Weaving the Ocean

It's been a few months since I completed Ocean, though it has been important fuel for the current pieces I've been churning out. I made my first "fringe piece" sample back in January of this year (pictured below), an experiment of how many different colors and textures I could achieve with layering fringe.

  Ocean  pictured in background, ready for its final haircut before hanging.

Ocean pictured in background, ready for its final haircut before hanging.

 Sample of first fringe piece.

Sample of first fringe piece.

I warped a small frame loom and began arranging my palette, grabbing yarn from several different balls at once to create one larger ball of many yarns. 

 Pulling my palette from many different yarn.

Pulling my palette from many different yarn.

After creating the sample, I had the idea to make a gradient of sorts that mimicking colors I saw at the beach or looking at the ocean. I sketched out a general plan, beginning with peachy, sandy tones toward the bottom of the piece. The sand then morphed into blue and green colors, with some "surf" to lend the idea of water meeting land. And further up the piece, the colors become deeper and darker.

 Detail of  Ocean , 2017, acrylic and wool yarn.

Detail of Ocean, 2017, acrylic and wool yarn.

 Sketch of  Ocean  before beginning piece.

Sketch of Ocean before beginning piece.

Ocean allowed me to delve into color and texture studies without the pressure of a heavy subject matter. With light inspiration from the ocean (a broad theme to draw from), I was able to play with transitions between colors in a new way. I have typically used more traditional drawing tools, such as India ink and colored pencils on a flat surface, to create dense, colorful imagery. Ocean moved me from creating composition on a flat plane to building a three-dimensional wall piece that begs to be touched.

 

  Ocean  backside.

Ocean backside.

I completed the piece in time for it to be displayed at the Hawthorne Arts Complex open studios event in July, where it hung in the front lobby for the better half of the year. It has since then been purchased and moved into a happy home here in southern California.