If you have read my blog before you know that often times I am inspired by what I have been dreaming at night while sleeping. I’ve been thinking about Native American textiles as of late. Occasionally I dream of the colors and patterns of southwest designed rugs. In the morning I decided to look through a book I have owned for many years.
After searching inside the covers of the book it came to me what patterns and colors I had envisioned were found in the Rio Grande valley. The blanket which caught my eye was a Rio Grande blanket, ca. 1880s. The weaver had used desert colors such as ochre, turquoise and red clay to create a jagged diamond pattern. The rug can be found in a book entitled Rio Grande Textiles, compiled and edited by Nora Fisher, published in 1994 by the Museum of New Mexico Press.
The subject of textiles is not something I generally have great knowledge about. As I mentioned earlier I am drawn to them. I thought I could use the diamond inspired design in a design that would be fun for kids. The Rio Grande Cat was born, at least in my mind it took shape after brainstorming late at night.
I truly love earth tones of colors and I tried to mimic the colors found in the rug on the cat’s forehead design. I chose a sun weathered brown for his fur to represent the color of native peoples skin.
I have created a collection of Rio Grande Cat gifts for children. Many of these items have a matching teal name which can be customized by you. I found the kitty also makes a great pattern on his own.
A big splash of color today with the introduction of Tribal Snake Dreaming. I’ve always been intrigued by the artwork of dreamtime from the Australian aboriginal community. Their use of nature as storytellers really fits in my own beliefs. My Tribal Snake Dreaming is inspired by those sacred aboriginal mosaic like paintings. Using bold colored magic markers I wanted to eye to follow the snake downward into the bright surroundings. This is why the background is created with yellow and orange and the snake is blue and green. The optical illusion is only created by using the darker colors which trick the eye receding the subject away from you.
I had fun though the fumes from the markers nearly knocked me out. Perhaps the next one will be digital.
On getting back to the basics I decided to start with a simple book sketch. For me, the exercise of working with perspective and vanishing points at the same time was an unexpected challenge.
It has been some time since I sat down and drew with a pencil. I had decided to take a local drawing class this past month. If you have never taken a local class, whether it be from a recreational center or small college, I highly recommend participating in one. The instruction was great and the company of others who were outgoing make the experience even better.
Our last class together we were given the task of drawing a pile of books. As you can see below my attempt at the assignment wasn’t too bad. In fact, for the most part I was able to execute the assignment fairly well. After this class I understood the importance of identifying a vanishing point and how to find them. As we know, practice makes perfect and I’ll definitely give myself more opportunities to hone this skill.
I did learn one more lesson during this class. I need to find a better pencil and easer too. lol
Here is a shout out to our fun and knowledgable teacher Gayle Fitzpatrick. Gayle is a printmaker, paper maker and artist extraordinaire. You can find her Etsy shop here.
Mountain Sheep Dreaming is a simple designed drawing using a fine point sharpie on white paper. I’m often inspired by my dreams and surely my new personal studies into shamanism had something to do with Mountain Sheep Dreaming. The black and white sketch shows a ram’s head face on. You can see his large curved horns to either side of his head. On his brow is my power animal the bear. Entwined down his face is a vine with leaves. I think the most striking aspect of his face are the two elongated triangles down his nose. Inside these triangles are circle.
So what does it all mean? Well being curious of what my dreams are trying to say to me I’ve looked into the ram and his meaning. In a nutshell he signifies new beginnings. Taking a journey to the Upper World last week I was told to pursue my fine arts goals. Since then my urge to create with my hands has become stronger. I’m seeking out more education and visiting more exhibits too.
Follow your passions. That is the lesson I have to learn in this lifetime. I’m so glad you’ve joined me on the journey.