Friday, 24 August 2007

Kaffe Fassett influences







People often ask me how I first got interested in colour. I think I've always been influenced by colour in my art, the great Van Gogh, Gaugin, Frida, Australian artists John Rigby, Margaret Olley and Mirka Mora, but the one person who made me see colour like never before was the colour guru himself Kaffe Fassett
I did a two day workshop, with him about twelve years ago involving knitting, or as Kaffe refers to it, 'painting with yarn' and needlepoint. The exercises involved taking everyday things, like a patterned milk jug or teapot, a piece of fabric or a card, a magazine image, anything with colour and pattern and then turn that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.
We were even seeing colours in the bricks and paving stones, the idea was to actually stop and look into the image and see how many colours you could find and their combinations. When knitting a garment Kaffe's philosophy is 'if in doubt add twenty more colours'. I've never been in such a frenzied workshop, we all came away totally exhausted at the end of the second day, but so enthusiastic and exhilirated.
We worked our butts off in class, everyone took bags of yarn and different fibres and we spread them out on the floor, then we each took small pieces from everyone's pile, by the time we'd finished we all had at least 100 colours of different coloured and textured yarn. We each chose a card, photo or magazine image and turned that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.

The photos above are the results of my endeavours, not all made in class. I made the coat about ten years ago and it comes out every winter. The second photo shows a painting I did years ago from the piece of knitting and the pottery objects that sit on the cupboard below it. The fourth photo is a cushion that is a work in progress, three years to be exact, it goes on holiday with me and gets a few more rows added to it each time, I used a card by artist Annabel Nellist for the starting point. The fifth photo is a cushion I made using the fabric from one of my skirts as the basis for the design.
The last photo is two needlepoint cushions designed as I went along and a knitted cushion using Kaffe's Persian poppy pattern. It just uses two balls of wool that you make up yourself from scraps of wool and, voila, this is the result, no two colourways are ever the same.

20 comments:

Abby Creek Art said...

Wow Ro...you are one multi-talented artist! Beautiful work!

Sharon said...

You are amazing. Great hearing about your color exploration and seeing your projects.

LINDSAY said...

This is an amazing body of work you have displayed here. Love the funky patterns!

MargaretR said...

Lovely work Ro. Thanks for sharing those experiences with Kaffe.

Judy Wise said...

I love the coat best of all - what a gorgeous garment. You have surrounded yourself with beauty, clever girl. Yum.

stephanie said...

Wonderful Wonderful! I love Kaffe Fassett's work and now he's working in mosaic as well!

Oh that color!!

Julie H said...

Ro it was so interesting to hear your story - how multi-talented yo are.

NS said...

Hi Ro

I especially like the pic of you facing the camera with a glimps of your teeth.

Best one so far...

Elaine Kerr said...

Must be his week on the blogs, as he's in mine, too!

Favourite Kaffe quote, about a piece of (art, knitting) holding your interest for years & years "You should have a sweater for years before you see that tiny stitch of sky blue against that deep, rich magenta." (Bet I didn't get the colour references right!)

Elaine Kerr said...

Splash of magenta — he would have said SPLASH of magenta!

Waltraud said...

Great, I also love these colours!

Judy said...

Ahh Ro and her coat of many colours - one day there will be a musical written abouot you!

Gisele said...

Love the coat & cushions Ro, it's just amazing the amount of colour that has gone into all these works, simply stunning! I'll have to fish out my Kaffe Fassett book again & rekindle my love of needlepoint.

Ursula Clamer said...

Wow Ro, I am amazed at the depth and bredth of your talents. You are truly an inspiration. Ux

Kristen Robinson said...

Ro your artwork always amazes me, so ruch and lush and full of deep divine colors just lovely!

XOXO
Kristen

Jen Crossley said...

Ro thanks for sharing where your love of colour came from.It all looks amazing,love your coat
Jen

annie said...

the coat is just wonderful...everything really!
you have so many avenues you go down with your art. love that!

Emmcee .... Marie C said...

Wow - you are so clever!!! Love all your pieces, but especially the cushions - all that pattern and colour - lush!!

Karen Cole said...

Your Kaffe Fassett inspirational pieces are wonderful. You are quite the well rounded artist.

Alas....I only have two beautiful books. "Glorious Color" and "Glorious Needlepoint". I bought them years ago when they first came out . The colors just blew me away!!!

Great minds think alike. :-)

belinda said...

i LOVE kaffe as wel, isn't he amazing? felters paint with wool, so i think he's right when he says he paints with yarn. how lucky to have been able to take a workshop with him. i always love your color plays!