I call this post stretching because this pattern was a little bit different than what I’m used to doing. I’m trying to stretch my painting muscles here and really figure out what it is feels most natural for my hands while still having great visual impact. Sometimes that means planning and sometimes it means diving right in.
The inspiration for these shapes was a combination of retro 70s textiles and Dutch illustration. Looking back on it, I could have thrown in a variety of colors to play up the floral-fruit motif, but I stuck with blue for harmony’s sake.
Most of my work is pretty delicate, leaving a lot of negative space for breathing room, but unless you are face to face with the original piece, it can be difficult to appreciate. Details can get lost pretty easily. So I wanted to break out of my norm a bit and go for something bolder, with stronger shapes and colors that could be seen from afar. Thoughts?
This one didn’t take very long for me to do and I love the gesture of the petals, they’re almost calligraphic at times. In doing this, I also rediscovered how seductive black can be – definitely on my to do list for future patterns. More black.
You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.
Back in the good ole college days, I used to fancy myself something of a good-music-finder. But since I’ve graduated and become busy with trying to stay afloat in the real world, discovering new songs and new artists has definitely fallen to the wayside. Now I only come to new music from happenstance – cooler friends, 88.5 wras, or a chance blog post. Well, last week I discovered Tokimonsta thanks to this feature by Refinery 29. And I think I’ve fallen in love.
This is a doodle from my sketchbook, drawn on the fly. I remember it was a lazy afternoon sitting on my boyfriend’s couch and I just let my micron pen run itself across the paper. Sometimes these spontaneous kinds of drawings end up being the best. I wonder if I could cover a much larger space with these forms. They seem to be some weird kind of floral vegetation, but I can’t say exactly what. It kind of reminds me of kale. What does it remind you of?
The longer I look at these quilts by Ria Leigh, the more I fall in love with them. Her textile designs are everything I’m loving right now, with a nod to synthetic retro color palettes and a reverence for the tradition of geometric quilt pattern. I don’t think I can put it any more succinctly than she does on her own site:
Her work is situated within a matrilineal succession of makers and is influenced by her research on ancient cultural iconography, esoteric symbolism, pioneer practicality & Bauhaus ideology.
With work this bold and a statement so eloquently drafted, I can only presume that she’s been working on this for a lot longer than the ease of her patterns may suggest.
Before this commission, it had been a long looong time since I had made drawings or paintings from reference material. I knew I could do it, but I was secretly a bit intimidated and even doubtful of my skills. As I got started sketching, it was like my eyes came back to life. I guess after a whole adolescence of drawing and doodling, your hands just don’t forget. I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be reminded that I can do this.
Unfortunately my photo editing skills still leave something to be desired, so these pictures don’t do my handiwork as much justice as I’d like. Hopefully you can still at least get a sense of how they might look in front of you; they are lighter and more delicate in real life, which is true of all my drawings and thus always presents problems in translating to digital form.
Regardless, I’m pretty happy about the end result. The whole process helped me learn more about how to create work within my new living context; you’d be surprised by how much of this I did sitting in my own bed! These drawings were built layer by layer, very slowly, and I had to figure out the point at which I could stop painting and feel like I had accomplished a finished product. With a firm deadline, I was finally able to do this and what’s more thrilling to me than anything is that there is someone out there honoring me by hanging my work in their home (hopefully I can have pictures of that soon). I’m so grateful to have found this support in a time of uncertainty in my life and my work. I’m hoping it only grows from here.