Thursday, January 22, 2015
I started drawing this tile yesterday. I got about halfway through it before I became so tired I knew it was time for bed. I continued with it this evening and felt through most of it that it was going to turn out to be an average tile. But I kept working on it, and little by little, it morphed into a composition that I wound up liking a lot.
Something I really appreciate about this process is that it gives me great practice in pushing through and continuing to work on something that feels like a lost cause. Those jade-shaped petals at the top (Flux) looked scrawny and unappealing when I first drew them. My first thought was that I'd done it wrong. It didn't have the regular appearance that many examples of the pattern in other people's work seems to possess. The petals are different sizes -- they move in different directions. After I decided to add the lines in the center of each petal, they started to look better. Then I decided to color in the background area, which made that area more dramatic.
The three areas of Tripoli are a beautiful surprise to my eye. When I drew in that pattern, I sketched in the basic design in all three areas, and reflected for a while on how I should handle them. I started by putting Tipple in the middle part, unsure of how it would look with Tripoli. It worked fine. I am fascinated by the different weight and texture Tripoli takes on when the hollow areas are filled in with Tipple. It becomes a kind of mosaic made of small pieces. The second Tripoli part I completed was the one in the upper left, another experiment. I had never simply colored in the Tripoli triangles and was curious about how it would look. I think it works well in this tile. The last area of Tripoli (lower right) is the sort of default version of the pattern, one that Maria Thomas uses a lot, and that Molly taught us during my CZT seminar in June 2014. I knew that version of Tripoli would look great because I'd drawn it before.
What I appreciate especially about this tile is the way in which all three areas of Tripoli work together in the composition as a whole. I did not "see" this harmony while I was drawing the tile. It emerged slowly throughout the drawing because of many small choices I made while working on it.