Monday, August 30, 2010

Pattern maker

An artist friend told me recently that I had an eye for picking out patterns in my photos. Let me be clear that he didn't mean this as a compliment. He's someone who has actual talent, and a shiny degree from a local art institute. He fills sketchbooks chock full of studies--a coy shoulder, a barfly's potbelly, a gaggle of bus stop loiterers. So when he said this I felt as though he were saying I had more dedication than skill.
But I thought about it some more and now I think there's no reason to be mad. I am obsessed with patterns, with line and shadow and angles. I love the sad orderliness in this rundown Pioneer Square window, and the graffiti riot of color.
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When I was a kid, my mom made all our clothes. She rocked urban craft uprising way before the hipsters. I passed the long hours at the fabric store looking at Butterick patterns, imagining myself in this blousy top, or these rakish gauchos. It took some doing, making that mental leap out of two-dimensionality, from a lackluster fabric bolt and tissue paper pattern to actual clothing, but now I think maybe it's what got me here. Seeing the potential.
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9/1 UPDATE: I got a text yesterday asking "am I the artist you wrote about on your blog?"
Caught out!
Said artist, Nthnart, who blogs here, countered that he'd meant his comment as a compliment.
So, I take it as such, with slightly embarrassed gratitude.

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