One of the things I do when I don’t know what else to do is paint. Well, actually it’s not so much painting as splashing a bit of colour around on paper. I find it helps me see better when I’m not quite sure where I’m going next.

When I do paint, it’s usually with the intention of letting the painting direct a stitched cloth. The painting is a means, not an end. You can – I hope – see that these little postcard-sized paintings could be quilts.  I still have a little more stitched work to finish, but soon I will be able to start something new, and one of the things I’d like to start is some work with colour fields. I’ll come back to these little cards at some point.

I also like to lay down some paint and see what it does, sometimes. This started as wet paint dripping down the page until I turned it upside down and drew over it:

How interesting it can be to look at something the other way up. I’ve noticed over the years that I almost always compose upside down: the thing doesn’t look quite right until I rotate it 180 degrees. It always surprises me. And then of course I had to paint some bits of linen, too:

These are only about 2″ x 3″, and just inks/watercolours, so not colourfast – which doesn’t really matter if you’re going to stitch over them and never wash them. I can show you another of these tomorrow, I hope.

So today – continuing. Tomorrow, more continuing. And so on. That’s about the best any of us can do, I think.

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19 Responses to Colour

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What a nice way to work yourself through some blockage.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth, though it’s not so much a blockage as an excess – too much choice rather than not enough. It’s a good thing. Kind of 🙂

  2. Janice says:

    I love your painted linens. And I really enjoyed your sketch books from the beginning of the year which combined paper designs and stitch. The little patchwork postcards you have here would work well in that capacity, or just as inspiration. Lovely!
    Wishing you a happy week!

  3. Jill says:

    excellent idea – loosening up and exploring – lovely.

  4. Jan Marriott says:

    I can just see the colored linens being ‘worked up’ I am drawn to darker images/colours these days, don’t know why.

  5. love your work here,funnily l do the same thing..paint on fabric and then stitch it! Great minds think alike! Hax lynda

  6. Connie Rose says:

    I love your block painting practice, what a cool way to prep for quilts. And purple piece at the bottom of that photo is just fab!

  7. arlee says:

    i like this post–but i can’t make the “like” button work, so i’m just saying “i like this post” 🙂

  8. Penny B says:

    So interesting that you always seem to design upside down! Perhaps you are supposed to be living down under.

  9. blandina says:

    Interesting…and enjoyable. It doesn’t come to my mind to work on paper. it would feel not right in some ways, but I see that it can quickly satisfy a ‘creave’ of creativity and the results are very nice.

    • Karen Turner says:

      It’s not so much that it’s quick (although of course it is), it’s just another way of seeing colours together. I really like books and paper and would like to work with them more.

  10. I agree with you, you can also make your post card designs as a quilt too. I’m sure that it will look great! I also love the linens you painted and I admire the colors you applied on it.

  11. MoF says:

    Love it. It has given me a shove to pick up my own paintbox and play. I usually design with colour in the garden but perhaps this is a good time to try another way.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Good; enjoy! I like to paint the colours of a thing rather than trying to paint the thing itself. Although sometimes (as here) I just like to poke a brush in the paintbox and see what comes out. Have fun 🙂

  12. Rachel says:

    Developing techniques to get through “blocks” or work out how to choose between the 101 ideas screaming for attention is very nearly as important as developing the techniques to produce the work you want to do!

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