Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What I Like Is Probably Not What You Like: Confessions of an artist

These past few months, maybe the past few years in fact, I have pursued a course of painting things that I seemed to have no control over. The painting that I wanted to create and the ones that were painted in many ways were very different. It didn't seem to matter...be it a painting, the cactus series comes to mind, or craft items (the LAST CHANCE series of birdhouses). The items I really loved languished and the items that I thought were misses sold or were at least wildly popular and favored on Etsy.

While I have written about how you can change the look of an object with just a simple addition of pieces, in this case four small square blocks glued to a common Michael's birdhouse, I have remained true to some of the concepts I started. While the first three rather wildly colored CRAZY QUILT birdhouses have sold, one even winning first place in a nationwide crafters contest, the more muted versions (along with a plate and note card holder) have languished. The "Blues" birdhouse shown here has suffered the most. In trying to find a "home" for a broader audience, it seems that instead I have created something that is bland. I have to admit, in many ways it is not me...the painter who loves bright colors who instead wanted something more muted, more refined.

First off, rather than wildly different pieces of painted fabric, I used triangles. There are 10 base colors here. And because there are about 25 spaces on a side, 10 on the roof, I had to made sure that each of the 10 colors appeared at least twice on each side.

Then, each of the 10 colors had its own unique fabric design. This time I created a list of 10 designs and used one of them only on one of the base colors. Instead of struggling with paints, I used Sharpie pens to create more detailed and textured patterns. I don't even remember how many hours this took. Too many.

After it was pretty much done, I was both pleased and surprised at how much color and drama you could get with more pastel and muted colors. In fact, to follow more closely a real quilt, I let one of the prominent colors, a warm buttermilk, stand alone. No pattern. Than seemed to calm down what could have been a too busy design and give the other painted fabrics a chance to stand out.

It has had the worst response of any of my birdhouses. It had two views after two days online and has seemed to fade away. I love it. I am proud of the elegance it has. But hey, that is just my opinion, one that most definitely is not what viewers on Etsy think.

Check it out at KrugsStudio.etsy.com. Let me know what you think.

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