Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scarlet Willow--Libby



Scarlet Willow
21" x 17"
My idea for this piece did not start out this way. I originally wanted to do a piece that told a story of some sort. I couldn't get a story out of that plate of food and realized that I was struggling way too much, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. After some more research into Chinese art, I went back to an idea that I had discarded as too easy which was the ancient art of Chinese paper cutting.

Chinese paper cutting is an incredibly old craft and a rather intricate affair. Much of what I saw was done in the colors of red and white. I never work with red; it disturbs me a lot when I use it so I don't. I went ahead anyway and based my design loosely on the Willow plate pattern. I hope you can spot the noodles as the water design, broccoli as the tree forms, pea pods in the sky and the chopstick idea in the fence next to the pagoda. I even included some carrots and of course, the circular form of the plate. The mountains are a loose interpretation of the pot stickers also. The border fabric was a lucky find for me and has a little added color with the purple and gold. The piece is subdued and looks a bit like a placemet but I think a little bit of my understated efforts came through in the end.

11 comments:

  1. Libby, how creative! The fact that you researched Chinese art and found paper cutting, and came up with a design of noodles as water, broccoli trees, etc, is off the creative charts. Your understated efforts definitely came through. I'm blown away. Applause!!

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  2. This is a totally unexpected interpretation! It's fun and whimsical, and somehow your style too. I don't know if I would have spotted the food connections if you hadn't pointed them out, but the red on white is very striking anyway, not all that subdued. I particularly like the criss-cross design in the background.

    Coincidence: As I was putting away some clutter the other day I found a packet of Chinese paper cuts that one of my husband's post-docs had given us. I thought, "Hmm... if I'd remembered these were here, I might have figured out a way to do something with them." Glad you did! Good job, Libby.

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  3. I can't quite put my finger on it but your piece reminds me of Chinese advertisemtns-maybe on takeout food menus?

    It looks very food related to me--I immediately saw the placemat, the round plate and the lines down the side as the chopsticks. I had to look a bit closer to make out the connection to the food items but then it was obvious.

    Very clever, Libby!

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  4. Clever interpretation ... and most certainly outside the box thinking.

    An added food shape that I see is grains of rice in the pattern of the border fabric. This is one of those cases of eye/mind tricks ... once you see one connection to food shapes, the eye continues to look for more.

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  5. I was looking forward to seeing your interpretation of this photograph to see how you were going to stay true to your style....and you did !!! It is
    perfect and definitely resembles the blue willow pattern (one of the most popular in our shoppe).
    I did not catch the food idea at first but once I went from plate to chopsticks then it all came together for me. Great work!

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  6. As soon as I saw the broccoli trees on the plate I knew there were more food connections in the "story". I like how the piece is serious and serene with a subtle whimsy. Wonderful job!

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  7. You have managed to work in the landscape aspects you originally wanted, while keeping to the challenge. It is a very striking piece! Well done, Libby!

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  8. So nicely done. It does look like a take out container until one starts getting closer. Love the broccoli. We have blue willow and I'll never look at it the same again. You've given it a whole new twist.

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  9. For someone who doesn't like to use red, you did a very nice job with this piece. It is understated, with an Oriental feel that is different- more folkart, it seems to me. And I love how you worked in the food so subtly!!

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  10. Wonderful food images in the cut outs! I like this one alot!

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  11. Oh Libby how fantastically creative! I'm fully impressed AND absolutely enjoy this piece. Such talent you have.

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Thanks for stopping by and commenting!