Anita O’Neill – What Excites Me In My Work ?
You may be thinking what an odd question for Anita to discuss but it is not.
Like many self employed individuals it is hard to switch off and relax but for me I find it hard to switch off as an artist.
Let me explain. What excites me on a daily basis is colour, texture and line. Driving along a road near Downham Market today I saw a old wall with lots of trees growing above it. Each tree was a different colour as the leaves die off. The grey wall had a big patch of dark green on in I assume from some ivy. My poor son was made to take a picture of it as we drove past so I can use it for inspiration.
I may just use the colours, or look at the textures in it. So many options. This picture was taken at 10am and here I am writing this at 8.50pm still thinking of that picture.
There is a whole sketchbook of work just waiting to be completed from just this one picture.
What can I do with it? A colour study is one option, take some line drawings from it is another, Scan it into my sublimination printer and print it onto fabric and stitch it? or simplify it and stitch it with free motion embroidery? Using the colours make a background for stich and then make a whole new piece that does not show any relation to the picture is another option.
Excitingly I have some fabulous fabrics in my shop in these colours so I may use them to create something new. Maybe a little bit of patchwork or a quilted piece? A box or bag who knows.
Tomorrow I may still be excited by this picture but it is likely that I will see something else that gets my brain working in a very different direction. It could be a fabric delivery. I can tell you that if a box of fabrics arrives I cannot wait to open it and start looking at the fabrics to see what comes into my head just from looking at them.
Or I may be in a shop and see something that makes me think why did they use that colour or fabric or texture for that what would I have made it from? That leads me to thinking of the object in more detail and I have to admit I will look at it from all angles including inside if possible. There are always questions to be answered. Supermarkets are hell for me as I do not think there is any logic to them at all but I have found myself looking at a shelf of goods and seeing pattern and texture there ready to be brought to life in a piece of textile are.
Equally I have been laughed at when looking at pipes in water and seeing how the light plays on the pipes and changes them. Others see pipes I see light, shadow and lines broken in different ways. It all excites me.
Windows and the light they throw onto the walls is another thing I find exciting.
I have been taking pictures from a number of windows in different places over the years.
Recently in my own home. And I plan to complete a set of work using them as inspiration with free motion embroidery, hand stitch and soluble film.
It is not just the patterns I see but find the colours fascinating. Looking at this picture initially you would think it black and white but look closely and you will see colour there too.
Blues, browns, creams, rust and maybe a tint of red? What colours can you see?
My work evolves as I get engrossed in it. Looking at this picture I am thinking of taking the subtle colours and the shapes and rearranging them. It would make a lovely hanging in machine embroidery, or as a quilted piece. even a paper collage with a little bit of stitch in there. I keep thinking fragmentation, so a fragmented hanging would probably be the end result. But who knows? I may change my mind.
I have written this piece so that you understand my world a little bit. And it will help you understand why I love Experimental Wednesdays so much. It is not just the days teaching and encouraging learners that I love but also the preparation for the day. Sometimes I have to remember to hold back a bit but there are the odd ones that I do have to push myself further as I feel there is not enough in the subject to get me excited to want to work into it further.
Why not try looking at your world for a day in a different way? look at the lines, colours and textures of the day. You can find it anything from a cupboard full of food to a pile of ironing.
Be inspired by what ever you see.