Summer's Color

Every morning at this time of year, I go out to the garden, scissors in hand, to see what flowers I can cut for my kitchen table.  I don't have armloads of blossoms, and seeds didn't preform exactly as I hoped, but color accumulates a little more each day, nonetheless.

No designer of any sort can I claim to be, but I like to store away tips I hear from various artists, photographers and designers to help me be more creative with this blog, my photographs, knitting, crafting, and even cooking.

An article with Prism Yarn creator, Laura Bryant, in the Summer 2012 issue of Interweave Knits, captured my interest when she spoke about teaching her students creative classes in color.  What she said mirrored what I have heard from other artists.

I encourage all my students to clip and keep anything that catches their eye...
If something attracts your attention, there is a reason for it.  The more you learn, the more critically you can see, and the more closely you are able to analyze why.  Once you are able to discern why you love something, you can harness the effect for your own intentions.  This is where really good design comes from: observation, editing, and execution.

What she speaks of here reminds me of a few suggestions I thought I'd share with you to tuck in the back of your minds as you pursue any creative endeavors.

1.  The first came from a blogging e-course I took nearly two years ago and addresses the idea of clipping (paper or digital) what attracts your attention.  Simply, keep a folder or pinterest board of images that you like, and when you feel like you need ideas for a blog entry, a creative project of some kind, you can flip through your folder and see what inspires you.

2.  Another idea to help you study what catches your eye uses Flickr.  Favorite photos by other photographers on their Flickr page, and at some point when you need inspiration, play back your favorites in slideshow mode.  You may start to see patterns in what interests you and eventually you can learn to use these in you own work.  The Flickr idea came from the Photo Meditations course I took last Winter.

My board has references to the beach, garden, baking and motherhood

3.  Also in the blogging course, I learned about inspiration boards.  Just the other day, I looked at the one I made and realized how it not only still supports my interests, but how much more I can still gain from referring to it.

In the first year of my graduate degree in art history, I became drawn to the paintings of Vermeer.  The lighting in his paintings captivated me, yet I moved on to study other periods and cultures.  Not until the other day, did it occur to me that many photos I clip and stare at seemingly for hours, have the dramatic lighting of Vermeer's paintings.  I have no idea how to achieve that effect in my own photographs, but maybe one day I will have progressed enough to get there!

Meanwhile, I'll play with Summer's colors and observe closely.