When drizzling dye
read the flow of colors
the way a kayaker reads
the flow of the river.
When drizzling dye
read the flow of colors
the way a kayaker reads
the flow of the river.
Listen to friends and Mother Nature
You know who you are.
Experience has been your teacher.
Wear a statement piece of wearable art.
Walk your talk.
You are no longer living what you know,
you are authoring your life in advance of living it.
Repeat what you like
Hold to a constant standard
Live the rhythm of your own drum
Keep it simple with basic essentials
Determine your bottom line.
color, value, texture, line, shape
What colors do you like?
Define your palette
What’s your season?
Manifest contrast, strong values,
soft and bold, light and dark
What do you feel?
silky and coarse
Shape your message
What’s your line?
What’s my story?
Walking in the woods yesterday, I saw the brown color I am shibori dyeing for a mother of the bride statement kimono and dress. It was in the leaves left over from last fall; deep, rich, rusty, copper, with a touch of dark, forest green.
Even though the leaves were from last fall, now aged into late spring, they held their vibrancy. Who would think that the colors of spring would include the age of fall? Clearly, every color can be found any season. And you can wear any color, given all the shades, tones, lights and brights to choose. How did I get on my color path, my artful path, my path of self expression?
I let go.
One day when I was on my lunch hour from my first office job, I stepped inside a store that sold a more expensive line of clothing than I was inclined to buy. I was 20. I was a Sears’ girl. I decided that I would try on pants and blouses that were bright and brilliant. The pants were orange and fuchsia. They were each paired with a floral blouse. They were not the bright and brilliant colors of summer. They were subtly toned, as the leaves are when they slowly change. Not my usual choice.
It was a risky step.
I gazed in the mirror and said to myself, “I hate this. This is not me.” I have strong opinions. I bought it, anyway. I was tired of buying the same styles and colors. I wanted to feel what it was like to wear something different.
A relatively safe risk.
My dad loved it! I never thought of him as a stylish person in his USAF uniform or week-end overalls. In hindsight, as I peer into his old black and white photographs, I discover he had a very strong sense of composition. His was not the only compliment I received. This began my journey, not only of exploring colors, also in taking risks with self-expression.
All colors are part of nature.
Find yourself in the rainbow. It is very large, full and forgiving, as you are.
You can wear any color. It’s not about what looks good on you, it’s about what makes you feel wonderful. You are part of nature. In order to determine your place in the rainbow, remember your favorite season. Find it by listening to your body. To what season are you most drawn? Listen to your friends and their compliments. Write it all down.
Are you spring where the colors are soft, or summer, where the colors are bright, bold, and brilliant? Are you sometimes a little of both? Getting to know your self through color is the exciting journey you are now poised to embark upon.
Are you most present in the toned leaves of fall and their bright counterpart, jewels against the sky? Are you in your element in the deep rich and luscious shades of winter, the depth of spruce, and burgundy?
All these seasons come and go, as you do.
You know what you like, what feels good.
Begin with your favorite season, where memories have lived the fullest. Coffee, chocolate, semi sweet, bitter or milky? It’s the season you are drawn to that will determine your palette.
How do you choose your palette?
Ask, “What do I like?”
Today I start with brown. Deep dark, aged, fall leaf, brown. Browns emerge from all colors. The brown I am seeking emerges from yellow and purple, her compliment. They create copper and rust. As the exploration continues, many colors appear. And as you explore, they become your colors, ready to mix and match and enjoy. They will tell your story.
You can wear any color. It’s easy. Nature has already begun to cleanse your canvas when she added grey to your hair. If you, too, choose to add color, are you more drawn to yellow or blue based colors? If you have highlights, are they gold or ash?
Let’s collaborate? Tell me what you feel. This is how you will tell me who you are. What do you like? How tall are you? How full are your hips? What are the colors of your skin, your eyes, your hair, (is it dyed or natural)? The answer to these questions are the beginning of our designing your personal statement piece of wearable art.
Laverne Zabielski, artist, designer and writer, studied fiber art with Arturo Alonzo Sandavol at
the University of Kentucky, Lexington and received her
MFA in writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.
PRAISE FOR LAVERNE
"Everything about your email newsletter gave me a lift. It makes me happy and gives me hope for our world knowing people like you are living and creating beauty and sharing what you know."
"I rekindled my interest in journaling after attending your writers' retreat. Your wisdom that emotions can only be transcribed by personal reflections sank deeply with me."
"What a beautiful gift of silk! Even more than the gift, I loved the note card and the note itself! I’ve reread it several times! Thank you thank you thank you!"
"What an incredible, mouth dropping open, delightful surprise I got in the mail. When I opened it in the lovely wrapped tissue, with even a shiny cord around that, I was tickled, with a one sided Popeye squint. The scarf is luxuriously lovely. The colors are Perfect. The rich deep brilliance of the blues make me smile all the way from inside. And the purple always feels royal to me."
" I so appreciate your insights on us women who can dress and lead a beautiful fufilling life after 70. I love my life now. It is free, open, enchanting, beautiful, and each blessed morning is a grand delight."
"As always, I think your work is stunning, beautiful, full of life, spirit, soul and united with the universe. These new botanical prints are just that. United to the universe."
"Thank you Laverne - the workshop was great and I have lots of thoughts and ideas about future ambitions on the FeltLoom. It was so much fun, the time just slipped away and you were a real inspiration for discovery and process."
"I feel wonderful and special each time I wear your art."
"Not only are you; a true inspiration and love your philosophy, but your work is stunning! Keep it up! Go girl go!"
"Thanks for making me feel young and lovely!"
“Your beautiful scarf arrived and it some of your best work. It truly is magic. I am proud of you and delighted to have had a front row seat in observing your metamorphic evolution as a fabric artist. Laverne, you truly astound me.”
“Thank you for the very personal journal. It arrived at a time most needed as transcendental things often due. We all have work to do, if we are alive and growing and your inspiration continues to help me peel my onion.”
"Your color palette is unmatched by anyone and your passion and spirit means a great deal to me. I feel ablessed to have something worked by your hands and heart. I am by no means a beauty queen, but your work makes me feel lovely and wonderful. You may receive expressions of gratitude but maybe not as heartfelt as this... Thank you so much for your time and energy."
"I love your words and writings as much as I adore your clothing.......You are a rare raven...spreading your wings and embracing creative flair as you travel thru the Universe."
"I want to thank you for the compliments I received when I wore the scarf I purchased at the fashion show event. I went to a meeting in Louisville and at least six people came up to me to comment on my beautiful scarf. The work you do is amazing and I appreciate the attention it brings to the wearer! Thanks Laverne!"
"This past Saturday, I wore the floral jacket I got from you a few years ago, to a Gala. It was gorgeous! It was just the right touch to my long black dress. Thank you for making me feel like a “hit” at such a joyous occasion. I truly enjoyed wearing your art to this fancy, black tie event."
“Having an interest in felt after dappling in wet and nuno felting, I took two FeltLoom classes under the guidance of Laverne Zabielski. Inspired, I also have completed the Sibori dying class. More than a teacher, Laverne Zabielski mentors and guides her students through art theory and color theory while demonstrating the process of the art form she is teaching.
“Laverne’s teaching methods are based upon sound educational pedagogy, demonstrating, explaining, and collaborating. After displaying examples of FeltLoom products and listening to her students, Laverne introduced some wool rovings, silk, and ribbon embellishments that could be incorporated into the silk and wool batting scarf that would be created in the beginning FeltLoom class. Reminding students of the color wheel and simple art theory concepts to help guide us in designing our pieces.
“I left my first class with Laverne, inspired and empowered, believing in myself as a creator of art.
“Since the first class, with guidance from Laverne and the magic of the FeltLoom, I’ve made a shawl and then repurposed nuno felting scarves, I completed a 4’ x 6’ wall hanging. I’m looking forward to expanding my Sibori dying abilities. Laverne Zabielski is unique, being a creative, skilled artist and teacher.” —Peggy W.