Jane Pollak Logo

Jul 6, 2023

And the Award Goes To…

It was late August of my first season at Camp Chinqueka. The entire community of girls, counselors and staff, sat on army benches in the wood-paneled rec hall. We were there for Awards Night. All summer-long campers earned gold stars for accomplishments in sports, arts and crafts, and trailblazing. 

At 9 years old, I’d barely paid attention. 

The category for Best Swimmer was announced. Barb, the Head Counselor, held a statue close to her chest. It was a golden girl, hunched in racing-dive posture, atop a wooden pedestal. She announced, “The winner of this trophy arrived here in July as an Advanced Beginner, and through hard work and lots of practice, she reached the level of Advanced Swimmer just last week. The honor goes to… Jane Goodman!”

Thunderous applause! I, the dazed recipient, approached the stage and accepted the shiny recognition. I slept with it under my pillow. 

That was the first time I remember receiving acclaim for my effort, and I became… insatiable. 

Awards Nights are a rare commodity for working adults, especially entrepreneurs. What corresponds to a trophy these days could be a commission, a new client, or a book deal. What also equates is learning new skills and the 10,000 hours of practice towards mastery.

I write this entry while in my fourth week of an online Color Theory course I’m taking via The New School. Even though I studied this my freshman year of college, it feels fresh to me. Yes, I know the primaries and secondaries like the color wheel assignment I labored over (see photo below), but learning about desaturated colors and fluting is not only eye-popping, it’s exactly what I want to master and apply to my textiles. Color me motivated.

But, just today, I feel underwater. I don’t know if I’ll be able to create the ‘tone scale’ of desaturated hues. I’m feeling like that Advanced Beginner.

Fortunately, I do know my next steps. Sit down at my workspace, squeeze paints from tubes, mix the tertiary (red-orange and blue-green) colors, and add increasing daubs of gray to desaturate the hues. Actually brushing the colors onto the grid is the icing.

In search of some relief, accomplishment and motivation, I began playing with these theories in PowerPoint which is how I do most of my designing.

See those mid-tone hues in the overlapping circles? THAT’s what I’m striving for! I’m not certain how this will translate into my textile designs, but I’m committed to figuring it out.

I designed these on my train ride to Naugatuck, CT to meet the Wool Witch, a new-ish Instagram friend. She regularly dyes wool in her home and is often a vendor at fiber shows. As much as I loved the process of mixing dyes and watching my white wool turn lovely shades, I know that getting these soft tones and tints (yes, I’m using my new vocab), is better left to the masters. I invested in several ¼ yards of her palette for my future designs. 


I’ve had my share of accolades over my decades in business and already lots of recognition (Where Women Create feature, for one) for my more recent art. I continue to dive in, learn new strokes, and do my laps. Entrepreneurship has taught me to come up for air, splash around some more, and take in the pleasure of what surrounds me.
Oh! I did get the equivalent of a blue ribbon recently when I was honored to be the featured guest on ChedHER, a weekly segment of Cheddar News that spotlights women leaders. You can watch here.

A Possible Comment Tag Line Here


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.