Sonia Delaunay painted rhythm and color. She painted across a century and across a continent.
A friend lent me the catalog from an exhibition about Delaunay at the Tate Museum. I am sharing pictures and information from that book with you here.
Delaunay was born in Ukraine in 1885. As a young girl she lived in St. Petersburg, Russia and summered in Finland.
She attended school in Karlsruhe, Germany. She moved to Paris in 1908 and spent most of her life there, with time in Portugal and Spain as well. She died in 1979. In her 20’s she started to paint exuberant rhythmic abstractions, and she continued to paint them for all of her life.
She also designed textiles, quilts, books, costumes for dance and murals. Delaunay’s ideas and images cross-pollinated in her work and in her life.
…translated into embroidery.
Poems became dresses.
A dress echoed a book cover.
Bold patterns adorned dresses,
Here is a self portrait from 1916. Her face slowly reveals itself in the wheels of color. Delaunay said that color is the skin of the world.
As I get older I am interested in and inspired by artists who keep creating. Sonia Delaunay painted throughout her long life. She grew and changed and worked across many media. You can see her singular style shining through the decades.
Thank you for your work, Sonia Delaunay.
Designing scarves was a real pleasure last year. Now I am going to start manufacturing them too. It is exciting but also risky. So I would like your opinion before I jump in!
Do you have a preference for silk, cotton or silk/cotton blends?
Do you like rectangles (20″ x 70″) or squares (42″)?
Would you like small pocket handkerchiefs? Other shapes?
Anything else you want to tell me? I am listening.
I appreciate this feedback. As a thank you I will randomly pick someone who has left a comment and send that person a Sun Swoon scarf (on February 1st) .
My past designs include Summer Birds (blue), Sun Swoon and Red Star. Summer Birds is almost sold out. They are all for sale at juliepaprika.com
I’ve painted three new designs for possible scarves. I’d like to hear back from you which one I should move forward with. If you like more than one, please rank them. If you don’t like any of them please tell me that too.
Here are the three possible new designs. I will turn them into repeats later.
Courage. You could wear this scarf when you needed extra fortitude.
Doodle Squares. Ink drawings on colored squares on a white background.
Blue Moon Garden. Lots of shades of blue at night.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I will be traveling from the 14-26 so I might not be able to approve or respond to your comments right away. But eventually I will get to all of them and I appreciate your feedback.
Thank you so much.
In the winter a bit of red is nice. A red berry or a red bird can warm the landscape. So I designed a red scarf.
I started by looking at red fabrics in one of my favorite books: Russian Textiles by Susan Meller.
I noticed that the reds were made more beautiful by the colors around them- by more reds, and by contrasting colors. Here is a small feast of some of the Russian textiles that inspired me. Most of them are from the 19th century. They are either block printed or roller printed on cotton.
I got out every tube of red gouache that I own and painted the basic building block of my scarf: a red star. The half circle and quarter circle on the edges flip to create whole flowers. I wanted joyful colors.
I painted a border to use on the ends of the scarf with a different red background.
I kept a record of all of the colors that I used: one sample sheet for myself, and one for the printer.
Then, with photoshop, I made a design for a long scarf using that basic red star as a building block, flipping and repeating it. It looked too busy with the border panel, so I ditched that. Using the existing art I created a simpler star pattern for the ends, and added a red-orange border all around. Here are some of the steps, and then the final design.
Linda Teufel of Dragon Threads had it printed in China. The scarf is 20″ x 70″ long on a beautiful, matte silk crepe de chine, with a hand rolled hem. The red saturates through both sides of the scarf. Allow me to model it for you, please.
It is a limited edition. You can buy one here at juliepaprika.com for $48. I’ll also be selling them (and books and prints) at the Ravenna Holiday Art & Craft Sale at the Ravenna Neighborhood Center, December 3rd from 10-3 (6535 Ravenna Ave. NE). Please come by!
I will leave you with a poem and picture that I wrote/drew about the color red. This is a page from a picture book that I am working on now.
This is a story of many hands.
In May of 2015 I had a show at the Bitters Co barn in Mt.Vernon, WA. I wrote here
about the barn sized quilt that I made for it: Mr. Big
Here is a picture of Mr. Big
in his new home, where he can stretch his legs over two stories.
This year I wanted to make another big quilt, so Oh Mama was born.
Oh Mama is made of cotton quilting fabric that I designed over the years for In The Beginning Fabrics. I designed the quilt and cut out the pieces at home. Then I went to Coyote Central and laid it out on the floor. I came home and sewed it together, and then sewed many pieces together for the back. It was too big to spread out in the house so I spread it out on the street.
Now to sew the front and back together! I put out a request for help, and the following kind and wonderful women stepped up: Betz Bernhard, Margaret Bovingdon, Nancy Harriss, Eileen Hynes, Karen Kosoglad, Christina Reed, Liza von Rosenstiel, Marybeth Satterlee, Joanne Segura, and Lana Sundberg. Nancy took pictures as we worked (at Coyote Central).
In just a few hours we had tacked it together. I did not include quilt batting because I wanted it to be able to withstand some weather.
I took the quilt up to the Bitters Co. barn where it was welcomed by the fabulous Carson sisters, Katie and Amy.
Installation involved long poles.
Oh Mama likes to look out at the fields of Mt. Vernon, her new home.
Oh Mama was part of a show that I had at the Bitters Co.barn this year. I did the work for the show (paintings, drawings, quilts and paper dolls) over the last year and a half. Just before the show I broke my wrist and elbow. The show was still able to go up thanks to Katie and Amy and to my good friends Margaret Chodos-Irvine and Julan Chu.
I think Oh Mama is saying OH my friends are wonderful.
Read on if you would like to e-visit the show at the barn.
The pictures start with the set up and end with the work in place.
Thanks for visiting.
Virginia Lee Burton was an artist who lived from August 30,1909 – October 15, 1968. She and I share a birthday!Burton was widely known for her children’s books which include Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, The Little House, and Calico the Wonder Horse.
I am writing about her on this blog because she also designed fabric. She taught block printing to a group of artists in Cape Ann and they formed a group called The Folly Cove Designers. They made fabric, and they also built a community. They would have big parties and dance on the tables.
On a recent trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts I saw an exhibit about the Folly Cove Designers at the Cape Anne Museum. Here is a photo of the room there:
And here are some of the textiles that were on exhibit.
Lili Wilson for Folly Cove
Virginia Lee Burton inspires me because she jumped into life with both feet, and did what she loved. She didn’t seem to care about categories. There is a wonderful video about her called A Sense of Place.
When I flew home I got an email from a company called Vida Design Studio, based in San Francisco. Vida connects designers from all around the world, printing items on demand (clothing and scarves). The producers are paid decent money, the artists get a percentage and a portion of the profit goes to literacy programs. So they are making fabric, and they are building community. A digital age Folly- I’m in! I designed some shirts for the Vida Design Site, using the name Julie Paprika. Here are the shirts.
And I designed some men’s pocket squares – cotton scarves.
You can see these things at Vida Design. The link is to my work. You can also see zillions of other designs on their site. If you are interested in becoming a Vida Designer you can click here. Vida is having a summer sale until August 28th: discount codes are on my page.
I’m jumping in to this new project. Now I would like an international VIDA party with dancing on the tables!
Virginia Lee Burton Dancers