Monday, November 23, 2015

It's black and white

        Recently we went to Shipshewana for a getaway weekend. That is Amish country in northern Indiana. I walked into a fabric store and within a few minutes was mesmerized. It wasn't the type of fabrics that was a big deal, because all they had was cotton and cotton blends. Quilt making is huge in this part of the country; hence, there are bolts and bolts of cotton fabric. 

     What got me intrigued, awakened my imagination, won me over and made me not want to leave,  was the great variety of patterns in black and white. In my mind I designed an entire room done in black and white, complete with upholstered furniture, pillows, cushions, framed art, draperies and accessories all in black and white. Okay, maybe with just a touch of blue or red. 

This is the aisle that got me:

  Okay so let's be straight on this: I am not a quilter. I have no desire to quilt (sorry, I know it's a beautiful art form, but just not for me). Furthermore, I don't presently have a room that I can redecorate in black and white. It's just that the whole black and white theme is so inviting and alluring. It speaks as loudly to the inner me as black words on a white page. 

So I had to do something with this awakening! 

When I got back to work in my studio, it was time to get the black and white theme going. 

I ordered some black and white jasper beads, painted some wooden beads, and made a fresh batch  of black and white paper beads. 

I then made several sheets of textured paper and painted and glazed them with black and white. 

Then I started putting it all together: 

By the way, Lolly's Fabrics is worth the drive and I highly recommend a visit there. Even if, like me, you are not a quilter, you may just find it inspiring. 

     A lot of my studio time, is spent in preparation. Whether its ordering new gemstone beads, making paper beads, texturing and painting paper, designing new pieces, peeling paint from palettes, or organizing color combinations, it is all necessary steps to the assemblage of wearable art. I have found that the more time I spend on the preparatory steps, the more resources I have to work with and the better my finished pieces become. I also have learned that the steps can take as much energy, inspiration and imagination as the finished art. The preparation is the work behind the art, the madness of my method. And of course, 

it's pretty black and white.