Ok, so now you know you CAN be creative, if you are willing to spend some time and try things. The first step in being more creative is to learn to observe really well. I've been realizing that I'm not always very good at this. My brain is stuck in its own little world, and not always noticing things around me. I always say my husband would make a good detective or spy, he's really good at noticing things. I'm so bad sometimes that even if I notice something is different, like someone coloring their hair, my first assumption is that I remembered wrong what it was in the first place!Kindergarteners usually draw trees and grass green, sky blue, and the sun yellow. I get stuck on what color my brain thinks something is and don't notice what it actually looks like. Here are a couple of great examples: birch trees and swans are white, right?
When you starting looking closely, there is very little actual white on either the swans or the birch bark. If you were going to create a piece of art from these pictures (which I did with the swan one, click here to see it) you don't have to use the actual colors, it's just very helpful to know what they are. What IS important is the lights and darks. Getting the right amount of contrast is always hard for me.
In the photo of a quilted flower at the top, (which is artwork from the cover of Susan Brubaker Knapp's DVD workshop "Master Machine Quilting", available here) I was startled when I first realized that she used both pure white and black threads in this "yellow" flower. Once you see it, it's obvious, and really helps add depth to the artwork. I can't use my own artwork to illustrate this, I haven't mastered it yet :-)
The great thing about learning to observe is that you can practice it anytime, anywhere. If you are ever just waiting somewhere, look around and see how many things you can notice about the world immediately around you. Look at both the big picture and tiny details. Look for shapes and colors. If you have kids, train them early to pay attention! It's a valuable skill in other areas of life too. Think how nice it is when someone else remembers something going on in your life and thinks to ask about it, or remembers your name! It's all the same thing, observing and paying attention. It even helps you remember things if you make a point to notice it, like someone's name. It's a good brain exercise for anyone, not just artists.
Here is a quote from the book I'm reading (see yesterday's post):
"You think that when your eyes are open you're seeing, but your brain deceives you, reporting stereotypes instead of the image your eyes actually see. Your logical brain gives you a quick and easy symbol-the tree looks like a lollipop, the eye looks like an almond-so it won't have to work so hard searching for individual differences. You must trick your brain to see what is really there."
Again, when it comes to artwork, you don't have to recreate what is there, but it's extremely helpful to recognize it.
So, you can start right now, look around wherever you are and see what you can notice, and have fun!
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I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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