Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thinking Outside of the Box

I don't know about you, but I am now constantly looking at "things" getting ideas for the next project. I have had a love of quilt designs and have attempted to utilize with them over the years. Quilt designs are in many ways derived from old world designs that have been dubbed Pennsylvania Dutch though in fact they came from all over Europe, brought by the early immigrants to what became the United States.

Many don't realize that quilting is one of maybe two art forms that are unique to the United States. While it has spread around the world, it originated here. I would guess it was a way to utilize the few resources settlers had. And depending on what they had, add a little color to what must have been pretty drab surroundings.

It was those crazy quilts, quilts that used every bit of leftover fabrics, the scraps, that inspired my newest series. And in fact, it has been both a challenge and great fun trying to "wrap" those plain on birdhouses with fabrics, even if they were painted on. I never know what will and will not inspire a person to purchase one of these creations. If we don't try, we will never know.

What non-crafters don't realize is that the creation of one of these "crafts" can take as much if not more time that a regular painting. And as much as I love painting a landscape, it seems that I have more leeway here. I allow myself a degree of freedom with my crafts that I have not allowed myself in painting. However, I have come to realize that they feed on each other and what I learn in one has a benefit to the other.

There is one more birdhouse primed and ready in this series. It is a deep turquoise so I think I will try to use purple and blues and see what develops. 

Never be afraid to try something out of the box. Even if no one else likes it, it opens your mind to other possibilities; helps take one out of a stylistic rut. To me, to be an artist means to continually grow in vision and feelings. Yes, there will be missteps along the way, but even then, its a learning experience that has benefits down the road.

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