Tuesday, August 09, 2011
MEET KNIT MY ARTIST OF THE WEEK: FAITH WELSH
I am a painter who knits, or a knitter who paints. To me it is all the same. I have been doing both since I was a little girl (a long while ago now). My father was a wood sculptor and mother a phantom knitter who also did amazing stencil work on furniture. Both my grandmothers knitted, embroidered and quilted. So, you see, I was hooked from the beginning!
This summer, I recently completed 9 paintings that are hanging at Las Comadres Gallery in Taos, NM, where I live. I am always astounded by the process that painting and knitting share. My idea is to create a personal surface wherever I go. As Jane will undoubtedly reiterate… it’s all about color and texture. Above are the paintings in my studio. They're big but perhaps you can get the idea.
As well as color and texture, there are the same concerns of composition, light, value, chroma and depth.
Here is a close up of the stitches in one of my JT pieces, called Desert Rose. It could be a painting…
Jane: I knew you were an artist from the first day we met in Santa FE with a profound love for every vibrant natural thing. How do you find that painting with yarn differs from painting with paint?
Well, as I mentioned in my statement, I find many similarities in the process of both. My latest dream is to somehow combine passages of free form knitted pieces into my paintings. I often collage paper and other found objects into my painting, so why not a landscape embellished with odd shaped knitted and/or crocheted pieces ? We’ll see where that one leads…
So, when I am knitting, I am constantly putting the emerging piece on the wall or on the floor to step away from it to see the larger picture. This is when in both painting and knitting, I am letting the piece find its own direction. I have a saying hanging in my studio that says “it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. The formal concerns of line, shape, color, value are in there somewhere in the back of my mind but the act of “seeing” takes over and decisions of where to take the piece come from this direct interaction.
I will say, knitting is a lot less messy than painting, except in the case of intarsia. I actually love being all tangled up in the resulting dangling fibers.
Jane: there's a constant debate over craft not being art. Since you're a maestro of both, do you believe art to wear is really art?
I believe sincerely in wearable art. I believe that human beings are works of art, so why not dress accordingly!
Jane: please define ' personal surface'. I love that phrase!
Yes, I like it too… making personal surface involves using unusual combinations of materials to create texture. Often in painting, I do an underpainting with gesso, gel and various textured mediums and let it dry so it is white on white. Then I drop the paint onto the surface and let it run into the cracks and fissures left in the underpainting. In essence, the paint is painting itself. Its very fun!
I like combining different stitches together in knitting, switching to crochet and changing colors to creats a similar effect.
Jane: okay, Faith, do you wear what you make?
But, of course! I live in Taos where anything goes! I often layer several scarves and/or wraps in the winter… I tend to like unstructured garments.
I do sell some of my pieces too, presently at Weaving Southwest, here in Taos.
I really love the act of creating… I love the process. Starting in September, I am cutting back the hours that I spend in the work force, to spend more time walking the creative path.
Below, Faith's Intarsia landscape and her Serengeti entry into the Knit along on my Ravelry site. Visit Faith's website here : http://www.faithwelsh.com/
Posted by Jane on
08/09 at 01:04 PM