It's spring again in Colorado, and that really boils down to one thing: gorgeous, bright colors. Bloomin' Fiber, an art show at Manitou's Commonwheel Gallery, seeks to capture and celebrate the essence of this time in this place.
Sixteen fiber artists, from weavers and knitters to basket-crafters, have united to display various fiber art techniques and their colorful products.
Lynn Lee, a local silk artist participating in the show, specializes in an ancient Japanese dye form known as shibori. The method, characterized by a "bound-resist" technique, essentially is the great ancestor of modern tie-dye.
Lee first began working with silk in 1992, and shortly thereafter, she and a friend taught themselves the craft. She also uses other fabrics, such as cotton or wool, in tandem with her silk works.
Lee says the beauty of nature catalyzes her work. In late spring, when the flowers are still vibrant, she will travel to her favorite muse the Grand Canyon for fresh air.
"I have an appreciation for the colors I see on hikes and backpacking trips," says the artist. "The light and colors in the canyon are a big inspiration. I think it's the most wonderful place."
When Lee returns to her workspace, she often incorporates mountain, desert or canyon scenes into her imagery. Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands and the Tetons all show up somewhere. Lee constructs pillows, purses and accessories in addition to vests, shawls, scarves, jackets and Japanese-inspired kimonos.
If you can't immerse yourself in nature this spring, head into the Commonwheel for your fix of color.
Commonwheel Artists Gallery, 102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; show runs through April 17
Call 685-1008 or visit commonwheel.com for more information.