Thursday, May 01, 2008

TIF May: Artists and Morning Glories

One of my favorite "sayings" states that the artist sees the world through different eyes. We don't just look at the world - we SEE it, and the images imprint in our minds to surface later for use in a visual creation of some sort. I have found that all of Sharon B.'s color schemes for the Challenge have immediately evoked a response in me. In this case, it is the Morning Glories I have loved since early childhood. My grandfather used to awaken me on summer mornings by laying one on my pillow - (the "Heavenly Blue" variety, which is still my favorite.) Coincidentally, I have just re-drawn a morning glory pillow in needlepoint, which includes shades of the colors for this month - which to me are morning glory colors. (also colors for other lovely spring flowers, as I see hyacinths, periwinkles, and hydrangeas here.) The picture is of the gorgeous Gerbera Daisy, which I photographed when we were noticing "details." Anyway - what do I call myself? I am an artist/designer. I have several friends with whom I have discussed these things lately, and we have found that we share many common traits - as we can "see" images in our heads in full color. (I thought until recently that everyone could do this.) We seem to be born with this ability, and it comes with a sort of compulsion/obsession/driven thing in wanting to create art in our respective chosen medium, and to learn all we can about others. (My children's word for this, when applied to me, except for two of them who share the gene, is "crazy." I rather prefer "eccentric.") The word "craft," at least in this country, has come to mean "making things" it seems - but usually things created by others (designers) and put out for sale through craft stores and shops for others to make and enjoy. (Many exceptions, of course - as the making of fine furniture is a craft - but done by artisans who are, after all, artists) Crafting is very therapeutic, and needn't be limited just to those who are able to design and create the projects - which is what I have so enjoyed about my needlepoint design, as I can share the "craft" of stitching with others. It isn't generally understood that painted canvas needlepoint design is "ART" - as it takes more skill putting a well drawn, shaded flower onto canvas in a way to make it look gorgeous and realistic, but at the same time, divided into areas that make it easy for the stitcher to know exactly where to put the stitches. It goes way beyond just painting a pretty picture. The needlepoint designer must know, for example, how many values of certain thread colors are available. The decision has to be made whether to put it on small, medium, or large mesh canvas to be the most effective - and on and on. One could paint an animal's face onto needlepoint canvas to look quite lifelike, but if it isn't done properly, the stitcher will have great difficulty in making it look right. Some of this may not be making a lot of sense, as I haven't quite figured it out either - but what I'm trying to say is that sometimes people look at me strangely when they ask if I'm an artist - then when I say I do needlepoint design, they shrug as if it really doesn't qualify. (Just let them try it!!) So - I am an artist - and I design things for others to hopefully enjoy crafting in making wonderful accessories for their own homes, and enjoy the benefits of the activity while doing so. Now I'm off to paint the canvas with the April colors that I swore I would do yesterday. My back was hurting - so I loafed. (artists make good excuses, also. It's called "creative avoidance.")


Tanguera said...

I like your comments. I not only see things in colour, I dream in full colour. I don't think of myself as an artist though.

NCPat said...

These colors are very pretty and you have a great shot of Gerbera.

napaneedlepoint said...

Judy --

I loved the description of how hard it is to paint on canvas. If people only knew . . .
I also agree that knowing the colors available in thread and knowing the right canvas mesh for a project are not easy. There are so many times as a stitch guide writer I've struggled with a canvas because this designer LOVES a particular color which doesn't exist in any thread. People buy the canvas because they love something in it and if it's not stitchable, so much the worse.

Keep Stitching,

Magpie Sue said...

I haven't let myself read the TIF participant blogs until I had some idea of what I would be doing for the challenge myself. Now, instead of working on my piece, I'm blog surfing!

I can so appreciate the skill and knowledge that goes into a good needlepoint canvas. I suspect very few people do. But that doesn't make you any less of an artist, does it? In fact, it may make you *more* of an artist than some weekend painters! I often felt very out of place in my family because of my unique perspective. If only I'd known - if only they'd known! - that it was simply because I was an artist and they were not.