Season of Love

Blend Fabrics has finally announced my next fabric collection. Welcome to the Season of Love!

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My inspiration for this collection is varied. In its simplest form, I was intrigued by Indian art, Eastern philosophy and Ganesha, the Hindu Deity. 

 

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An image of Ganesha, the Hindu Deity.

 

 

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Here is an image of an painted and costumed Elephant, from a vintage Indian stamp.

 

But when I sat down to write about this collection, I realized I had another influence: Western art and cultural trends of the late 1960s (which slightly pre-date me). You see, I have two much older sisters. They were big music fans, as were my parents, and as a small child I spent a lot of time admiring their clothes and tapestries and listening to their music. One of my favorite albums was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

During the creation of Season of Love, songs from Sgt. Pepper’s kept rattling through my mind. It wasn’t until I sat down to name these patterns, however, that I realized the album was recorded in 1967. That is the same year as the Summer of Love. Just months later, in 1968, that the Beatles went to India to study Eastern philosophy.

My brain is weird. I mix up numbers and years and facts, but I have a strong inner narrative; it’s a sort of story-telling approach to memory. And there are always images that go with the narratives, a montage of icons. It is a strangely effective way to think of things, if one is a visual artist. On one hand, I cannot concretely tell you how I know something nor can I often recall the hard data to support what I “know.” But, if I follow my intuition, I can often unravel my story and icon memory, and come up with something that is accurate (or at least clarifies to me how I got from point A to Point B).

This morning I googled “Sgt. Peppers” and “1960s Paisleys.” to see if I might find a way to incorporate these thoughts as I wrote about Season of Love. These are a couple of the first images that came up in my searches. When I saw them, I felt immediate recognition. To me, there is a very strong visual connection between these two images and the color and spirit of my new patterns in Season of Love. Do you see it, too? Or am I just having a Lucy-in-the-Sky-with-Diamonds style hallucination??

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A shot of the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper’s Costumes.
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Liberty of London Paisley Print from the 1960’s.

I was recently asked by a colleague where I get my inspiration. And honestly, it’s not always immediately apparent. But, there is always a story behind my art… even if it takes some unraveling, and even if the connections are through a haze of memory, music, and childhood memories.

 

 

Color + Pattern Give-Away!

Today Khristian A. Howell announced a give-away of designer goods. All of the artists who contributed to her book, Color+Pattern, put an item into a basket. She will pick three winners, each of whom will get a selection of items from the basket. Cool! Hop on over to Kristian’s Instagram account to learn how to enter. She will announce winners on Friday.

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Khristian with the Basket O’ Goodies.

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Design items from: Abi Hall, Ampersand Design Studio, Arrolynn Weiderhold, Elizabeth Olwen, Leah Duncan, Jenean Morrison, Jessica Swift, Mary Beth Freet, Michelle Fifis, Rachel Taylor, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Sisters Gulassa, Stephanie Corfee, and Khristian A. Howell.

Oopsy Daisy Wall Art, Revisited

Oopsy Daisy, the incredible, large and every-present wall art company, has included a handful of my work since way-back when I first began. Since it has been so long, I wanted to plug the pieces they picked up, and still have for sale, on their site.

Vintage Montage room
This canvas wall art is from a collection I call Victorian Montage. The adorable room setting is from the OhJoy! website.

 

Oopsy Daisy Wall Art
This group of wall art is also from my Victorian Montage collection. The room setting was found on the blog Kidspot. I LOVE this nursery, and the colors are perfect with this wall art.

 

Oopsy Daisy Whale room
This triptych of wall art is from a series I made ages ago called Deep Blue Sea. It got such a strong response that I made another whale collection. That eventually became my True Blue fabric collection, which is in reprints and available again now! I found this room setting on the blog A Whole Lot of Tiny.

Coloring Fun For Grown-ups

The trend reigns on: coloring books for grown-ups continue to be a smash hit. And, yes, I have succumbed myself. So much so that I actually just went ahead and illustrated one. It is called By the Sea.

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Now, go quickly to Groupon and get a really good deal on By the Sea. There are two other titles in the Groupon deal, one by Stacy Peterson and the other by Lily Ashbury. This deal is good for two days, until the end of the day on January 25th.PIL Coloring Books.pngThe first I heard about this trend was on NPR. They had a story about, and interviewed, Johanna Basford. I guess she was the eye-of-the-adult-coloring-book-storm. And her illustrations are incredibly intricate. They are simply amazing.

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After hearing about Secret Garden, I began to see adult coloring books everywhere. Several books by Lisa Cogdon caught my eye. Her series is called Just Add Color. They are whimsical and fun, just as I imagine the artist herself must be.

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So, as you can see, I am not the first to throw my hat into the coloring-book-ring, but none-the-less, it was a blast to create artwork for By the Sea. Initially, I was intimidated by the scope of the project, but after I began illustrating the pieces, I immediately understood why so many people are entranced by the projects. The process takes you out of you head–it is true escapism, in the most wholesome way. Do you remember how you were able to spend hours absorbed in childhood play? Whether it was building legos, or knitting*, or coloring. These books really do transport you out of the here and now. Coloring the pictures is nearly instant gratification. And you do not need any specific skills to get a truly beautiful result. If you haven’t already, I hope that you allow yourself the time to delve into one of these books. If not for you, than for your childhood self, who I bet is aching to break out and give this a try.

*I realize that not all children had the occasion to knit. As a Waldorf student, I spent many an hour with my needles clicking. But that’s a story for another time.

Happy Holiday & New Year

Last week my husband and I packed up the children, along with a fair number of presents, and we schlept it/them all down to visit my mother and step-father near Orlando. I am a Midwesterner. I’ve lived almost my entire life in Chicago. So it is strange to celebrate Christmas in 80 degree weather–BUT, I am not complaining.

Since I am not used to seeing Christmas lights on palm trees, posting a bit of holiday art is helping to keep the season on my mind! Here are a few pieces of artwork that made it onto my Facebook page and Instagram accounts this week.