As I munched on my traditional “toasted bagel on Sunday,” my husband passed the Sunday New York Times Style Magazine.” (A tradition we started together three and a half years ago.) I guess it can be considered a tradition…Right?
Anyway, I came across an article, “Sign of the Times,” by Andrew O’Hagan discussing a writers need for solitude. Many writers seek the solitude by hiding away in a luxurious hotel room. Hagan shares a female friend’s ability for “negative capability.” “Her innate talent for devoting herself, at times, to being something other than she is.” I vaguely recall this philosophy associated with Keats and also while studying the aesthetics of modernism.
I find it interesting to consider this philosophy in relation to the “straight jacket of the color wheel.” As a fiber artist, I’ve always found the rules of color theory a bit chaotic to wrap my mind around…primary, secondary, tertiary, complementary and so on. This brings to mind a class I recently attended on color with Brandon Mably, from the Kaffe Fassett studio. Yarn separated into lights and darks created a paintbox of fiber. A palette of lights and darks, from which an arms length of five different colors were combined creating visual harmony. One ball of light and another of dark were used to knit a chart of a poppy design. When someone brought up the color wheel, Brandon replied, “throw the color wheel out the window.” As evidenced by all our knitting, perhaps “negative capability” transcends the rules of color.
There are many things in life I want to experience, and a color workshop with Brandon Mably is one of them. I must admit, in all honesty, my love and admiration for Kaffe Fassett’s contribution to our world of color, knitting, quilting and decorating. To my surprise, what a treat it was to be in the company of the color guys…Brandon and Kaffe.