Recently my husband commented that he needed something new to learn. He's already studying astronomy, Hebrew, botany, woodworking, and a smattering of other subjects, but nonetheless, he needed something new. So he's now studying Yiddish.
I do understand this impulse. I have so much to do, and sufficient projects to keep me busy, but I have hit some plateaus and find myself often sighing at the "same old thing." But Yiddish?
After wondering momentarily if I needed to study Yiddish, too, the answer became clear.
I'm learning tapestry. Learning and relearning, and hopefully spiraling into some improvement, and coming to a place of design inspiration. I can learn technique, different styles, experiment with materials, learn(more) color theory, delve into the history and the biographies of tapestry artists and so on. There is even a language. "Hachure" anyone? (Gesundheit!) There is enough here to stimulate the brain for a long long time. Stimulate and sometimes confuse....
Yes, sometimes I have to hide from a current project for awhile until I solve it's particularly problem (as in--why am I getting visible warp on this piece when the sett and materials are the same as the last piece?) And in those moments I may think about throwing in the towel. But, you know, there is the investment to consider: yarn, looms, bobbins....
And the commitment of having SAID I am weaving tapestries. But mostly there is the continually renewing fascination with yarns, colors, shapes and process, no matter what the outcome.
But look at those amazing pomegranates on the Yiddish book. I could practice hachure on the highlights, do some weft bundling in the shadows, practice circles.
Maybe I have all the Yiddish I need for right now. Ja?
One of the most delightful aspects of tapestry development is the planning--the dreaming and playing. I love to pull down yarn balls and juxtapose them in different combinations--in relation to each other and sometimes in relation to source material. The moment a color "clicks in," it is all over for me--I am in love.
What do I mean by a color "clicking in?" While I do study and contemplate color theory, and try to abide by its certain injunctions, there comes a moment when colors in relationship become another entity, when their combination results in something much greater than the sum of their parts. And it is like tumblers on a lock dropping into place. Sometimes this happens in "violation" of color theory expectations, and I move a color aside, thinking
"no, no, no, that shouldn't work." And I fuss and fuss with other colors and usually come back to that first color moment-- that ka-thunk when the initial colors first hugged.
So, that being said, what are the cool red glasses for? Desirous of being sensitive to the relative values of yarns used in a tapestry, I use the glasses to negate the colors, stripping them down to their value to see if they are close in value for blending, or farther apart in value for good contrast.
I could maybe figure this out by squinting at the colors for a long time, or holding them up to a greyscale card one by one. But the red glasses are easier, certainly more fashionable, and there is nothing quite like looking through them out the studio window at sunset time.