Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Inspiration 1: Bishop's Close

This is my 1st assignment in the June and Sheila Let's Inspire Each Other Challenge (I should come up with a simpler name for what we are doing but there it is). See this post to read about our first in-person meet and how the challenge idea came about. June has chosen her oil painting "Sunbreaks at Bishop's Close" for me to base a textile piece on. Pretty appropriate subject matter for me since this is her rendition of the actual Bishop's Close of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon in Portland, and I am an Episcopalian. A close, as I have learned from their website, is merely British terminology to describe an enclosed area around a church or other sacred space which provides a place for quietude and meditation. I've not visited this place which is open to the public, so I must rely on June and the pictures of Elk Rock Gardens on the website in gathering a little background info to spark an idea for my interpretation. More pictures can be seen on this webshots site.

I knew I wouldn't have time to work on my piece until now, but have had the jpg of June's painting as my monitor wallpaper for several weeks now. The thought was that I'd see it every day so my subconscious, if nothing else, could start working up an idea. My conscious certainly was coming up with any brilliant ideas, so I changed the wallpaper from a single centered image to the stretched version above. This had the effect of helping me see better the different colors and shadings she used. It also makes the scene seem more quiet and meditative to me.

When I got tired of that, I changed it to the tile setting. I thought tiling the image might generate secondary design elements like when you set traditional quilt blocks side by side with no sashing. Sometimes where the blocks meet, a star emerges, for instance. But I didn't see anything useful there.

When I did my tissue paper sun printing, I swear the choice of colors was strictly random. I wanted to do something different from the blues and purples and fuchsias I've done in the past. Once I removed the tissue paper, though, I noted how closely I'd picked up the colors in June's paintings. Mmm, maybe the subconscious had indeed been working on the problem. I tried to dismiss it, but even June picked up on it.

So it looks like one of these sun prints will be incorporated in my piece inspired by June's "Sunbreaks at Bishop's Close," but how is still murky. No doubt my subconscious is already halfway to the answer.

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