The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day 14 — Color Theory

My inspiration for this quarterly theme was a color study book from 1821, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours by Patrick Syme. It is my favorite color book because the author matched each color to items from nature, including plants, animals, and minerals. His descriptions read like poetry to me–

Blackish Grey — Back of Nut-hatch, Old Stems of Hawthorn, Flint
Scotch Blue — Throat of Blue Titmouse, Stamina of Single Purple Anemone, Blue Copper Ore
Sap Green — Under Side of lower Wings of Orange tip Butterfly, upper Disk of Leaves of woody Night Shade

I wrote more about the inspiring color book here, and you can also get a look at it at this wonderful website by Nicholas Rougeux.

For my piece, I wanted to create the look of a color swatch book, and capture small colorful treasures of nature like those Syme described.

Construction was very simple.  First I sewed together horizontal stripes of batik fabric.

Batik stripes.

Then I cut a grid out of Pellon Lutrador and painted it with Jacquard Lumiere textile paints, in vertical stripes that blended at the edges.  (I didn’t have a true orange so I used copper.)  By crossing the colors, I could have a gamp showing the interactions of the colors with each other.

An overlay of vertical stripes, allowing each color to interact with all the others.

Then I pulled out my favorite glossy and metallic threads, twisted them into cords, and couched them down the centers of the vertical stripes so they would float across the openings.  Wherever a batik color square met the same color in the painted grid, I added a little butterfly of yarns in the same color, just by pulling open the plies of the cord and tucking the yarns in.

Butterflies of yarn bring texture to an area with no interplay of colors.

Where a batik color square met its complementary color in the painted grid, I added something from nature — a little stone, butterfly wing, or berry — to echo the color of the border in the center.

Each small section of the piece becomes a color study of its own.

I would like to add more of these.

Color Play

This is the rare piece that looks better in person than in pictures, I think.  I did not put borders around the top grid, because I envision taking it off and using it on other backgrounds of silk or cotton, to see how the colors interact.

What I like about this piece is that it reflects my own taste in hues of colors.  I love the metallic look of the paint on the Lutrador, and the glitzy cords.  It’s a good piece for color study and I had fun making it!

You can see how everyone else interpreted this challenge here at The Endeavourers home page!