Complementary Colors

detail in process

Color can be both a conscious and an unconscious choice simultaneously. When I am deep in the work, a simple question of, “should the color ride on top, or come out from underneath?” can engage me for long periods of time. This image is a detail shot that I took in order to go back and look at the color later, in a different setting, to scale. The finished piece that this is a tiny part of is around eleven feet high by six feet wide or so. It is easy to see here, by the marks on the ruler, that something this small can get lost in such a large area unless certain principles of color theory are brought to bear. In this case, it is two colors, blue and orange, that are opposite on the color wheel, juxtaposed but softened by a narrow margin of green; the analogous mix of yellow and the same blue, the yellow to bring a path to the orange.

I can see this logical progression easily from a perspective of distance and the camera lens. The colors displayed by my Macintosh computer monitor are, to my eye, accurate; although when I put digital images out into the world I always wonder how they look after being broken apart and reassembled into countless other devices, wires, and mysterious air transport conduits.

These days most artists I know are showing what they do in this virtual reality. All of us find our own way through the digital gateway, with as many different results as there are artists. As a textile artist, I find one of my most interesting and complex challenges to be that of tactility. I think the best way is going to be through working with other people who love color, pattern, and process.. because then, they will have the experience under their fingers, too.

The textiles I make exist in the world as large installation pieces, intimate images in corners, and as blankets, pillows, and clothing. Nothing goes to waste. And that is the greatest challenge of all…I walk lightly on this earth, creating color, and honoring the creations in the natural world itself.

Carol LeBaron