Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two sides of the same coin

What's in a name? As elena, I am Gracious and Amicable.

I am friendly, charming, and warm. I get along with almost everyone. I work hard not to rock the boat. My easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, I can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, I pull it together.

I am relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow. I am light hearted and accepting. I don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what my secret to life is. I am very intuitive and wise. I understand the world better than most people.

I also have a very active imagination. I often get carried away with my thoughts. I am prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. I sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

I am usually the best at everything ... I strive for perfection. I am confident, authoritative, and aggressive. I have the classic "Type A" personality.

As mad elena, I am all of the above plus Powerful and Determined.

I am confident, self assured, and capable. I am not easily intimidated. I master any and all skills easily. I don't have to work hard for what I want. I make my life out to be exactly how I want it. And I'll knock down anyone who gets in my way!

I am balanced, orderly, and organized. I like my ducks in a row. I am powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see me as stubborn and headstrong. I definitely have a dominant personality.

Easy going, yet aggressive. Flaky but balanced. Well adjusted but paranoid. I'm suffering from a split personality! Yes I can be stubborn, but a "Type A" personality? Not!

This was fun but unreal. I'm crawling back into my studio - to organize it and work at mastering some skills.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Why blog?

To share my experience at the Nancy Crow workshop, I recently told my mini-group about my blog. One member asked if I know if anyone reads it. Doesn't matter.

A few years ago, I worked through Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. She advocates getting up earlier each morning to journal. Manually write a few pages. Stream of unconciousness. That didn't work for me. This blog works.

It's a personal journal mainly about my quilting life. I blog for me - so I can see where I've been and remember what I've done. Each blogger has his/her own reasons for blogging. These are mine.

I don't post regularly. Doesn't matter if someone reads it. Or not. I don't hide it but neither do I actively promote it. Occasionally I do invite readers. I like to read comments though I may not be able to respond to each one.

A reader told me to post more. My thoughts don't always congeal on the spot so I may finish a post that I started drafting a while back. This may be linear thinking on my part, but it feels right to insert it where it fits best – usually when I started the draft. Even though I have the option of changing the date. Blogger lists the posts in chronological order so a new post may be buried among the older ones.

So dear reader, if you are looking only at the last post, you may miss the new post tucked in earlier.

Color exercise

Recently I made up a color exercise on request from a reader. Disclaimer: I'm not a quilt (nor art) instructor. I've started quilting a year and a half ago. How best could I teach someone what I know about color? I tried to approach it from an artist's viewpoint.

This exercise ended up in four parts – two in mixed media, two in fabric. It's a start. I'm waiting for feedback from my reader before developing a couple more complicated color exercises. I'm curious if these exercises succeed in elevating one's comfort with color and developing a sense of color.

If you want to try this first exercise, promise me some feedback. E-mail me (click on view my complete profile) and I'll send it to you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

La colorista

I've been an interior designer for 19 years now. Add another 6 years of art and design classes, that's 25 years altogether. Though color is not the only thing an interior designer selects, I've been through the paces. A few times I get to start from scratch. But most of the time it's a work-around what will not change. Ever try creating a color scheme that includes an oddball color from 20 years ago? I can't claim success every time.

Despite the years, I am still learning about color. What works for interior design may not work in a quilt. Sure, the basics are there. I don't have to look at a color wheel to find a complementary color. I recognize a color even when it is muted. I know color gets the credit but value does the work. But I love the eye candy!

I am a colorist. I love playing with color. Others complement me on my color choices. Yet I'd get into a color rut if I'd relied only on myself. So I keep an eye out for fresh color perspectives anytime, anywhere. Often it is serendipitous – from a momentary juxtaposition of color objects. Often it is subconscious – it resurfaces from long ago. Other times I deliberately seek out new color combinations. I just play. It looks easy. But really - I draw from a huge color selection tank.

Good color sense doesn’t develop overnight. In a recent Robert Genn's Twice Weekly newsletter, he cited Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers author, about how cognitively complex pursuits require ten thousand hours to get good . That's 3.4 years of 8-hour days 7 days a week. Or more realistically, 10 years at 1,000 hours each year or about 2.74 hours per day. So if color is a struggle for you, be generous with yourself and just keep working at it.

How do you go about selecting colors? Where have you found your color inspirations?