Textiles and Playing with Paint

I've always known that my interest in needlework and textiles had an influence on my paintings, but I did not really understand how until recently. As I begin to learn about knitting and crocheting increasingly intricate items [above picture], the connection occurs to me; color is not something people think of only in terms of vision, but something that we relate to touch and sound, something with associated textures, histories, cultural ties, deep emotional significances. Artists probably contemplate this more than most people, and working with vivid yarns and threads, materials I must spend lots of time touching, weaving, and winding, helps me strengthen my own sense of the 3-dimensionality (pun intended) of pure color. Of course, it also tests and sharpens my pattern-recognition skills on a regular basis.
I find myself creating a larger volume of paintings at specific times of the year, sometimes because I have fewer other obligations, other times because of my love for particular seasons and their colors, but even when I am only making one or two paintings per month, I am still working with myriad textiles from many different parts of the world (the mid-western United States, India, Germany, Italy, and Russia, to name a few). I like to carry needles and a ball of yarn or two around wherever I go, and simply glancing into my bag and seeing a soft pile of colorful material is oddly captivating. This will usually incite me to "play" with colors and textures when I return to the easel, as might a child. The resulting works, such as Fairytale Sketch [above] are very abstract and might not even be on a stretched canvas, but they are a dive into the subconscious and an experiment in combining colors, textures, and shapes for psychological effect. "Play time" also seems to inspire me to base paintings around deep purple, a color I otherwise tend to use sparingly in my work.

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