Now, at this time in your life, your tastes have evolved. You see flowers, or geometrics, and colors and they speak to you. This may be a new language, because you grew up with a different world view in your childhood, or young adulthood home. Depending on your decade, you saw a lot of olive green, mustard yellow, plaids, dots, tweeds, browns or cream-colored furniture and walls in your home. You may have been blessed with a child’s fantasy room of cars, princesses, fluffy textures, pink or blue. But now, at some point, you see something totally different and it grabs you!
I discovered this only recently. I grew up with dirt-colored furniture, blankets in ugly olive green and a mish-mash of plaids in varying shades of brown. I escaped, of course, decorating my own first small space with delicate green flowered fabrics, lace curtains and bright, open windows. Then, I graduated to brighter colors, choosing red, turquoise and candy pinks to punctuate my studio rental. I know now this fixation on the brightest in the color spectrum was my rebellion against an absence of meaningful color in my childhood home. And, for years, color has been my therapeutic companion.
Last year, a change came over me suddenly. I picked up colored pencils and made a drawing of a Peruvian quipu, a knotted group of strings hanging from a woven band. In feeling the length of the strings, straight and even, under my pencil (using a protractor) and creating my own version of a message in the knots, I discovered something. My colors were as dark as the pencils would allow, but still came out delicate. I set the design aside, but recently picked it up again. I have been designing ways to improve the small space experience. Using color is one way. Using vertical and hidden space is another. But there are other ways that I am exploring. Patterns that speak to the human soul are derived from an artist’s emotional and creative commitment to a vision. Now, I am looking at the pattern, not just the color.
From experience, I know that from the point in time that I drew that first quipu line, I had taken a different path. Delicate lines, white spaces, almost geometric, but still painterly—this pattern was different than anything I ever saw or created. The story behind it, the hidden messages in the knots—this was another level of design.
I decided to test my theory and see what my Peruvian quipu looked like on actual fabric, so I had it digitally printed, in a repeating pattern, on a soft, white cotton. I showed it to a friend, who said “that would make dreamy bedding”. So my tentative thoughts were validated by another. A dreamy pattern, a soft, delicate, but strong and meaningful pattern. A pattern with a beautiful design, but also a hidden message. Yes, this is a different world for me. I still love my red corner desk, my bright pink chair, anything in blue-green or indigo. I still gravitate toward the brightest colors. But now, a new portal is open to me. This is a new world for me. A world I made.