Thursday, December 04, 2014


There's been a lot of talk on the quiltart email list about using photos as inspiration for art quilts. Lots of art quilters like to re-create or copy photographs in fabric. People have many closely-held and hotly debated thoughts on this topic. I'm not speaking to it specifically here. I just wanted to write a bit about being inspired by photographs... or maybe just being inspired by what's around me.

I nearly gasped when I saw this trunk in front of me when I was driving to pick up Claire at school yesterday.

This is the kind of thing I finding enormously inspiring. The stacks of brown square pieces of wood next to stacked the gray pipes and the black circles created by the interior of the pipes.

The contrast in the orderly stacked wood and the somewhat random (but still slightly orderly) pipe.

Even the lines in the grain of the wood and their irregular arrangement. The variety of lights and darks... subtle.

If I look beyond the wood and the pipes, I fall in love with the bits of blue and red.

If I were to make a quilt using this photo as inspiration, I'd be thinking about the color palette, the patterning and the shapes. It would be an abstract quilt, most likely. But, it might also be inspired by the gloominess of the day, the regularly it picking up the kids from school, traffic, fields, birds...

For me, that's how inspiration finds it's way into my creative process.


chris said...

Food for thought & I like the way you think!

cauchy09 said...

Of course, there's a difference between inspiration and direct copy (rather than interpretation). I found myself wondering in Houston where the photo-quilters are headed. Why is the quilt form necessary? Or how does the quilt medium enhance the experience of the photo being copied? In most cases, I was at a loss to understand.