Color Inspiration Thursday: The Road Less Traveled

 

RoadLessCollage.jpgThis post has a definite philosophical bend to it, because of what the name of this colorway means to me. The Road Less Traveled is named after what may be my favorite poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost (although some of Mary Oliver’s are right up there, but I’ll save those for another day).

This poem was my mantra throughout high school and college; written in the margins of notebooks, illustrated in sketch pads, always circulating in the hidden crevices of my heart and mind. I wanted to take the road less traveled; I dreamed, to quote another Frost poem, of joining “my avocation and my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight” (my goodness, that’s just an amazing piece of writing, isn’t it?).

After I graduated from college with degrees in English Lit, Fine Art, and Philosophy (all well-suited to the corporate world, right?), I found myself working in a career in commercial real estate in Washington, DC. When I thought of “The Road Not Taken,” it was almost as a reproach. I had really fallen into this career through no plan, going to work for my father’s architectural practice after graduation because he needed the help, and then getting hired by one of his clients in his new real estate development company. Life was definitely not turning out how I had envisioned it (when does it ever, right?) and I felt like I had chosen the road most traveled by, whether that choice was inadvertent or not. Perhaps I was saving that other road for another time, but I wondered if, like Frost, I’d ever get back there.

Like many of my colorways, The Road Less Traveled was inspired by the beautiful place I live, the colors I’m immersed in every day. When I created it this Fall, the mountains and country roads were just beginning to turn color. The trees were mostly still green, the sky was that brilliant September blue, but there were these solitary leaves turning red and gold sooner than their neighbors. So, it’s a base of greens and blues, with those errant spots of red, brown, and gold, harbingers of the coming Autumn.

And it’s a bit of an ode to the wonderful words of Mr. Frost, words I devoured as a teenager and young adult, when the world was ripe with possibility and I was going to make my mark in some creative and artistic way. I do believe I have been finding my way back to that other road, the less traveled one, over the course of 15 years I’ve spent dyeing yarn. Again, definitely not anything I had envisioned when reading these poems as a young adult, but certainly closer to what I had imagined for myself at the fresh, young age of 17. Certainly, I’ve joined my avocation for art, and creating, and working with color, and my vocation, in how I make my living working on a canvas of yarn (although, I also recently started working on actual canvas with tubes of color … so perhaps that activity is what is spurring these philosophical musings :-).

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Anyway, as always, I hope you love this little peek into what inspires my colors, and thanks for reading my ramblings!

 

 

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Color Inspiration Thursday: Firebird

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I love the color combo of red, orange, and yellow. It brings to mind many of my favorite Autumn images: warmth and crackling fires in the wood stove, Sugar Maple trees ablaze in their Autumn finery, ripe apples of every variety.

I’ve dyed different versions of this color combination several times over the years, and this season, I played with speckling them. I really love the result, and I think Firebird would make a fabulous contrasting color for colorwork projects (with Big Red Barn, or Sublime, or The Witching Hour). In fact, I just sent off a skein, with a contrasting colorway, to a designer to play with. I won’t say who (so there’s no pressure), but I can’t wait to see what she creates.

And an aside: the photo at the top right of the above collage is part of one of my new abstract paintings entitled, appropriately, Autumn Fire. It’s an abstract impression of the Sugar Maple tree near my studio, as it turns from green to red to gold (right sides of the painting are deep green with red shadows … lots of texture and color). 
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Color Inspiration Thursday: Blue Suede Shoes

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One of my most favorite colors is a bright, rich cobalt / royal blue. I was so happy with how Blue Suede Shoes turned out, because it’s pretty much that very color. Intense, bright, vivid, rich … all those things.

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I think I need a pair of blue suede shoes. I almost bought these a few years ago, but the more logical angel on my left shoulder wouldn’t let me buy them (she’s really no fun sometimes). They’re on my dream list, though, so maybe someday. Or those shoes in the upper right photos … they’re a little bit “naughty librarian” :-D.

A collage of blue suede shoes would not be complete without a photo of The King in all his youthful gorgeousness, now would it?

I’ll have this color on several bases at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, and it will be in an online update thereafter!

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Color Inspiration Thursday: Ashes and Embers

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I’ve always loved the colors gray and red together. Red is such a great contrast color for any kind of gray ~ light, deep, charcoal, black.

You know I’ve been having fun with speckles, and experimenting with different dye methods even within the speckling realm. This is another of those experiments: softly variegated base color with just one color speckled on (or two, this is actually a deep red and a brighter red in combination).

I love this so much, I can’t even tell you. It’s deep, and spooky, and elegant all at the same time. This photo is of Embers and Ashes dyed on Verdande, and oh, boy, it’s even more fabulous in person. It will make its debut at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival, and I know it’s going to be a colorway staple for me for a long time to come. So, look for it online after the Festival! On it’s own for sure, and most likely with a whole kit designed around it. I love it that much.

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Damon from Vampire Diaries is a little bonus. He popped up in my photo search. He’s such an adorable bad-guy-turned-good-guy-but-is-he-really? character. He was my favorite part of The Vampire Diaries (Yes, I admit it. The Vampire Diaries is one of my dirty little secrets. I loved that show, and True Blood, too). This colorway feels a little bit Halloween-y, a little bit vampire-y, and a whole lot elegant and classy.

 

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