Been away at “Tapestry Camp”, a retreat with Rebecca Mezoff at Colorado State’s Mountain Campus. Can’t think of a more beautiful place to weave! It’s about 1.5-2 hours from Fort Collins up very twisty dirt roads at roughly 9000 feet!
I hiked, sketched, met wonderful new friends, and wove!
Hike in the mountains
Bob and I flew to Denver and visited with Mary and Estes, then I left for camp and Bob stayed with them, saw a Rockie’s game, and continued his summer of trains by visiting train sites. We both had much fun. I managed to fall on my face and spent most of time in dark glasses, a story for another day, but didn’t let it stop me.
Quick sketch before class
The gist of our retreat was to be influenced by our surroundings and develop a weaving from our experience. Right up my alley – PROCESS! – I also wanted to work on making smoother curves etc. I love the aspen leaves and decided to use them – to concentrate on their rounded forms. So I began by photographing and sketching, then exploring colors.
Designing my project
Six dent Hokett looms were part of the retreat and Rebecca supplied wonderful yarns to use including these oh, so wonderful Weavers Bazaar yarns. The weaving in my last blog post was done on an eight dent Hokett with much thicker yarn. Now I used the six dent loom warped double creating a twelve epi design with much finer yarns.
tools and fibers
Rebecca introduced me to eccentric outline weaving which allows the curves to become smoother esp if using colors from each of the adjoining blocks of color. That and the 12 epi with finer yarns did the trick.
Off the loom – still needs finishing.
I still have a way to go with this new skill but I’m much happier with the results than with my last project of bison horns. But…not so happy I had to discover more expensive yarns which are not available in the US and have to be imported… Champagne taste and a beer budget…
I like sketching with pen and ink but taking a bottle of ink on location is a bit daunting so I’m exploring fountain pens. I’ve also been trying out a water brush and am working with the two together. First I drew some supplies on my desk – next some small bottles of nail polish I was about to throw out – (have decided I really only like natural colors – so out with the reds, the greens and the blues…)
Quick sketches of things on my table
Tried it out on people sketching and buildings outside. All were very quick sketches – each perhaps five minutes at most (house a bit more…but just a bit).
Quick sketche of Bob on phone and of the Back of my house
This is very fun and I like not worrying about spilling ink but I’m going to look for a pen that gives even more of a thick/thin line.
Been off on my eco dyeing binge and need to get back to sketching—so since it’s spring, here are some spring sketches! Feeling rusty with my watercolors…
Getting back to sketching
Picked up a new small sketchbook and decided to try for regular sketches – won’t say daily but that’s the idea. They are to have a textured background with a quick drawing done with a dip pen and no preliminary sketching etc – sort of with out lifting the pen from the paper but not quite. So each session I will do several drawings and prepare several backgrounds for the next time.
Sounds doable but then I discovered I had to have an operation and that put things on hold. But that’s over and done with so I’m back at it. The above drawings are the first 4, done the end of January. This is turning out to be very fun as I’m not sure what the result will be – just do it and on to the next one.
More pages from Dionne Swift’s sketchbook workshop. I’ve never used a sewing machine for drawing, especially on paper, but I hauled mine out and gave it a try. Sooooo much fun.
My grandmother gave me this machine when I was first married and it’s been put to very good use. But this was it’s first adventure on paper. I spun the paper round and round making loops and circles. However I haven’t treated it as well as it has treated me and it needed a good overhaul. So, it is now at sewing machine heaven for the full spa treatment. Even if I were to get a new machine I would keep this. It is made of heavy metal and while not a professional machine it can sew through anything, from fine lace to heavy leather…and now paper. Can’t wait to get it back.
Bought some new sketchbooks—pricier than my old ones but better paper. heavier weight and one has sized paper that while not watercolor paper, does stand up to wet media for sketching better that my old books. Also a pack of single sheet heavier weight paper. I like to keep several books going so when one is still wet I can work on another.
Ink, watercolor, and pencil
The small watercolor sketch of boulders was done this weekend at Texas Falls VT.