The last week got eaten up by preparations for my Black Friday sale, but now that that’s almost done, I’m back to work on “Seasons of Creativity”!
I’ve been experimenting with some sketches in Photoshop. I tried some sketches with the leaf motif, starting with this one.
There were a couple concepts behind this sketch. The bottom left represented the dying leaves of autumn, followed by the blue of winter, and then the resurgence of creativity in the spring, leading to a burst of free ideas (represented by the flying leaves and the explosion of non-leafy colors). I was thinking I could also make the leaves three-dimensional, weaving them with a silk/stainless steel weft (or some other stiff weft) in a double weave structure, stitched in a single layer down the center of the leaf stem, and then cutting them free from the backing layer in strategic areas. That would be fun!
I didn’t like the sketch, though. The flying leaves felt too constrained, the brown and blue felt uninteresting, and I didn’t like the progression from bottom left to top right, and…well, lots of “ands”.
I went back to the previous sketch, which I liked a lot better:
Why did I like it better?
I thought about it and decided that I liked the sense of freedom in the leaves in this sketch. In the other sketch, I had eliminated all the overlapping leaves, and shaped the flow of the leaves fairly tightly, sending them upward (which is against the natural downward flow of a falling leaf). The result felt stilted and stiff.
The leaves in this sketch, on the other hand, were floating down freely, playfully, and felt much more open.
But there was no tension in the image, no sense of progress. It needed something to give it tension. What?
Now, my friend Osnat had suggested using butterflies instead of leaves for the original sketch, because butterflies and creativity, right?
I had felt that was too cliched to use.
But…what about leaves falling, dying, transforming into butterflies, and flying off?
I like this idea!
It’s still just a concept sketch, but I think this one has a good bit of meat to it. There are two concepts layered in here. The first is the idea of the natural cycle of birth/death, applied to creativity and creative projects. The completion of a project on the left, followed by a fallow resting phase (possibly with a bit of moping and depression, which usually happens to me for a few weeks between major projects), followed by flights of fancy as a new project takes form.
The second concept is the evolution of ideas. On the left, fairly staid, stable ideas – leaves in autumn, the natural world, things that have been going on for millions of years. Those ideas fall into the mind, compost, cocoon, and emerge as free, fanciful, colorful ideas that flutter off and create new things. (Okay, butterflies are still kind of cliched, but work with me here, OK? 🙂 )
Technically, this could be created with two or three painted wefts. I’m tempted to use a thicker thread that is wrapped with metallic glitter, or to use a carryalong metallic thread, to make the butterflies glimmer.
There is still quite a bit of work to do to arrive at a final sketch, let along a workable, weavable file. Also, I’ll have to drag the knitting machine out of the closet and knit some knitted-blank samples for dyeing…lots to do!