Friday, February 20, 2015

No Pattern Today

I don't have a pattern for you today. I have been busy packing and getting ready for my trip to Arizona. I tell you, it can't come soon enough. The weather here in Boston has been so brutal. I haven't been out of the house at all in over a month. Just to go to the doctor.

I am looking forward to being in the desert once again. I have my sketchbook packed and my pens. Unfortunately I was not able to get to the art supply store for some new pens so the old ones will have to do. I can always find an art store in Tucson. I am sure there are plenty. I plan on visiting a few of our old haunts that we always go to including Tohono Chul Park and the Degrazia gallery. There are a couple of new places I want to go to as well. I recently read about a Zen Garden near the Tucson Botanical Gardens and so I will be sure to check that out.

And of course a few trips to Sabino Canyon for the hiking. I haven't exercised in over a month so I am sure I will be quite out of shape for it! But I will pace myself and build myself back up slowly.

I am bringing my computer of course. Funny how we can't leave the electronics for a minute any more. But I feel like my life is on here now and luckily it doesn't weigh too much.

So have a nice weekend. By this time tomorrow I will be on my way! Hooray!

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Pattern Friday

Friday again. Hard to believe. And Friday the 13th no less. I am still working hard at the lessons I learned at Jessica Swift's Pattern Camp. Mostly the half drop repeats since that is the most complicated design I have learned so far. To keep it fairly simple I worked in black and white only and then decided I really liked it as a collection. I am noticing however that in the design on the far right I did not make a rich black and it stands out like a sore thumb! Oops. I will have to fix that. Rich black is made using 40% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and 100% black. It makes a huge difference rather than just using 100% black. Can you see it?

Have a great weekend and Valentines Day. We are getting yet another snowstorm. Oh joy. Not.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pattern Camp

Tossed Repeat on a Grid
This past weekend I went to Jessica Swift's "Pattern Camp."  Luckily I didn't have to "go" anywhere but to my computer in my studio since I am still recovering from my illness.

If you are into pattern design and you want to know everything there is to know about designing patterns, than Pattern Camp is for you. It is only two days long but every minute is packed full with lessons and ideas. I love the way you get to watch Jessica actually design on the computer as she shares her screen with you.

I really had no idea that there were so many ways to vary your pattern designs. I especially never knew how to do a half drop repeat in Illustrator. Now I know how to do that as well as many other varieties of repeats. The above design is a tossed repeat based on a grid. I really like the way it came out! I had been hanging on to those weird shapes for a while and never knew what to do with them since they are all a little bit different. The grid design was perfect for them.

The following design is based on the half drop repeat. I still haven't tried the brick repeat since it is similar to the half drop but in a horizontal direction rather than a vertical one.

Paisley Design
One thing I have noticed is that my colors are much brighter when I work digitally than when I work with actual paint. I am enjoying the colors and the color mixing. 

The key now is to keep practicing my newly learned skills so that they become second nature and I can improve with each design. I am still taking Laura Coyle's Illustrator classes as well and that is really helping me supplement my pattern design classes with actual hands on illustrator classes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

On The Mend

I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes these past few weeks during my bout with pneumonia.

I seem to be on the mend now and I am finally beginning to feel human again. Even though the weather is absolutely horrid and I have no intention of going out again until it is time to get on the plane for Arizona at the end of the month. The snow banks are piling up out there higher and higher. It is deceiving when I look down from my apartment windows at the snow below. It is much deeper than it looks from up here!

One thing about being so sick is that I realized I need to take better care of myself. As you know I am always doing things for my family. Most times I do too much. I was wearing myself into the ground. There are many days I am so busy running errands and doing things for others that I don't get my own things done. I know it looks like I do a lot of art but I really don't do as much as I want to or should be.

I was very worried about turning 65 at the beginning of the month. I had no idea of course I would get so sick for my 65th birthday. Turning 65 is quite traumatic for me. Medicare. Social Security. Yikes.

I am going to be saying "no" more and more to my family. I have to for my own self preservation. They are going to have to figure things out for themselves. I can no longer fix everything, nor do I want to. Everyone is a grown up now. Even my grandson. He is 15 now and I have done all I can do. It is up to him now.

I leave you with my little Valentines Day pattern! Have a good week everyone and thanks again for all your get well wishes. It has meant a lot to me these past few weeks.

Friday, February 6, 2015

New Pattern Friday

I am beginning to lose all track of time. It is weeks now since I became sick with pneumonia. I have only been out of the house twice and that was to go to the doctors. I am feeling a bit better. However, this isn't the type of illness where all of a sudden you feel much better and go about your business as usual. It will be weeks before I can swim again since my lungs need to heal. The last thing I want is a relapse so I need to be very careful. I feel so fragile.

This winter has been brutal weather-wise. So I couldn't go out if I wanted to. It is easy to become hopeless when you are ill and when you can't go out. I have been in my studio for the past few days and so have been playing around with patterns again which at least helps me feel less depressed.

Before I became ill I signed up for Pattern Camp which is this weekend. It is all weekend and it is supposed to be quite intensive. I will do what I can and not worry about what I can't get done.

Have a nice weekend everyone. I will try to as well.