Post #3, in which I share more visual inspiration…
Is this photo not idyllic?
What does it have to do with this crewel piece? Other than the masses of blossoms, there’s probably nothing specifically that I would be able to use. I just love the feel of it. It’s a feast for my eyes. It makes me recall a painting of an orchard in bloom I saw at a local art show when I was very young; I’ve never forgotten it. All these years later, that painting still comes to mind when I see certain subjects and/or color combinations. What’s not to like?: flowers, new grass, sunshine, shade, sheep. Happy. Sigh.
Too bad I don’t have a green thumb… but I can certainly appreciate and be inspired by gardens. I have a special fondness for this image:
Stone walls fascinate me. So the one around this beautiful little garden is like icing on a visual cake to me. I can’t say how many elements from this one photo I may have subconsciously incorporated into my designs over the years, I like it so well: the rich colors, the subdued lighting, the various types of foliage, the shapes of the trimmed shrubs…
Speaking of stone walls, this one is just a piece of several that still exist on our property:
Many years ago, part of what is now woodland was farmed fields. The rocks were picked by hand from the laboriously cleared areas and then laid up into walls. They snake here and there throughout the property, and along old boundary lines. In most places, the seasons and falling trees have taken their toll, but the remnants remain… reminders of those who lived and worked here long ago, eking out a living from the stony soil. All that’s left of this section is just the very end of a wall. It stops dead in the middle of the woods, the end of the wall still perfectly squared up and solid. All by itself. In this photo, the middle section of the span has collapsed, and it looks like the trees are marching right through, reclaiming it; I love imagining why and how this particular piece of wall came to be there.
You’re probably wondering what this image has to do with the crewel design I’m planning. Nothing, probably… but it’s with my favorite photos, and I get to look at it every time I root through the box in which they’re stored, in my search for inspiration. I’m sure pieces of the image will show up someday, either in a drawing or a needlework piece. Images like this one re-charge my imagination; it’s like taking a mini-vacation between projects.
Anyway! Since this project will be a crewel piece, I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at examples of crewel embroidery as well. This example was torn from a magazine long ago…probably, like most of the images shown above, from old Victoria Magazines:
It is beautifully naturalistic, (not all crewel is highly stylized Jacobean!) and makes wonderful use of stitches to mimic various petal and leaf textures. Besides that, the colors are right up my alley. Really lovely!
So, as you can see, this part of the process for me is more of a “stream of consciousness” viewing of images that serves to get the ol’ creative juices flowing rather than an exercise in choosing specific design elements. And while I may not have decided anything specific, I still consider it a vitally important part of my designing process: the opportunity simply to consider possibilities… to dream. 🙂
… then I’ll move on to Phase 2: Sketching