I use color in art quilts intuitively: selecting “what feels right” for a piece. I am inspired by combinations found in nature, color combinations that I see in publications, and colors that I enjoy seeing together.
Below are a couple photos from my inspiration board in my studio:
I also have a palette that I love to use, an example is in my quilt below The Lesson & The Equation:
You can also see my palette repeated in this poster from first solo show in April 2019:
(It’s funny but it took a while for me to realize that I actually have a palette that I repeat!)
That being said, I have studied “color theory” in both formal art quilting classes as well as by reading many books. For example I love Joen Wolfrom’s book Color Play: Easy Steps to Imaginative Color in Quilts (2000), the first book I ever read on color theory.
In order to challenge and “break the rules” when creating innovative art quilts, first you have to understand the rules! Although it might be disinteresting to some of the students in my workshop, it is a foundation of artistic creation and one I should cover during my workshop.
I realized that if I am going to teach an art quilting class next year (see post A Year of Finishes: The Pivot) I need to brush up on color theory. I thought the best way to do this was to create a project I found in the book Quilt Color Workshop by T. Bruecher, B. Greenberg, L. Goldsworthy, and J. Adams (2014), that I borrowed from the library.
I am making the Colour Wheel Quilt on the front cover, which will serve as a class visual for my workshop as well as refresh my understanding of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors; and Pure Color, Tints, Tones, and Shades.
I have a lot of sorting to do to find the strips from my large collection of fabric scraps for the piece.
Currently I am sorting through my box of Reds, Purples, and Oranges to begin the project (I’ve organized many of my fabric scraps into wine crates that liquor stores have my kind enough to gift me or sell to me cheaply).
At first it was tedious, but then it became fun. It is a productive way to revisit my fabric scraps.
I am having fun mapping out the 6-day workshop I will give next year. I am planning to ship to the venue a large amount of my fabric scrap collection for the students to use if they like during the workshop. I am ready to move on from my crazy fabric scrap collection* and start digging into my crazy fat quarter collection (and create more scraps – ha!)
*75% of my fabric scrap collection is from fabric scraps others have given to me. So it is from others’ fabric choices. I am ready to primarily work from my fabric choices in the future…