Monday, April 25, 2011

One Part Inspiration

Thomas Edison once said “Genius is one part inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.”  Which means, of course, that ideas are plenty, but what actually is important is that one spends time actually working to see the idea come to fruition.

I have shared my journals and process in the past , as well as written about some of my inspirations.  Today I am going to share what I am working with right now.

On my birthday, I was gifted with a book about the life and art of the textile designer Vera.  I had read an article about her in American Artist magazine when I was a teenager and have been inspired by her work ever since.  That same day we also visited the Franklin Park Conservatory, and I took nearly one hundred pictures of the plants and wildlife on exhibit that day.

Here are a few of the images from that trip:



I loved the red and green striping in this plant, and see several pattern possibilities in the structure.



This piece is crying out to be rendered as an abstract stitching to explore the different textures and colors.


This may end up being a knit piece.  Or perhaps a machine embroidered piece with individually embroidered petals.


I love this tree with all the different eyes.  The fringy bark just puts it over the top.  So many ideas, cannot pick!

With these photos in mind, I made a few sketches in my Moleskine, and translated one of them into fabric.

veras conservatory

Vera’s Conservatory, 2011  18” X 24”  Hand dyed cottons from my friend Diane Eyerman’s collection, commercial batiks and commercial cottons.  Machine appliqued and machine quilted.

veras conservatory detailone_picnik

Detail of the tree bark.

veras conservatory detail two_picnik

Detail of the machine quilting. 

I really enjoyed translating my experience at the Conservatory that day into a piece of wall art.  I already have plans for more pieces based on the images I took.  Lots of inspiration, now it’s time for the perspiration! :D


  1. I love this! both the inspiration and the nature-inspired quit. I am sure you know how I feel about nature! I have a few good booklets from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. are you a fan of their work?

  2. I have several of their books and booklets, just haven't been able to be free enough in my approach yet, but I'm getting there :)