Monday, February 18, 2008

Color Difficulties

Selecting from the thousands of colors is a major challenge to most artists, even for the highly experienced ones. We become overwhelmed by the possibilities frequently finding it difficult to make the "good" choices. Some will stay with comfortable preferences made before and others will wildly plunge in to select the hues that please for the moment, hoping the moment doesn't pass into oblivion. Both are valid starting points.

For my work, I reply upon Mother Nature's suggestions. She knows what she is doing. The sunlight (or lack thereof) will enhance the visual possibilities. Sometimes the wet, overcast days provide more reliable hues and contrasts from which to select. Winter, for me, provides incredible amounts of color choice and it isn't all white and gray. It has to do with the angle of the sun reflecting off ice, snow and other variables. It's quite amazing to my eye to actually notice a wealth of hues and related values.

I find the summer presentation more burned out, flattened, and less thrilling. Of course, if you happened to be strolling through the phenomenal flower gardens at St Clare's college in Cambridge, England, then you'll witness the most splendid use of Nature's color pallet.

I'm in agreement with Camille Pissarro's observation: "Contrary to what colorists believe, Nature is colored in the winter and cold in the summer."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Creative Inspirations

Observing the wild animals, birds, insects and vegetation is a favorite activity of mine during daily walks on the prairie surrounding my community. Each day the dog, my husband and I wander along many rough paths and fields in pursuit of exercise, sunshine and opportunity. I find wonderful nuggets of inspiration for my fiber art, a dropped deer antler, a turtle shell or fanciful twig. During these jaunts into the natural world of windy grasslands, wooded areas, shimmering lakes, and expansive horizons, there is bountiful inspiration. Oklahoma provides incredible vistas and wonderful color that feeds my love for the western tableaux that I favor in my artwork.

Because of the prairie winds that are frequently swirling around the grasses and weeds, I am reminded of the Louis L'Amour character that wrote little notes on slips of paper, tied them to the tumbling sagebrush and sent the messages on their way to wherever the tumbleweed bounced. And that very act of passing notes along is what I am starting today. Happy Trails.