough research in Part Two, but I hope to get that back on track. I think I can manage critical thinking but at times I also find that I spend too much work time in my head and perhaps I could spend more time thinking on the page, or the fabric.