I'm quite a literal person most of the time. I think I'm crafty but not artistic but my Mum disagrees. She is artistic, a good painter, good at drawing. She enrolled in a Fine Arts degree a year or so before she left Australia but gave it up to come back 'home'. For me being artistic means creating something from your own imagination whereas being crafty is being able to follow instructions to create or reproduce something. Now I know there are people who will disagree with me! This is only my own view, only the way I think about me. Not a sweeping generalisation of all things creative, artistic or crafty!
If I sit down with watercolours or coloured pencils and a blank piece of paper, blank it remains. I know what to do and what I'd like to do but I never seem to be able to get it on the paper. Fibre things seem to have broken the mould for me. I can get my dyes out and just do it. Making it up as I go along and so far, its always worked. Touch wood. :-)
I still have trouble interpreting what I see and turning it into a colourway. This is where the literal side of me comes to the fore with a vengeance. I look at a photo of a tree and I see a... tree. Someone can say 'but look at the colours, look at the play of light and shade' and I see a... tree.
So what is the point of all this jabbering on about the way my brain works? Well, I came across this post on Cledry's blog and had a light bulb moment. She thinks the way same as I do apparently - nice to know I'm not alone. Yesterday I took a picture of the oak tree in the field at the back of my house, you've seen it before, it appears in most of my 'sky' pictures. :-) It was late in the day and about the only time we saw anything approaching sunlight. It had rained all day and we had the most amazing thunderstorm that lasted about 5-6 hours! I liked the different shades of green and could see the potential for a colourway but how to do it? My brain still said 'tree!'
Using the Cledry method I started to manipulate the image. Here is the first and best I think. I used the liquify filter and just dragged things around until I liked the result. I'm going to print these out and start a design journal with ideas and samples. I can look at this and think only of the colours and how to reproduce them in yarn and dye. Later today I'll have a bash at dyeing a colourway using this pic as a starting point.
There's an article in the Summer 2006 Spin Off by Amanda Hannaford from Cornwall called 'Color Inspirations' that covers similar ground but goes into detail on the dyeing method.
Of course, once I started playing, I mean experimenting, I came up with all of these too. Some are still too 'tree' for me but I like the way the different filters highlight different colours. Although I haven't tried it yet (because I only just thought of it!) you could apply a filter to an already manipulated image.