Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Feeling a bit better - three ding dong patterns for the price of one, plus icons x 9!

Yesterday I was convinced I was no good at this SPD lark. And then (& from talking to others this is often the way it goes), you come from a place of being semi disgusted by all you produce to a place where it all flows again.

I'd started with my Lewis F Day inspired layout:

and set it up as a pattern, just.....wasn't.....singing to me! I can't explain what that means easily. It's just a general dissatisfaction, an inner knowledge that while the pattern is 'okay', that's all it is. It isn't yet ready. And the breathlessness and lack of energy from my chest infection made me feel incapable of producing better.

Still a bit breathless this morning but I'm much happier.

I know the circle one still needs adjusting and I might play about with some colour variations but overall this is much more what I wanted to achieve. Still not Christmassy in feel, which is interesting but I could possibly see them as (non-specific to season or event) wrapping paper? Or funky wallpaper?

These still use strong photographic elements, mostly for speed but I feel I am not pushing myself enough artistically. While too breathless to design much, I've gone back to Pinterest to redo the ABSPD exercise of trying to define what patterns please me and why. I've drawn my icons for today from that.

There's so much out there, it's very easy to be attracted briefly to all manner of things. I constantly ask myself  'could I live with this pattern or would I soon tire of it?' - I also try to separate out that which I like, from that which I just admire for its skill. Here's (some) of what I came up with - the 'why' is the tricky yet potentially crucial part for moving me forward (the links all go to visuals):

  1. William Morris - an obvious one to many perhaps but.....satisfyingly regular but detailed patterns drawn from the natural world. A lot of them are like jewels.
  2. Piet Mondrian - his more subtly coloured work anyway.  I like the geometric shapes coupled with the irregular size of them.
  3. Paul Lang Kurz  Art Nouveau - this link is to The Textile Blog which describes Art Nouveau in terms of interpreting 'the essence of the spirit of nature as if it were a dance', which I quite like. 
  4. Marthe Armitage - simplicity & detail; mostly naturals.
  5. Paul Klee - linework and colouration more subtle than Mondrian's; abstract
  6. Rex Ray - strong colours (accent pieces?), bold geometric and abstract shapes with texture
  7. Sophie Munns - strong abstract shapes, texture, subtle but satisfying colours
  8. Tim Pugh - using the natural world as material for pattern (like Andy Goldsworthy) - shape, colour, tones, irregular repetitions. 
  9. Ophelia Pang - irregular abstract shapes, irregular geometry, bright use of colour. I also love the sense of her journey - purely visual - as she says 'I'd rather speak in colors and shapes'
So - a mixture of abstract, geometric & naturals, with mostly subtle colours, but some vivid, rich & contrasting ones too. Some I like for their satisfying and detailed repeats; some for their unexpected variations. I like texture, whether that is achieved by detail of patterning or subtlety of colouration and line strength. 

I have discovered that although I like some 1950s / mid century work (as they call it) - as a style movement I am not overly drawn to it. Which is a result. I think. Perhaps I need to spend time after Christmas going over my own designs with similar yardsticks......

Tomorrow's pattern theme is 'Festive Food' - yesterday I made our traditional 'double the mixture' Dundee Cake - it may well feature!

Have a good evening


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I'd love to hear what you think and what you're up to, creatively. Feel free to leave me a message. Thanks, Catherine