Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pink Daisies

One of the outcomes of this project of looking intently at the natural world has been a new appreciation for wildflowers. The flashy blooms resulting from commercial breeding are striking, but they lack the subtle range of hues found in their wild cousins. Nevertheless, sometimes it's fun just to play with crayons....

This is photo from my parents' yard, which they sent the other day:

cropped to 400

It's an extraordinarily lovely picture, but the colour range is really only this:

daisy palette

The most striking pattern feature is those sunny yellow polka dots on a cotton candy pink ground - not something I'd wear, but perfect for a little girl's spring cardigan. Intarsia is (still) not my thing, however, back when my son was born, I played for a while with a modular garter stitch garment in brightly coloured cotton. He outgrew that particular yarn supply before I got anywhere with it, but I loved the way the cotton behaved in a multidirectional garter stitch.

Perhaps something along these lines:


Harmony Lake

Upper Harmony Lake, at the top of Whistler mountain:

mountain lake 400 size

Pixellated to tease out the colours:

pixellated mountain lake

The chosen palette:

mountain lake pallette

The pattern:

mountain lake pattern

Cedar: Part 1

Cedar is one of those plants that has become so ubiquitous in landscaping as to be scarcely noticed for its own beauty. Here on the west coast, of course, it is inextricably linked with First Nations art and tradition, and the few old growth giants passed over by the logging companies are awe-inspiring monuments of strength and history.

A close look reveals a branching pattern which would be lovely interpreted in twisted stitches (a future project):

cedar branching pattern

What looks at a glance like a monochromatic dull green, is in fact, a whole range of hues:

cedar close

The "squinty view":

cedar pixellated

reveals both a blue-green and a yellow-green range of hues.

Since a core principle of Fair Isle is the maintenance of consistent contrast between saturation levels, I tried playing with the saturation setting in the photoeditor. On the top is the blue-green palette, with the identical set of hues in saturated (left) and desaturated (right) form. On the bottom is the yellow-green palette with the desaturated version on the left, and saturated on the right.

cedar palette all four

I created a simple interlocking pattern of branches in order to play with the colour combinations.

Here is the saturated version of the yellow-green range set against desaturated blue-greens:

cedar colour pattern sat yellow

Saturated blue-greens against desaturated yellow-greens:

cedar colour pattern blue sat

Both ranges equally saturated - note in this case how the middle hues don't really contrast sufficiently:

cedar colour pattern both sat

If a uniformly saturated palette were imperative, one could experiment with eliminating the middle hue range, or toss in a complementary colour for extra spark - perhaps the reddish brown of cedar bark? There's infinite scope for play.