Taos 2019: Color in the Land of Enchantment was a lot of fun. This tapestry retreat in Taos, NM wrapped up earlier this week after five days of experimenting with color.
One of my goals for the retreat was to help people lose the fear of color when designing for tapestry. This is a deeply seated fear for many of us—making color mistakes. We believe we are “bad” at color. We remember our elementary school teacher who told us our tree trunks could not be purple. Trees are brown. I am here to tell you that she was wrong. Sometimes tree trunks are purple.
We did talk formally about color theory. But we also messed around with exercises in paper and yarn. Color aid paper plus rubber cement* leads to sticky fingers, but also to revelations about how colors interact. Wrapping yarn combinations around cards can also be surprisingly interesting. And if you start moving those cards around, you can create a palette. Sure, eventually you need to weave a sample especially for a large tapestry, but we need a simple place to start learning how to do this. When designing for a particular piece, it is important to understand what you are trying to communicate. A lot of that communication comes through color and value choices.