Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More Techie Explorations

For the past few years I have been fortunate enough to own Adobe Creative Suite 5.5. While playing around in Photoshop and getting comfortable with that part of the suite, Illustrator, well, that has been completely sit and stare at the screen wondering what the...??? Where do I start? What does it do? What do I want it to do? There have been ideas of things I wanted to do digitally, but where to begin to learn it... it is a whole new language to me....

So last week, I started a tutorial from a book I picked up at Half Price Books on Illustrator. It is amazing how a little bit of practice helps to pick up new things just by doing! I haven't even finished the first chapter yet!

Then I started researching hex codes on the internet. You know the color code that is the universal formula for all of the colors on the web? The look like this.. #FFFFFF or #000000 (white and black respectively) and any combination of numbers 0-9 and/or letters A-F.  I often wondered what the pattern or code meant...

Well, here it is.. there are three colors in the formula, Red, Green and Blue (these are the light primaries, as when all are mixed together they make white. This is subtractive color. Additive color uses pigment or dye and when all of the colors are added together the result is black.

The first two spaces of the formula are the code for RED, the second pair of digits/letters is GREEN and the last two spaces are the code for BLUE. The combination of 0-9/A-F in each of these spaces is the formula for any color.

It feels for me that a great mystery has been solved.

A photo I took at Lake Harriet and the main colors
The photo above is one of my favorites of sailboats at Lake Harriet one evening at dusk. Often color palettes are inspired by nature and the environment.

The pursuit of images and color combinations and how they impact emotional responses and communicate on a feeling level is an area that this technology will assist me in researching... and studying. My questions to engage you, my readers... are these..... the same questions I ask myself when working on a project of any medium.....

What do you feel from the image and the colors that emerge in the palette? What do the shapes in the photo suggest? Are they enhanced by the color palette or in opposition? These are the questions about design that fascinate and intrigue me.... this is why I love what I do... to create palettes, shapes and relationships to communicate a subtle message or cue. It is my way of being heard, without SHOUTING!

What do you think? Are you aware of the subtle language all around us? How do you feel about this communication?

PS The hex codes are as follows.... DDAABB, 445566, 778899, 886666 and CCAAAA.

I think there will be a lot more of this in the future. I am working the details on one, that is quilting inspired..

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Quick Fix Creative Expression-Illustrator and Quilting

Today, I sat down at my computer with my Jinny Beyer  The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns and created a couple of blocks from the 12 x 12 grid section. I found out from my friend Google how to color the sections then put a quick quilt together to see how the patterns create a secondary pattern.

Playing in illustrator a whole new creative quickie has been born!

The Jinny Beyer book is beautifully photographed and a true inspiration to any quilter or any one interested in pattern for that matter.

I like what got created. That may be as far as the idea ever gets... for this one, but what a great practice ground for exploring color, pattern and scale.

My next task is to play with the swatch libraries and create some of my own... the creative juices are flowing again... so, when lack of time or inspiration hits, there just might be a quilt pattern of the day showing up.

Writing and staying focused has been challenging lately. Feeling a bit like a pin ball in a machine, bouncing from one bumper to the other and occasionally falling into the hole... only to start a new game... Creative rescue has been found... at least for now!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bodega Bay on the Balcony!

The heat has finally broken here. There is a beautiful breeze flowing through the apartment and the birds are chirping like crazy. Actually, it looks like Bodega Bay on my balcony! When we moved in so did some swallows. We didn't do much about it, as we were moving in and no time to sit outside.

Now that things are getting put away,  the babies have hatched and found a perch circling the top of the wind chime. Apparently the whole flock comes and feeds them and there are droppings everywhere. The chairs are covered! I will spare you a photo as it is not a pretty sight. Now, how to get them to move on. I like having birds around, but they have taken over and we can't even go out there. So, a request to the office, I guess.

Things definitely are getting 'put away'.  This weekend, I went to my parents and sorted through and reorganized the things being stored out there. Extra furniture, painting projects, and most all of the fabric. Not much here to work with. Everything is packed tightly to minimize the space that I would need to take up.

I would like to get my sewing machine cabinet back here, I think I have a space for it in the LR and so much of my sewing things can be stored in the upper cabinet. My bedroom is still a maze of boxes and unpacked miscellaneous things that need a home.

Sew, no painting this summer I am afraid, maybe some small pieces that I have here, but none of the furniture. Sewing, yes, small projects. I am really wanting to work on some silk Sylvia's blocks... but I have to find the silk. It is in my room somewhere, maybe even packed in the closet... Some serious organizing has to happen in there. The closets also have to be purged and sorted. Getting a system of storage and workspace set up is essential to getting anything done. Including design work.

Creating a new office routine, setting up new systems that work is a challenge. The thoughts of it have me exhausted. Which, is why there has been little writing. As I progress, documenting the process will be good blogging material, as this is the major obstacle of creating. The ultimate distraction!

I am wondering to write in the moment or to have planned blog posts. Sometimes I think the planned ones are more visually appealing, but the spontaneous topics, are more cathartic for me. Inspired, that is what they will be... until next time... 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Style- Your own Personal Discovery

Style -

We all have it. It is there, in our DNA. How we express it is also unique to us and part of that style. Self expression of style is a sign of a healthy relationship with yourself. 

Developing your personal style is like developing a personal structure. You have to follow someone elses until you find your own.

Magazine photo of a lovely tile floor
Where do you start? Choose an area of self expression that you are drawn to. Your personal clothing, your hair, make-up, a room in your house, the exterior color of your house... and look at what is out there... Find things you like. You don’t have to actually do those things, just begin collecting things that appeal to you. Gather a folder on your computer, or a stash of magazine tears in a folder (or in my case a box, well, no actually BOXES) Anything that you find that you like. 

Just collect, allow yourself to do this over a period of time, days, weeks, even months. Don’t anaylyse, just collect. 

After an allotted amount of time, start looking at your collection. Sort the photos in any way that makes sense to you. Maybe you like the colors in a picture, or there is a furniture piece that is really great. Perhaps there is a silhouette that excites you or a pair of shoes that puts a spring in your step. None of the things have to be related. There could be a pile of pics that feature the same color, shape, room, a wardrobe, a garden, just allow your intuition to sort it all for you. 

You may find at this point, that not only have you found fabulous photos that depict your style, but you may have found that certain objects, colors or apparel peices have crept their way into your possession. 

A beautifully textured white purse
Detail of a ceiling in a local ice cream shop
Congratulations, you are attracting those things that are the most expressive of your personal style.  The areas of your life that have your attention now, should start to shift.  Your consciousness is now engaged and you are beginning to know yourself. 

Remember, style is not stagnant, it evolves as a personal beacon, illuminating to the world how you as an individual are growing and expanding. (hopefully not your size!) While you may always be drawn to certain colors or clothing articles, keep yourself from becoming too saturated in one area, venture out into changing it up a bit. Venture out into a clothing article you wouldn’t normally wear, or a color that is a bit darker or lighter than what you normally wear. Maybe add a color to create a combination you haven’t tried yet. When you allow your style to breathe, it doesn’t date you. You find the things in current fashion that work and utilize them. You will inherently avoid the things in the current fashion that don’t work for you. There is nothing less appealing than being a slave to fashion and looking like it in your dress or in your home. 

All should be a natural expression and reflection of you and where you are at. Have fun with it.