It has been a couple of very exciting days for me. While some of you who read every day may have thought that I didn't post because I had nothing interesting to share, I assure you it was quite the opposite. I have so much fun news and many different and new ideas for designing and I was just so engrossed with them that I didn't take the time to post. Besides – I thought it would be better to wait until I had something to show you so you wouldn't think I had gone completely crazy. Some ideas are best kept to ourselves for the time being.
It all began a few weeks ago when I was thinking about what I wanted to design next both with my woodworking patterns as well as my painting patterns. I understand that some of you don't see the correlation, but I assure you that there is one (at least in my mind!) It would be a waste of time to try to explain how I think, so you have to trust me on this one. More often than not when I am looking for inspiration for one type of creating, another type comes to mind. I am finding lately that my designing has no limits, and with the world at our fingertips through our computers, we have access to an entire world of possibilities.
So I was browsing around and trying to think of a way to create some UNIQUE painting patterns. I have always wanted to create some cute and fun painting packets with all kinds of animals (especially CATS) doing all kinds of fun things. I showed you my bears in my last post and you can see that I loved to 'play' with them and dress them for all kinds of occasions and holidays. Wouldn't they make wonderful subjects for a series of painting or scrolling projects? I think they would!
But mohair is quite expensive and has its limitations. We have so little room here and I remember not only the extravagant cost of the pelts (about $130 and up USD per yard of fabric), but also the large amount of space it would cost to store the supplies, fabric, tools and ultimately, the bears. Not that I won't be using them at all, but I didn't think it would be a good option right now for me.
My main issue, as I also stated previously, is that I need a subject to draw from. I am not good with drawing from nothing, and do far better having something to look at. I want to create a set of characters – each with their own personality – that I will be able to depict in different situations and costumes. Kind of a story line. I needed them to be re-positionable and consistent in size (at least in relation to each other) so that they make sense. I also wanted to create them myself so that they would be unique to me. After all – how many cartoon-y mice, bears, chicks, cats have we seen? Even with my snowmen that I showed the other day I realized that it is hard to make a "UNIQUE" snowman. Each one is basic and simply consists of a carrot nose, black eyes and mouth.
So what I decided to do was build my own models. This way, I can claim them as my own and dress them any way I wish and draw to my heart's content without worrying that I am infringing on someone else's idea.
Keith thinks I am crazy.
Or at least he did until yesterday. I thik he sees the potential of my idea and while he still kind of knows that I like to march to my own drummer, he is seeing that my thought process on this may not be so off the wall as he had initially thought. I doubt if he will ever admit it though. :)
On Thursday, we spent the day in Yarmouth stocking up for winter. I needed to renew my license plate so we thought it was a great opportunity to get our 'pre-winter shopping' done. On the way home we stopped at the post office and lo and behold – my supplies that I have been waiting for had finally arrived! It was like Christmas came a month early.
What I ordered were supplies to do some sculpting in the form of needle felting. What needle felting is, is creating items using natural wool fibers and in essence poking them with a needle to condense them together to form objects. When done correctly, you can work the wool like clay, and it is a great deal of fun to create and shape things. I had never done anything like this before and I spent the past several weeks reading and watching videos and learning the process of doing this. I figured it wouldn't be difficult because I already have a pretty good knowledge of drawing and anatomy of animals. This is where I feel that ALL art forms can work hand in had with each other and all learning can be applied across the board to many different types of creating.
It was worth a shot anyway. . .
So after reading and reading and reading some more, I was more than ready to implement what I learned. Yesterday I was so engrossed with 'creating' that I worked right past my blogging time! I spent the bulk of the morning creating my first piece – a cute yellow chick I think I will call "Nugget". I was pleased with how he/she came out (I haven't decided yet if Nugget is female or male) but I did have to go through the process of doing something for the first time and all that goes with that. I learned more than you can imagine!
By dinner time, I was ready to try again. I decided to make the next chick white, and I haven't thought of a name for him yet. The process of creating him did go much quicker and I was thrilled with the results. I am very, very excited about what this new form of designing will bring to all my design work.
So here are the photos of Nugget and "Mr. No-Name" for you to see:
I love their sweet little faces! :)
I love how you can "paint" using the wool! See Mr. No-Name's wing tips? I added some charcoal colored wool there for detail:
They just came out so cute and fluffy!
Here is me holding one so you can see the scale:
They have complete wire armatures so they are able to be posed any way I choose!
They are going to help so much with my designing in so many ways!
You can't deny that this will be incredibly FUN to create using these darling animals! My head is just spinning with ideas! I already have the first scene planned for them, and I will be working on it this week.
I also have the new painting pattern to work on as well as a couple of scroll saw pattern ideas. I just need to calm down and do them one at a time.
We got our first snow yesterday and the ground has a thin veil of white on it this morning. I am thinking it will be a "jammie weekend", as I got a couple of new sets of winter jammies on our excursion the other day. I have a pot of soup to make and no pressing things to do outside my own door. It is going to be a wonderful weekend!
I hope you like my two chicks! Once again, if you could see in my head I think you would be as excited as I am! I feel truly fortunate to have such a fun time doing my job. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement.
The best is yet to come!
Happy Saturday to you all! :)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"