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    « Just Limes | Main | Rainy Day Links: Creative Inspiration »

    Color Series: Inspired by Blue

    The idea behind this series on getting out of your color safe zone and trying new colors in your art is that of a color prompt. This works like a journal prompt by getting your mind moving in a new direction. By trying new-to-you colors, or limiting the palette to colors you don't typically use, What could you discover? Could you use color to spark your creativity? Find that elusive muse?

    We begin the third part of our Color Series with a gorgeous blue quilt entitled Blue Skies. This quilt is the collaborative design of fiber artists Amy Cowen and Opal Cocke of Here2There. A rare find in their fiber endeavors, blue is outside their color comfort zone. You might know Amy as the imaginative artist behind the popular  Creative Mom Podcast!

    I love that Amy and Opal collaborate and challenge each other in their work, with constraints such as form or color. Their quilts and fiber work are works of art composed of vivid, contrasting patterns with lovely details. So much to look at and enjoy. These quilts are on my home decor wish list. {Used with permission from the artists.}

    Here are some ways to do a color prompt!

    <Do a mind map> What does the color signify to you? I did this mind map in PITT pen in a 5x8" moleskine while the kids were at swimming class. My mind map for blue includes "the beach, aqua, reflections, tranquility."

    <Photograph Ideas> Digital camera in hand, photograph blues as you find them. You can tag your photos in photo editing software or Flickr and review for inspiration. These are from our trip to Mexico ~ a beaded bracelet and the turquoise hues of the ocean.


    <Find ideas at Flickr> Check the Cartel Color - Blue Dominates and **The Color Blue** groups. You can go to any group and search on a word. For example, "pale blue" or "ocean" and Flickr will pull photos with those tags or those words in the description. Tag your Flickr photos creatively.

    <Make a color inspiration board>

    • Post ATCs, fabric, photographs, gift tags, scrapbook paper, paint chips, a handmade paint palette, ribbon and thread to a cork board and hang it where it will inspire you and make you smile!
    • Polka Dot Bride shares inspiration boards for color combinations; check out the fun blue-based Summer Lovin' and Peacock Party.
    • Build a low-tech digital inspiration board from photos on your computer. Simply copy all of your blue (or whatever your current focus, be it a color or a subject) photos into a folder and look at them as a filmstrip or thumbnails.
    • Use Flickr Tools Mosaic Maker... like my Blue Inspiration mosaic.

     <Find ideas in fabric> From fabric stores to clothing to fabric websites, inspiring patters abound. Here... Pocketful of Paisley fabric from Kings Road, Aloha & Indigo fabrics from Donghia.


    We stroll from ocean blue cotton fabric to thick velvet indigo draperies. We get into colors that make us happy, or those most familiar to us. Find possiblity and adventure in new colors. It does not matter what colors you use! But new colors might lead to new thoughts, you never know!

    Choose any color. Start anywhere. Check out the entire Color Series, with a focus on neutral colors, pink, purple, orange and more!

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I love this series on color, Tammy! Thank you so much for including a piece of our work in your study of "blue."

    02.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Amy & Opal, Thank you for allowing me to share your creation! It's perfect for the series.

    02.4.2009 | Registered Commentergypsy

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