Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Childhood Color Palettes

You all know how much I love natural items...leaves, flowers (live or dried), trees, bones and feathers.
Oh, and rocks.
And driftwood.

You could have a peek at my (inside) (or outside) studio and be able to see this, right?
Both of my large work tables (hell, every table) is littered with precious things.

I collected these same things as a child - funny, isn't it?
That we continue to love some things our entire life?

I always carried a brown paper bag, all soft and wrinkled from handling, when I was a young child.
It was chock full of broken bird eggs, pilfered fruit from  neighborhood trees, bones, feathers, rocks, pebbles and sticks.
And an occasional piece of interesting paper or discarded clothing (because of the beautiful pattern or interesting texture) (or perhaps to make my older sister angry).

What do I carry around in sewn, painted and upcycled bags now?
Same darn thing, just larger quantities.

I'm still (slowly, slowly) working on the hand stitched piece.
In my own defense, I have been doing other things too, not just working on that particular piece.
Not that much art work but other important things.
Like hiking in the woods with my husband.
Listening to the rhythm of the woods.
The flow of the water.
Watching the birds fluttering about, getting ready for cold weather.

Oh! Oh!
I saw a pair of fox squirrels in the woods!
Oh my gracious goodness, they were SO cute.
White nose, ears and feet with the rest of their bodies ranging from light grey to almost black.
I sat ever so quietly and watched them for almost an hour (Sarah and Denise - I saw your eyebrows fly up at me sitting still that long) (not doing anything!).
They walk differently than regular grey squirrels, which is what we mostly have here in upstate SC.
It's a slower, more intent walk. The grey squirrels always seem to be bolting every where they go, running and scurrying like mad men...I mean mad squirrels.

I just TOTALLY got off of the topic that I intended to talk about.
Imagine that?!

I was talking about how we like the same things we did as children (if that "thing" can hold your attention that long I guess).
I do anyway (except that cute boy in my 1st grade class).
Since I have been dabbling in natural dyeing and eco printing, I've noticed the colors that I get are similar to the natural items that I collect.
Maybe a picture can show you what I mean.

Rose hips from my mother-in-laws rose garden.

Some type of rodent skull we found while hiking,
maybe a beaver? 

I found this shed rhododendron flower in the river
when we were trout fishing. Yes, I was gathering
things from the bottom of the river... 

There you see it - one of my personal color palettes.

Dried, rotting, dead.

Well, that was (kinda) meant to be funny, but I think that there is a lot of truth in that statement.
These three things yield a fertile field for planting so perhaps they do the same for my mind.

What about you?
Can you identify one of your personal color palettes?

I do love bold, in your face color as well but today I am all about the calmer, neutral color palette that I show above.
I hear a lot of fiber artists (or any artist ftm) say that white, cream or any similar color is NOT a color.
But I say that when you use these colors you really have to put more thought into the details or they will be lost.
A neutral palette can be a great backdrop for wonderful design.
I think I heard that on Project Runway.

Do you agree?


Bren Graham Thebeau said...

That's really an amazing observation, seems your creative voice has been singing strong for a lot of years. Love your colour choices, the fabrics and stitching is beautiful

Angela Willis said...

I have always loved the structure of dead flowers and leaves and have spent many hours photographing them. I love dead sunflowers (not too keen on the live ones!) when they lose their colour and hang their heads; they look so romantic. Leaves that have reduced down to their skeleton are like delicate lace work (we get all our ideas from nature don't we?) This is the time of year to go out with the camera and catch these beautiful images and collect them to study and draw. Thank you for reminding me what I should be doing - looking around me and not inside me!

Joanne Huffman said...

Your palette is beautiful. The muted colors of nature are beautiful, especially in the time between fall and winter.

Denise Spillane said...

What a great post. I even have some kind of a jawbone I collected on a walk!

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Maybe I agree, but colors for me do all the talking in the conversation. They speak and just do...