What do you say when someone asks, “where does your inspiration come from?”? Is it rich, exciting colors that get your blood flowing and make your fingers itch to hold a hook or needle? Do you look outside your immediate surroundings for inspiration? Maybe, you’re inspired by a little bit of everything?
When someone asks me about the origin of my inspiration, I always want to say, “Color”, but I feel like something of a fraud. What one seems to notice most about what I do, is the absence of color.
Usually, I just pass through the rooms in my house. What I typically notice is how much cat hair there is all over the place (and I just vacuumed! Ack!) This week, I took a good look at my own space, I saw beyond the flying fur, and I was surprised by how much color inspiration I found when I really saw my home, how much my work reflects the subtleties I see in my things.
My mom’s bread-making bowl sits on a window ledge in my kitchen. Looking at mom’s bowl I see the soft buttermilk yellow I use so often when punching and hooking. Beyond the bowl, just outside the window, I can see the quiet orange I like to use when making pumpkins or a snowman’s nose.On the deck, a fountain burbles throughout the winter. Ice formations build up on the edges of the concrete bowl, but with the help of a little heater there is always water available for any little creature who’d like a sip. Seeing beyond the actual function of the fountain, I notice more of the colors that move me ~ slate grey, the subtlest of pinks, and a touch of copper.On the mantle, white dominates, so many different shades and moods of white, it feels like the whole picture is a washout, until I look more closely and see what’s reflected in the mirror. Reds, browns, and greys ~ just a teaspoonful, please ~ break up the cream and sugar view. I realize that this expanse of white, with color sprinkled on with a light hand, has been inspiring me all along. When I approach a punch needle project or start a hooked rug, my first thought is, “quiet, quiet, soothing, neutral, white, white, white”, and then, somehow, a bit of color creeps in, quietly, here and there.I don’t think I require a lot of color, but I’m wrong. Like this scale, at first glance I see, basically, black and white, an object lacking color. On closer inspection, wow! there is a lot of color here! Rusty red, brown, a whole host of greys, silver, even yellow…
So, next time someone asks me what inspires me, I’ll be able to say, without doubt or hesitation, “Color!”.
Look around… What inspires you?
May your day be filled with those kinds of things, the things that inspire you the most!