Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fantastic Friends

My friend Lorri emailed me today. She had read today's calendar quote (today's was by me) which was about how life is richer with a fabulous mixture of friends. Thank you Lorri...a giant hug to you! I just don't know if I really take enough time to thank my friends for their important place in my life and for how they enrich everything I do.

I am really fortunate... and I mean REALLY fortunate... to enjoy the companionship of such smart, funny, witty, together women. I have mom friends that I met through my children and their schools. We do carpool together, cover for each other with watching kids when meetings and such arise, research the next school, share notes on the latest article on education, etc. We met through classes, being room moms, scouts, karate, dance, soccer and all those other miscellaneous sports and activities. Then there are the women from my Master Mind class, the kindred spirits who support and encourage self discovery and business and entrepreneurial growth. There is my dear neighbor friend who will be over in a second if I need her. And my old college roommate friend, who years later, with both of us settled in LA with families and houses, still connect like we did when we were 20. Time has changed us, but we have found our paths continue to wind and twist in a similar dance. She is a fabulous sounding board, a calm voice on a rocky day, a kindred spirit. Another friend I met while working in Chicago (where I happened to meet numerous long-time friends), also out here on the west coast now, is like family. We proudly call her "aunt" to our children. And my licensing art buddy, while she lives up in northern California, feels like she is in the cubicle next to me, as we work away with the speaker phone live, chatting about the new designs we are working on and sharing an unexpected inspirational discovery.

To my dear friends, all of you, I can not thank you enough for the beauty and unique perspectives you bring to my life. Giving, caring, compassionate. You make my life full and colorful and hopeful and vibrant. I hope I am able to give back a fraction to you of the support and friendship you have given me. I am blessed and rich beyond measure from all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Inspiration Origins - Blog Hop

Lately there has been a lot of talk amongst artists I know about the difference between using something for inspiration and using something for copying. How do you see a world of fascinating visual ideas but still craft something special of your own? When we start out learning we look to other artists. We learn from them but it’s important to evolve and find your own voice, your own look on the journey- something original and unique. There is a big difference in being inspired vs copying someone else’s work. Unfortunately it has become more common for people to confuse the two, especially when images are so available on the internet. As a creator of art, I am the owner of it. My rights to my images- my copyrights- are necessary for my very livelihood. I’m happy to take part with other artists in this blog hop, examining the issues of inspiration and using it to evolve your own style.

Growing up I was hugely influenced by colorful, beautifully illustrated children’s picture books. I could stare at the pictures for hours. Maurice Sendak, Hilary Knight, Rosemary Wells capitavated my attention. I loved line drawings, whether loose and carefree or exact and detailed. Characters with personality, stories shared in colorful pages- this inspired me to draw and create my own characters. And many of the works of art I saw every day, pieces by my mother and father, left a permanent impression in composition, line and character. My mother silkscreened cards with hand drawn type and a contemporary illustrational style. I was surprised to see her winter trees after all these years and see the lines and structure that has found it’s way into my own trees in my winter landscapes and my Deco Park fabric line. Truly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree... still, the feeling of the linear work is a jumping off point that a whole new composition blooms from. Inspiration from my environment was a starting point in my visual language and my work expands beyond it.

I shared my mother’s love of Charles Harper’s clean and modern view of nature, beautiful creatures shown in the simplicity of their forms. His geometric interplay of shapes make orderly and striking compositions. My BFA education heavily favored a Swiss Bauhaus design approach and I think I didn’t use a typeface other than Helvetica till well into the 90’s! I do numerous pieces with a clean graphic design aesthetic. In my Modern Garden line, I can see the influence of Charles Harper by seeing nature in clean graphic forms. Solid bold color reflects back to many compositions I enjoyed by him, although my own color combinations are more fanciful and less realistic.

Creating something of your own requires time to experiment, thinking/listening, and following your own instincts. It takes self confidence to put something uniquely you out into the world vs copying something. Our discoveries, our mistakes, our repetition of work starts to bring out subtle ways that we find ourselves gravitating towards a visual language that is our own voice. Have the courage to evolve your own look and follow that voice. Craft the pearl that is uniquely yours from the grain of sand that is your inspiration.

Please read more from this blog hop and artists who share how they use inspiration while keeping the integrity of their own work:













Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Modern Garden at Hancock Fabrics

Exclusively at Hancock Fabrics... My Modern Garden fabrics in butterfly, dragonfly and flower motifs. The fabrics are in jewel tones on purple, fuscia, green, orange, etc. I can't wait to make up some placematts to go with my Modern Garden plates!

If you are interested in ordering fabrics from this line, go to www.hancockfabrics.com and search items numbered:
Happy gardening!