The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. Jimmy Johnson
I have been thinking about what makes how I see things as an artist different from anyone else. Is it innate? Is it just the way I look at things? Or is it because I have tuned my senses to see that little extra.
My first sighting of fireflies for the season last night made me smile with joy. I know that most people smile at this same site so what makes it different for me? It brought up happy times with my daughter, catching them in her hand. Enjoying the damp sweet smelling grass on our feet and the wonder of the blinking yellow green light of the fireflies.
As I enjoyed this memory an idea for a new piece of art came to mind. Dark blue sky, stars twinking, green meadow of tall grass, maybe some flowers among the grass, a blond young girl running with arms stretched high catching fireflies.
Does this extra step, the movement from a personal memory to the visual creation including the colors of that memory for a piece of art make me different? I laugh because most of my good friends have called me “different” at one time or another. Yet I do identify with this because it helps to define me as an artist.
However even though I know it is innate for me, I believe that everyone can try to see things in this same manner. I know that everyone can see something beautiful in everyday life if they only look. I have the ability to try and communicate that beauty to others in my art. I guess that is the extra, the thing that makes me different.
I see things differently in ordinary things too. I can not tell you why but I can see a wave of tall grasses in a piece of upholstery trim. On the seascape I have been sharing I wanted something that would look like sea kelp. I had some hand dyed trim that arches, mimicking the movement of the sea. As I layed it down I realized that the color was too light. Fixed that with some alcohol dye pens making them a warm medium color. Here is the trim in it’s original form so you can see the slight changes I have made when you see the next picture.
I have started adding beading, check out the turquoise green fan coral on the right hand side. There is a very large sea urchin with round disk beads too. The purple stitching is commonly known as the drizzle stitch. A simple cast on stitch used in knitting with the tail brought thru to the back with the line of knots twisting and turning. I just love how much texture this technique adds.
I have added a few fish shaped beads in a moss green, light orange and a snowy white Mylar finish. I plan to add more fish all throughout the piece. I need to fill up the foreground with some more bead work and stitching. Then the true challenge will be knowing when to stop.