Seeing PLAID

I’m energized by my online art class called BIG with Connie Hozvicka. But this afternoon I thought I might tear out my hair as I tried to complete one of her assignments.

If I’d known how hard it is to weave lines I would never have attempted to paint plaid but that’s exactly what I did. Silly me. I had thought to skip this exercise. I’ve taught the same kind of thing often enough myself in my beginning watercolor classes that I thought it would be boring. But then wanting to be a good girl and follow instructions AND remembering how plaids had me jazzed yesterday, I thought what the heck, give undulating stripes a whirl, in a circle of course because I’m partial to spirals.

I had fun getting it started. But that was yesterday. When I looked at it this morning,  nothing was weaving correctly. Look at that mess!

So I reworked the weave and did improve it. BUT I realized that if I go under and over following the horizontal lines, it all works. Gloryoski for that. But then I make the mistake of looking at the vertical lines and they do NOT go over and under in a rhythmic pattern at all. I’m aware of how every line passing under relates to every other line passing over, and then under again and I simply can’t keep track of all those relationships. I know it must have something to do with even and odd numbers, warp and woof, sacred geometry, calculators, slide rules, the abacus and perhaps a fine tooth comb…or something.

Eeeeeegad,  plaids have me feeling crazed. Tormented with inability to sort it out. So tormented, I almost chucked it, but then I thought, “What fun would that be?”

I hunkered down and just kept letting the brush do its doodling thing. I’m not in love with the final image but it’s been a colorful teacher. It made me realize what an awesome woven thing is this interconnected web of life. If I have trouble weaving on a flat piece of paper, I’m dumbfounded by the miracle of my being here at all.

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About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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6 Responses to Seeing PLAID

  1. pjsixft says:

    magic as usual…. sending big hugs… and need to catch up with you soon….
    PJ

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  2. Shannon Goose says:

    Oh Deborah, I had such a great laugh at your expense. Sorry it was so frustrating for your but it made a funny story. I quite like your finished piece. It remindes me of the Pueblo mythology of Grandmother Spider who wove the web of life. I now have a new mental image to relate that story to. All your patterns within the main pattern give one that sense you spoke about; complexity but not chaotic. The entire piece floats there, off-center and moves off the page, as if giving me a glimps of the universe. Speaking to infinity. Telling me it’s impossible to take it all in. Leaving room for possibilities.

    I also wonder about the one who first invented plaid. What a long winter that must have been 🙂

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    • Deborah says:

      Laugh away…I was too…What a great process this all is and thank you for your brilliant depths as usual. whooooeeeeee we’re on such a ride, edgewalking as we are.

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  3. apfornes says:

    Hi Deborah: Can I use your image for a post about systems thinking? I will link back to your blog. Thanks for considering! Alison: apfornes@gmail.com expandedknowing.com

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    • Deborah says:

      Hi Alison, So impressed with your pov. Would love to know how you found “plaid” and would love to have you use the image. YES. Will email, too. Check out my post just published: Dying to Live. It relates to what you’re talking about too.

      Like

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