Saturday, June 14, 2014

If I Were a Painter

And I think my brush would take me there,
but only
if I were a painter
and could paint a memory... -- Norah Jones, Painter Song
Years ago, back in my early online chatting days, I had an online friend who was a painter. He worked as a plumber for a living, but at heart, he was a talented painter. His brush strokes were so precise that it was often difficult for me to tell if he was sharing a photograph of a scene or one of his oil paintings.

I remember him saying one day, "I see everything as a painting. I look at a scene, and I start to paint it in my head." I thought that was fascinating, especially since I have no real experience with painting pictures. This was part of who he was, the way he saw the world. 

Years later, I find that this is the same way I feel the same way about my yarn work. I don't know when I started doing this, but these days, I look around at things and wonder how I could knit or crochet that into my projects. The other day, I came across this photo online of this feathery sea star:

 Image by Robert Rath

Since then, I've been wondering how I could integrate that kind of texture into a garment. Maybe some kind of slipped stitch ridge, or ribbing... and I could use these two skeins of Fleece Artist and put them together somehow:



I also come back to this photo a lot, from our trip to Yellowstone a few years ago. The searing depths of these hot springs were mesmerizing to me. I couldn't get over the unending blue, blue, blue of them:


And when I saw these skeins of mercerized cotton by Katia yarns, it brought me back to that memory. Could I somehow share the depths of those hot springs with these? I wonder...


One image I haven't been able to get out of my mind were these pine cones that were turned white by the heat of the geysers at Yellowstone. It looked as though it would only take a puff of breath to blow their ashy forms away:


When I found these two balls of Tahiti cotton a few weeks ago, my mind immediately flashed to those cones. Would it work to knit or crochet some kind of spiral or spring to mimic these cones? Maybe knit a lacy or cable tree motif to stitch them to? Would that look interesting on the back panel of a sweater?


In reality, I've been slowly plodding along on my current alpaca scarf project, but these are the things that fill my mind in my free moments. I feel sad that I just can't seem to organize myself to knit as often as I used to, but I'm ever hopeful that that will change. In the meantime, I content myself with these little fanciful trips into my memory and into my yarn stash.

And I also wonder where my painter friend is these days, and wonder if he still sees the world in oil paint. John, you've always been an inspiration to me. I hope you are still making those beautiful works of art, and drinking that good, non-candy bar coffee.

I still think you're wrong about that, by the way. Coffee with milk is way better, skippy. If you ever come across this blog, I'd be happy to continue that argument with you, just sayin'...

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