22 June 2011
Trying on a "Seasonal Wardrobe"
A friend of mine told me about artist Michelle Ward, and her online project Green Pepper Press Street Team. Each month, Michelle issues a challenge with a different theme to artists in the blogosphere. Those who choose to participate in that month's challenge simple create a response and post it on their own blog, which is, in turn, linked to the Green Pepper Press Street Team site.
My friend knows that I have an interest in nature and the seasons, so she thought I would enjoy the current challenge which is about the artist's "Seasonal Wardrobe." Michelle asks if the shift in season is reflected in your art, just as you shift your choice of clothing to adjust the change in seasons.
For me, this is certainly true. I tend to shift not only the clothes I wear in the summer to thinner, more breathable fabrics to match the swampy climate of the Chesapeake Bay region. I also change the colors I wear, I find myself favoring lighter colors -- although not typically pastels (not big on pastels, except powder blue, maybe.) In the autumn, my clothing colors are fruitier and richer just like the world outside.
Likewise, the colors I might choose for a mixed media art project also reflect seasonal palettes.
My visual response to this Green Pepper Press Street Team Challenge No. 52 is displayed above; I wanted to capture in mixed media what my summertime palette looks like. (If you like, click on the image twice to make it bigger.)
I started out with four basic colors that said "summer" to me, a mustard yellow, aqua blue, leafy green, and raspberry red. I made a circular element in the center and surrounded it with four arcs. I guess this is a solar motif. Then I added a wave pattern along the bottom. Then I began adding elements, until finally I decided on a fantasy theme with an enchanted walled garden surrounding an exotic palace. Just the sort of Orientalist fairy tale I loved in my youth, in keeping with the mood of summer's sensuous illusions.
This led me to think naturally of One Thousand and One Nights, the famous collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folktales (also called Arabian Nights by some.}
I own an old child's edition of Arabian Nights that I bought from a used book store on the cheap months ago, with the thought towards cutting quotations from the text for collage elements. I flipped through the book until I found the phrase about the fish of four colors. That sort of jived with the collage fish I had already included and crackle-painted over at the bottom. I actually bought brads in the shape of mini-fishes for the little guys jumping around in the upper left quadrant of the page. The palace illustration is a collage element from the book, that I hand-colored.
Wow! Stepping back, I realize that this is the first time I have done collage or mixed media work in nearly a year. It is rather a relief to find I do have the space in my life to make art again.
Perhaps my image is like a celebratory dance of freedom after leaving a complicated year behind me in the dust. I didn't realize how much I needed to do this again.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Wow Maria! I love the color palette and the collage! I'm glad that you're sharing your inspiration with us. It makes me feel like I should get out there and start creating more :DReplyDelete
Maria - happy to meet you! Love your summer palette and how you've combined imagery and pattern to conjure up the sense of warmth and light for this season. Your narrative of connecting this piece to your book of tales really makes it special and fun! Those fishes! Love hearing that you found yourself plugged in after a dry spell - how cool is that? Keep rolling with it!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your art and your perspective about seasonal shifts in wardrobe and palette! Happy to have you come play on our street!
Michelle, I am so thrilled to have your comments.ReplyDelete
Your concept is more than cool - it's a new way to create artistic salons. I am reminded of the early 20th century artist who formed movements and "-isms."
I definitely plan to keep rolling. I am the sort of person who loves to experiment, so I'll keep my eyes peeled to GPP Street Team for monthly challenges.
Way to go, Maria! And you beat me to it, too! I love your colors and the sort of free-spiritedness of the collage. And of course the theme. Fairy tales make everything better :)ReplyDelete
OMG I love what you did with your interpretation of the theme! Glad to have found your blog too !I've subscribedReplyDelete
Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. Your feedback is encouraging me to keep up with my projects.ReplyDelete
Hi Maria, I'm Carrie's mom and we met at the Tim Holtz workshop! I love your collage. I don't do much paper art because I'm always busy doing other things, but I love it and wish I had time to do more of it. This piece really captures summer and I love the tie in to the book.ReplyDelete
Thanks for following my blog. The link in the necklace comes from artbeads.com.
Hope to see more of you in the blogsphere if not in person!
Great colors, Maria! Love reading about your creative journey.ReplyDelete
Welcome along on the Crusades! So glad to see you creating again too. Your layout is lovely; natural and simple (and a gorgeous shade of green!)ReplyDelete
How wonderful that you have art time at the moment - it really feeds the soul huh? I love what you created, and your descriptions. Fruity is *such* a good word for summer :-)ReplyDelete
Love your page. It is great to hear how you came to this result.ReplyDelete
Wow! I am so impressed with you Green Pepper Press Street Team folks. LOL I've never had so much feedback on my blog before. *Big Hugs* to all of you GPP artists out there!!!!ReplyDelete
WOW!! This page is so cheery and colorful, I love the style the composition . . . it just makes me smile! So glad you joined the Crusades!ReplyDelete
Your color choices are beautiful! I love your choice of images in your colored background (I must know where the fence or is it a crown, stamp came from....love it). Very cool!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Pen. The arabesque border stamp --which does look like a fence considering how I used it here -- I purchased years ago at my favorite stamp shop, The Queen's Ink. I can't remember what company made the stamp, and I'm not at home where I can check at the moment. Possibly Hero Arts which was a favorite of mine at that time. I like it because it reminds me of arabesque designs found on buildings in Southern Spain.ReplyDelete
Beautiful artwork with a very nice balance! This is my first time visiting your blog, and I'll have to check in more often!ReplyDelete
I appreciate the visit, Rachel. Stop by anytime. My posts are rather diverse in theme, but often do have some "crafty" or artistic component.ReplyDelete
This tutorial is indeed useful. I have just downloaded it. Thanks again Street teamsReplyDelete