Monthly Archives: July 2013

Colour palette

Margo comments: I think the colour palette should include a green.

A: Margo, you are not alone in that preference. A moss green has been added, and the other colours tweaked. However, part of the reason I restricted the palette is to encourage stitchers to think imaginatively . . . in the spirit of mediaeval manuscript illuminators and/or early 20th century impressionist painters.
MS and Derain
In the case of the former, permanent colours were restricted to those made from ground up minerals, mostly gold and semi-precious stones. You may have noticed in old tapestries that mainly reds and blues have survived the centuries; yellows and greens tended to be plant-based dyes and not colourfast.
Around 1856 aniline dyes were invented, and that afforded typically cash-strapped artists the opportunity to explore a full range of colours (and to take aspirin for their aches and pains;-). See aniline Some painters, including André Derain, whose Trees is shown above embraced high-key colours with such exuberance that they were called Fauvistes (Wild Beasts). Even though their use of colour and form was vigorously unrepresentational, there is no ambiguity in what they are portraying.
Derain and Matisse portraits

Beautiful impressions from a TSBS observer

Marcia sent these moving observations by her friend Vanessa:

On Monday and Thursday afternoons, if all is well with the world, you will find me sitting with my ladies around a table. We are creating, talking. laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Yesterday was a typical afternoon until I saw Hebrew letters at the end of the table. They were being strewn together in an orderly fashion so I surmised that they must be of particular significance. It perked my interest and I entered the world of Temma Gentles and her project of Torah Stitch by Stitch. She is a local Judaic artist and I urge you to visit her web site. Each participant is given a kit for cross stitch and upon completion will produce 4 verses of the Torah. Eventually this will produce the 5 Books of Moses.
I am in awe of such a project and its ramifications. Firstly there is so much beauty in the essence of its simplicity. It is about going back to basics both in creativity and the guide for life. It is about the community of Jewish sisterhood. It is about linking Jewish souls together in a commonality of faith. Women who will more than likely never meet physically and yet connect through their love of hand work and the ancient written word. It is silent camaraderie with enormous sound. It is a solitary act that multiplies to include the many. It is about respect and reverence for our history. It is a moving vehicle that facilitates faith and vitality. It is validation of women’s contribution to Judaism. Its extreme depth is in the concept of clarity and vision.
It is a brilliant idea that is so elementary. My thanks to Marcia for opening my eyes. A humble needle and black thread on white canvas for the entire world to witness. In the beginning…

Shabbat Shalom