Friday, April 16, 2010

{Fabric Friday} Marimekko & the Skagit Valley

The tulip fields are in full bloom where I live. Driving out through the fields all you see are large blocks of vibrant color- like a patchwork quilt. I find that during this time of year, the colors and shapes of this valley, influence my fabric and palette choices.

{My son, Sayer, running through a tulip field in the Skagit Valley last week.}

Which brings me to my love of Marimekko fabrics. Marimekko is a Finnish corporation that began in the 1951. Their textile designs came from artists printing their graphic designs on fabrics. The name, Marimekko, is considered to represent, “the desire for a modern lifestyle that is in harmony with the natural environment”. Well, that pretty much sums up my aesthetic in a nut shell. I actually have been known to drool a little when looking at Marimekko fabrics. My klt:stash is running a bit low these days so I put together a klt:wishlist to share with you. 

{Marimekko wish list fabrics found here}

{ klt:works dwindling Marimekko stash}

I can’t help but wonder if the the vast tulip fields of the area where Marimekko originated, had some influence in the palette and designs of their textiles. And maybe it is because I grew up in an area agriculturally similar, that I gravitate towards the Marimekko designs and aesthetic? It is nice to feel that connection anyway.

{Tulip fields in the Netherlands-picture via the Post Family}

Marimekko textiles are classics and I will continue to enjoy them and create with them for as long as I am inspired by my own surroundings.  Happy Fabric Friday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

{Everyday Inspiration} Story time ...

I am like a sponge when it comes to soaking up the thousands of details that a day throws my way. Hanging out with a toddler can pretty much guarantee that some pretty noteworthy things will been seen, pointed out, and documented in my mental sketchbook. One of my favorite times for seeking inspiration, is story time with Sayer. Whether it is concocting our own stories or reading one of his many books, some tidbit of information is always stashed away for future creations. I have always loved children's books and have collected them for years. They are displayed all around the house because I like to have them accessible and in my sight. The book ledge in my studio, dedicated to my current finds, and the book wall in Sayer's room are some of my favorite spots to gaze. 

My fellow, book lover friend, Catherine (monsieur minouchet), gave me, Spot It! Find the Hidden Creatures, by Delphine Chedru last Christmas. This is a truly gorgeous book! It has become a favorite of Sayer's as well. His favorite part of the book is, "The fox in the night...". He really seems to respond to the palette (he is also really aware of color these days). I even got him the pajamas that he is wearing in the picture above, because of the book- they are his "night fox" pajamas. We spend so much time studying each page in this book, that some of the color combinations inevitably found their way into my studio. I wanted to share with you how this book has influenced my color choices when making some recent klt:plush.

{pictured: Bluebird with Helen Rawlinson screen printed fabric, Night time Dewey Bird, Marimekko Slugs}

{pictured: ABC Dewey Bird with Helen Rawlinson screen printed fabric}

There is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to be inspired by this book, and many others, when making things for klt:works. Is there a favorite book that you look to for inspiration? 

Monday, April 12, 2010

{Music Monday} Finding music visually...

I bought my first Neko Case cd, because I was drawn to it visually. I really didn't know much about her then, but the illustrations on Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2006), drew me in. I buy books this way too. Every now and then, it is the cd & book designs that are the most interesting part, but not with Fox Confessor. I instantly became a fan of Neko's voice, interesting lyrics, and music. I find that I naturally gravitate towards musicians that have a honed visual sensibility. {image via artist's website}

I love the animated illustration for, Maybe Sparrow (Fox Confessor). This video is beautiful on so many levels. You will probably see why I like it - I use owl and bird imagery a lot in the klt:studio. 

I recently bought the book, When You Were Small, for Sayer. I had the same immediate response to it visually as I had to the Neko Case cd & video. It wasn't until buying the book, that I made the connection that it was the same illustrator, Julie Morstad. It is apparent that Neko & Julie share the same sensibility. Combining the talents of these two women is pure genius!

I stumbled upon this next video of Neko talking about her creative process for her album, Middle Cyclone. When I listened to her talk, as if I wasn't already hooked, I became immediately aware of why her music has become a studio favorite of mine. The statement that resonates with me the most is when she talks about "happy accidents". This is a phrase that I use often when I teach painting but it is also one that I truly live by. Her philosophy, and the way that she goes about her creative process is something that I really understand and appreciate. I suppose that is why I respond to her work so strongly. This little snippet inspires me with music, words, and a visual language that appeals to me aesthetically. Hope you enjoy it too.

So, thank you Julie Morstad, for introducing me to such an amazing musician through your illustrations! Happy Music Monday!  So, what musician inspires you?


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