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Published: 02 March 2019

By Andy Ross

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Ideas for new fabrics

Winter nights Winter nights

For Christmas this year I got a lovely gift: a set of oil paints, brushes, knife and a palette...

For a little while I have used paint as a way to find colours for weaving. Shona, the Shetland Gallery owner next door to the studio, has been encouraging me to try new paints and I used watercolour pencils and ink, then moved onto watercolours before ending up with acrylics in December. Maggie, who many of you have met at the studio, had the set of oils waiting for me when I got back to Yell at the end of January, and has also been encouraging me to try these new-to-me paints. 

My first attempts were interesting to say the least! Far too much paint on the boards but also far too much fun, making enormous amounts of mess and lots of sludgy colour. Gradually the idea of how to work with oils has been percolating through and so the latest attempt is much better, (I think) even though it is still far too dark. Let's hope that practice brings confidence and that may bring a lightening of colour and mood!

Isn't it great how confidence often comes with familiarity? I always find, when starting a new project, a period of unease. It doesn't matter what the project is - painting, weaving, music, touring... each time there are the nerves and that sense of not knowing how things are going to pan out. As the project unfolds so confidence grows and the project might even become better because of the uneasiness at the start. Who knew that the gift of a set of paints might have that deeply personal effect! Here is to learning, growing and learning some more.