I've spent a long time encouraging people to break 'the' rules. There's a lot of talk in quilting about the 'quilt police', and the long litany of rules that apply if you want your quilt to be taken seriously by the quilt cognoscenti. So I give talks about 'The Rules of Quilting', in which I talk about what the 'rules' really are, why they are and when to ignore them. And I don't get myself overly riled up about technique.
So, I was surprised to discover that, as well as these commonly recognised rules, I have been working under unconscious rules of my own. I was dye painting and printing today, and, just before I packed up for the day, I painted these two pieces. I think they are the beginning of a series of work in which I explore colour in general, and dye painting in particular. I had run out of plain material to work with, so I picked up a piece of hand dye in reds and oranges, and painted on top of that. I'm calling them Rooted In Red, because, in truth, they are; they began as red, with yellow added.
So...what rule did I break? I realised that, until now, I had always dye painted on white fabric. Nothing wrong with that, but when it becomes a rule, it stops you seeing the other possibilities that exist. If there is a rationale behind that 'rule', it is probably that working colour on top of colour could possibly give you mud, not clear colour. These, though, don't seem muddy, and I'll be interested to see how they turn out.
I came to break the rule because I had a piece of blue fabric ready to paint, and and had some success with that, so the leap to working with multicoloured cloth was not such a huge one. I wonder what other 'rules' I place on myself...and how I can break them...and the limitations they put on my work.