Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Inspiration: Where Is It Hiding?

   For the past two years, I've been taking an online course called the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design to learn about art licensing. I am finally beginning the last module next week. One of our recent assignments was to design a collection of tea towels. The designs had to be hand-rendered, geometric, and mostly non-representational.
   I often get asked where I get my inspiration from. I suppose the answer to that question is that I am inspired mostly by nature, but I am also inspired by pretty much everything I see. 
   So, after searching for ideas, I began sorting through my photos for ideas. I came across photos I had taken of buildings  in  Ferndale, California. Ferndale is a picturesque small town near where I live with lots of interesting Victorian architecture from the late 19th century.
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   I began sketching some of the architectural elements from this building I noticed while walking down a side street. It is interesting to discover what is actually right under our noses, that we take completely for granted, and that we fail to even notice or appreciate so much of the time. I have seen these buildings for years, but it is amazing how oblivious I had become to their quirky and creative characteristics.

   Since I started teaching workshops on Block Printing, I am always in need of more block designs. So, I decided to make a few hand-carved blocks for printing on linen. I will be teaching a 2 day workshop on Block Printing on Fabric at Village Sewing in Santa Rosa on Oct.19-20 this year. 
   So I am experimenting with the different ways blocks repeat and create new designs, and I love the secondary designs that develop like with the triangular shaped block.

   I really love doing the block printing, but I guess I love the challenge of coming up with new designs even more. I am working now on tiled designs for block printing. It is so much fun playing with the different types of symmetry to see how many variations I can come up with.
   And the other day I had some friends here from out of town who hadn't ever been to Ferndale, so we headed over across the bridge to check out some of the amazing little shops and enjoy the sights. Of course I took my camera with me, and I found so many more details in the hand carved wood on many of the storefronts. Who knows how they might pop up in my future artwork?

3 comments:

Judith said...

A good reminder to pay attention to your surroundings and to really look at the things you usually look at but don't really see

A.Sproule said...

Thank you for commenting Judith. I also find it helpful to take a picture to isolate subjects/ objects from their surroundings. Looking at a photo with too many elements can sometimes be distracting for me.

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