Saturday, July 25, 2009

10,000 Flowers - Design Explorations

A few weeks ago, I spent several hours just playing with india ink, paper and a variety of brushes and texture tools. I was on a quest to create imagery for my next series, 10,000 Flowers. I wanted imagery to represent the four seasons, but I wanted it to be more abstract than representational. Something that would give the feel of a flower, say, without looking like a botanical version of a flower. The four images I was trying to create include a flower, the moon, snow and a cool breeze.

I used a variety of items to create marks, including a chamois window cleaner, a spring cooking whisk, a square brush, a kitchen scrubber, a foam circular brush and a tool I crafted out of a chair cushion. Of course, many of the designs will never be used. And I had to ignore my inner critic who was saying, "That's an ugly pattern, you'll never use that. This is just a waste of time, none of these designs will work." When I got past that and just let myself make marks, I really enjoyed it. I used the tools in as many ways as possible, wiping, swirling, brushing, pouncing.

I didn't count how many designs I created, but I'm guessing it was at least 50, maybe even more.The next step was to look through all the designs, focusing on my theme for the series, and see which of them captured the feeling I was after. I pulled out the best and scanned them into the computer. Most of them needed some manipulation. I now have four images to correspond with each piece in the series.

A flower, created with a chamois window cleaner.

A cool breeze, created with a circlular foam brush.

The moon, created with the spring whisk.

Snow, created with my homemade chair cushion tool.

My next step will be to make them into thermofaxes and see how they translate on the cloth. Often a design will look good on paper, but when it is converted into a screen, it takes on a different look and isn't quite right. I also want to see how they look together. Although they may not be on the same cloth, I want each piece in the series to be in harmony with the others. Stay tuned to see my next steps.

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