Sunday, February 24, 2008

Balance with chaos

Initial color layout of the table runner. Any opinions?

I had some rules to begin with. No repeat patterns together, no repeat colors together, maintain a repetitive order, pair chaotic patterns with calmer patterns. Once I had it laid out specifically to that recipe, then I mixed it up a bit, pairing some like colors, some like patterns, and taking my few blue diamonds and scattering them in a random fashion. (I also needed two of the blues to complete the middle orange chevron row since the set of oranges was lacking in the larger floral print.)

One of the reasons why a project like this can be daunting to me is I have an insane fear that I am horrible at matching colors. Like, when I was in elementary school, if it wasn't an easy two-color combo like red/green or black/white, I would hesitate to dress in anything polychromatic because I was afraid of being laughed at. (I was always laughed at anyways. I was a bit of a loner in grade school...)

This fear of color followed me into my adult life. I wear a t-shirt with jeans because jeans are the universal matching pants. I rarely put on makeup. And when it comes to the color compositions of my projects, I just about have a heart attack sometimes, even with a pre-matched jelly roll where all the work's been done for me!

I need order and rules to be able to feel confident that I made something work. I followed the directions, so there's no way I screwed it up. And yet, how am I to insert my own signature into something if all I'm doing is following rules, even if they're my own rules?

The whole time I was setting out the pieces of the runner, three words were repeating in my head. Balance with chaos. Balance out the colors with a sense of ordered chaos and it will come out fine. For a perfectionist like me who expects no mistakes from herself being confronted with the real world fact that nothing is perfect, being able to embrace chaos and order and balancing between the two is so relieving.

I think I've finally put words to this thought in my head on how exactly I can approach the concept of color and layout without eating my own hat in frustration. And once I put something into solid words, words that can be written on a page, repeated like a mantra, stored to memory in its exact form, then I do so much better when it comes time to retrieve the information and apply it. Words are like rules. They can not be broken and thus are impervious to imperfection.


Judi Wellnitz said...

I like the center section - that looks like the tumbling blocks. I think the darks on one end and the lights on the other (the strips) is a bit unbalanced. Maybe if you mix them up? Like the order of the blocks: yellow/green/brown/orange.

I used to be very hesitant in my color choices too - then I took a color and design class at the University. You don't have any choice but to get better after that. Since you probably have some elective classes to take maybe you can take one of those? Gotta be more fun that Microbiology! There is a really good book on color for crafters too - called Color Works, The Crafter's Guide to Color. Better than any of the others I've seen.


art spirit said...

Hi...enjoying your Blog! love your cats and fabric and all the projects...reminds me of my self!...
thanks for your comments and visits.

Shashi Nayagam said...

I agree with Judi although I am hopeless when co-ordinating anything more than 3 colours.

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

OO, I see you are in TX. Luv the southwest & some day will return. Till then i visit as often as I can. :) What a fun blog you have, I'm really enjoying my visit.

Thank you for joining up & contributing a square... I'm adding your name (Cindibee) to our list right away. Please ship your square by March 1. Happy creations, I'm looking forward to stopping back in here to see how your quilt evolves. Happy day to you, Monica :)

Wild Thread Studio said...

This looks great, Cindi.
I dunno why we creative souls have such a hard time trusting our instincts but some of us do! Keep working, working, working to expand your horizons and all will be fine!

Cheryl said...

Hi. First, thanks for visiting my blog and your comment on my Harpy.
Now, ref your quilt, I agree with Judi. Now wasn't that easy? LOL
You might be the youngest memger of doll street (go ahead, rub it in) but I can tell from this blog we are going to be seeing a lot from you. Enjoyed your blog.

jude said...

hi, i would say that the color is not the problem, just stop trying to be confident, it is imaginary anyway...glad to have found your blog!

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

got it! Your AWSUM square arrived safe & sound and is dancing through our parade of squares! I love the lil beads and the flower melts the chill of winter away... awww, Spring- can it come fast enuff?

When you get the chance come by and visit the latest squares, we are up to page 3 now. BRAVO! WE ROCK!! :) ~Monica

p.s. How's TX?