Crossnore weaver, watercolor study by Daniel Ambrose

Crossnore weaver, watercolor study by Daniel Ambrose

This small watercolor painting is the first study for Crossnore Weaver. Its the initial appearance of an idea I’ve been processing ever since I learned of the Crossnore weavers a few years ago.

Yeah. . . I’m slow.

Housed in the Crossnore Art Gallery is the weaving room, which the founder of Crossnore, Mary Martin Sloop created to preserve the ancient craft and provide an income for mountain families.

Watching the rhythm of the weavers working the shuttle over and under the threads on an intricately woven work is mesmerizing. I had to learn more.  The math required to design a textile is fascinating and intensified my admiration of the weavers skill.

Out came the sketchbook and I started making drawings. As I drew and talked with the weavers, I learned Mrs. Martin documented her experiences creating Crosnnore campus in a book, Miracle in the Hills. I highly recommend it as an inspiring story of what love coupled with determination can accomplish.

So this watercolor sketch emerged from the pool of ideas circulating in my head. It’s primarily a value study, ( values are like scales in music ranging from high to low -white to black ) mainly to work out the overall visual balance.

Selecting the right weaver was crucial and adds layers of meaning to this idea for me. She is a Lumbee Indian, a native American, native to North Carolina.

Like the textile she weaves, the egg tempera painting I am beginning is layered with multi-colored threads of meaning.

Oh, I hope I haven’t let the cat out of the bag and the muse stays with me, and that one day I can show you the finished egg tempera painting of the Crossnore Weaver.

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