Violet Spirals

“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.”

Barry H Gillespie 

exploring the spiral path

As we continue around the color wheel, this week I’m sharing my first experiments with the color violet.

I’ve taken this year long trip around the color wheel a few times now. So stepping into each color feels like a return to a familiar place.

A few years ago I set the starting point of this color adventure as yellow, meaning that violet marks the mid point in the journey, and in turn has come to be the color of summer to me.

I love how these connections develop over time, it’s something we can appreciate more and more with each year clocked up in this lifetime.

Each time I repeat this 12 color project I learn something new in the nuances, and a bit more about myself along the way. So I was inspired [there’s that word again] to revisit a pattern that suits this notion – the spiral.

a spiral collage

I began with some painted papers, much like i have thoughout this journey.

Painted with watercolor and gouache in my usual haphazard way, today I’ve got regular drawing paper (pages from a sketchbook) and some heavy weight tracing paper, for contrast. I like tracing paper for the way the color shows through both sides, and the way it crinkles up on contact with paint and glue.

I tried three shapes for my spirals: a square, a long rectangle, and a circle. The long rectangle was the most fiddly to handle, the circle probably the easiest, being the smallest of the shapes it didn’t flop around so much.

the long rectangle spiral made with painted tracing paper.

You could do this with scissors, but I love torn edges so much I freehanded all of these.

I’ve been playing with this torn spiral technique in my art journals for a long time so can go quickly, but if you’re trying this for a first time it might be easier to sketch your path out on the back of the paper before you begin.

The trick is to keep the spiral wide enough to follow the line in to the middle, then back out to the edge. That way you get two complete pieces. Hopefully that explanation will make more sense in the video!

By the time I finished I had a little heap of spirals. They naturally like to knot together (in the same way as cables do) so in this last collage I let them do this.

I especially like the combination of surface pattern in this one, it reminds me of batik dyed fabric. It’s got me wondering about trying a more intricate pattern for a larger piece. What do you think?

Here’s how my spiralling went


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue & Violet-Blue)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

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