Friday, November 21, 2014

The End is Near.....


Of my classes that is! I have learned so much over the last 5 weeks it is hard to believe it is going to be over next week.  I was really enjoying my daily challenge with color and texture and pattern. I have learned that successful paintings don't always translate to successful patterns. Sometimes I toil away trying to make something work that clearly, is not working.

The pattern above is something I am rather happy with. It was purely an accident. I was getting frustrated with my work. It was beginning to look like everyone else's and who wants that, right??

I may have told you about the lotus pods at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago. They came in a bouquet of flowers. As soon as I got them home I tossed the flowers and kept the pods. I love the dried pods. The shape, the holes....everything about them gets my art juices going.

So I scanned in a few of my sketches but this side view really hit it I think. It makes an interesting pattern. And then I recolored the artwork because who can resist that recolor the artwork tool in Illustrator? Not me.

Here are some of the examples of the pattern in different colors:


This next one is interesting for the way the spaces between the pods came out. It really changes things up a lot!


Anyway, have a great weekend and stay warm!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Different Palette


Still taking my classes. Still learning about pattern design. I find that I am quite partial to an entirely different color scheme when working electronically. When I am working with paint I usually tend to go toward greens and purples but I find I am quite drawn to a more neutral palette. Of course it could all change tomorrow. I am a bit fickle art-wise, as if you didn't already know that about me.

I still don't know what I am doing as far as repeats go. But I am improving somewhat. I really like the way my pods came out when I transferred them to Illustrator.

Tomorrow we are taking a day to go over to the MFA and see the Goya exhibit. I know it will be crowded but it is the only day my husband can go. I still have 3 other shows I want to see before they leave the area. There is a Calder show up in Salem at the Peabody Essex Museum and I just found out about a textile design show up in Lowell at the Museum of Textiles. After that I need to get over to the Fogg. It has been closed for renovations for 6 long years. I think I might wait on that one since it is sure to be a mob scene for a while.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Still Learning.....


There really is a lot to know about creating patterns. I feel as though I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this very fascinating creative endeavor. There is a wonderful online class on CreativeLive given by Bonnie Christine. It is all about creating patterns using Adobe Illustrator and I have learned so much about the subject I thought I would share what I have learned so far!

When I last used Illustrator, they were up to about Illustrator 5 I think. I am not talking about Adobe CC or even Adobe CS. This was before any of those software iterations! Illustrator was just a stand alone product. So suffice it to say, a lot has changed in the 15 or so years since I last used the program! The class was given in CS6 and I am working in CS 5.5 so it was pretty close and not hard to follow along. One of the truly amazing new things in the more recent versions of Illustrator is the ability to recolor your artwork and see how it looks in any number of colorways. Imagine if you could do this with paintings! A click of the button and voila! A whole new color story!

Below you can see the variety of colorways I tried. Not all of them are pretty of course. This was just for practice in using the "recolor artwork tool".



There are over 30 videos in this class and I haven't finished watching them all. I did download them all though so I can watch at my leisure!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Patterns, Patterns and More Patterns!


One of the things I like to do at night while I am relaxing is sketch in my sketch book. It is a good time to do that because I am not concerned with making art. Just drawing and gathering ideas. One of the things I have been drawing a lot of lately are these chevron squares as you see below.
I have drawn many of them,  each time changing up the lines and angles. I used one of these as the background texture in the above design.

I also re-purposed an old stencil I created from my gelli printing days for the floral motif. I am finding that a lot of my old artwork works rather well for pattern designing in Adobe Illustrator.

Here are the two elements I used in this design:

Have a lovely weekend everyone!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Manhole Cover!


The design you are looking at is derived from a manhole cover! That is correct, a manhole cover. A Bell Telephone manhole cover to be exact. I have no idea how old that is since Bell Telephone has been long gone for quite some time now.

In the second class I am taking called "The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design" Module 1, the first assignment was to go out with our cameras and find inspiration for pattern making. We were to take photos of one particular shape. And then shoot everything you could find in that shape.

I chose circles as my shape. I had no idea how many different types of manhole covers there are! And all with a different design! The one I chose is this one below:


I drew each shape and then scanned them into the computer to mimic the design of the cover. I really like the way it came out. Someone in the art group said it almost looks Aztec. Sometimes it pays to look down! Part of the class includes working in illustrator to create our patterns. As I may have mentioned I was never very good at Illustrator so this class is really helping me get my artwork into the computer and work on it there. I have learned so much in just one week!

Here is the design made smaller and repeated:


Next week in my MATS-A class, the project is going to be for a children's book design. I am not sure how I will do in that since kid art is not really my thing. But I love a good challenge, so we will see!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 2: Suzani's

So this week the subject in Lilla's class is Home Decor. The assignment is to create a pattern for a plate and some other smaller dishes. This is what I have done so far. I am not sure if this is the one I will be turning in or not. I need to sleep on it a bit. It isn't due until Sunday night at 5PM.

You may recognize the gold flowers as being from one of my paintings. The design itself is supposed to be based on the idea of a suzani. I had never heard of a suzani before but here is a link in case you haven't either. I read where the traditional suzani has the colors of black, white and pink. I couldn't do pink. But I did add a bit of red to it. I think it looks rather Christmas-y.

I am really having fun with this class. It is a real challenge to make something that would be marketable. I am not really a trend setter or follower if you get my drift. Never-the-less, I am learning a great deal even if I never sell a thing!

I am actually taking another class called "The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design". At first I thought that taking both classes at the same time might be too much for me but this class is actually quite complimentary to Lilla's class. It is taught by Rachel Taylor and it is much more about the actual creating of the patterns using hand drawn imagery and then manipulating them in Illustrator and Photoshop. I never really knew how to create patterns in Illustrator. Or I did know and I forgot. Actually I forgot quite a bit about the software but it is like riding a bike--once you learn it, it comes right back to you.

So have a great weekend everyone and don't forget to turn back your clock! Enjoy your extra hour of sleep!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 1 of Lilla Rogers Class


I think I may have mentioned that I am taking a 5 week, online class called "Make Art That Sells" with Lilla Rogers. You can read about it here

You may ask, why am I taking a class like this since I am clearly retired from the corporate graphic design world! That is the thing about art and design. You can't really retire from it. Imagine if Picasso or Matisse decided to retire from painting! Some of their best work would never have happened. Not that I am comparing myself to their genius but you know what I mean.

So, yes, I am taking this class and it is really fabulous. And I know I have said that before about other classes but this is really intense and hard work worthy! I worked all week as much as possible and was driven and challenged by the endeavor! It felt like I was at work! But it in a good way. Not the snowy-commuting-early rising-late staying-500 people-have-to-approve-your-design-way!

So the first week is designing for bolt fabric. The piece above is the motif I created using hand drawn imagery and then putting them into Photoshop and having at it. It is supposed to be kitchen related using root vegetables and Pyrex. I used watermelon radish since that is what I had on hand. I had no Pyrex so I had to rely on photos I found on the internet. Not the best way for me to draw since I prefer drawing from life but that was all I had for the bowl. I also made a rubber stamp from a sliced watermelon radish.

Here is what it looks like in a half drop repeat pattern:


So that is what I am up to. I think it will help me get my mojo back!

Have a lovely weekend!