31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life
In exploring my 31 Day Quilt Inspiration series, I am having a lot of fun making colour boards from my own happy snaps. I am primarily choosing pictures that mean something to me, and while I try not to pick the really blurry ones, I am deliberately not getting hung up about technical perfection either.
And you can do this too. But what do you do when a picture you like doesn’t convey the colours that you remember (accurately or otherwise)?!
Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 20
As I was going through pictures I took in Vanuatu on our last work trip, I found a photo with colours and a story that I liked….. Or at least colours I thought I liked!
On the first Sunday that we were in Vanuatu, Paul took our daughter to the local church while my son and I, who were feeling a little poorly, stayed home. On her return, my lovely daughter gave me two frangipanis that she had picked. They were already looking a little worse for wear, but they still looked pretty in a bowl I found in the cupboard. So I took a quick photo.
When I found this photo among our snaps, I felt happy because I remembered how my daughter had brought me the flowers. And I remembered how sweet the blooms looked in the little bowl of water, despite their slight rough handling. So I thought: “I will make a pretty colours board”.
Only, when I tried, I discovered something. The colours that I remember, and the colours that I thought I could see in the photo, just aren’t there! This is what’s really there:
It is funny how the brain interprets things. It plays tricks on you! Sees things that are not there. Colours are a prime example of this, and it can be tricky to get your head around actual colours vs perceived colours. This is in part because colours in real life are affected by lighting and shadows. Our brains and eyes compensate for light levels better than my camera does on “automatic”.
Furthermore, the brain uses colour shifts to confer three dimensions, form and texture onto 2D images. So often we don’t consciously acknowledge colour change across an object. We see it as shape. This is a powerful tool to use when drawing an image, but a tough adversary when trying to deconstruct one. At least, I find it tricky sometimes.
How was I inspired to find a set of frangipani colours that I can use?
I don’t want to make a project in the colours that are actually in the frangipani photo. They are dull and uninteresting to me. I want to make colours like I think I see. Like this:
As you can see from the board above, the colours I perceive are much purer tones than the shades that are actually in the photo. My colour list and the frangipani photo do not belong together.
So, the easiest fix in this situation is to simply choose the brighter, lighter hues and tints of the real colours. But if you do not feel confident extending your inspiration so far from the source, there is another way. Edit your photos with one of the many software packages that allow you to change the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows and saturation etc of your picture. You don’t need to buy an editor. Tech Radar has kindly provided you a summary of the best free photo editors currently available in 2017 . My husband and I have been fans of GIMP for many years, the program that made the top of Tech Radar’s list. But for a quick edit, a simple program like Preview can do the trick too.
Once you have the effect you want, you can pick out the colours from your happier happy snap. 🙂 Oh joy!
And there you have it…. another tool under your belt for using your everyday experiences as quilt inspiration.
See you for more fun tomorrow!
P.S. Do you remember how I said I thought that pineapples were stalking me? Well, it’s possible that they are not after me specifically…. it’s possible that they are methodically turning all quilters into their minions….. hahahaha just being silly, but now I have your attention back, I want to tell you that I just found a really nice post about a pineapple art quilt at Pretty Piney. The pineapples insist you take a look….. 🙂
P.P.S. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts