I chose this piece because it represents both indirect and direct aspects of how my daughter Cassie influences my art. Most often her influence is indirect: I strive to model the creative process for her even though life is busy so that she can learn the many lessons and joys from it that I have (and still do). I want her to experience through my explorations and her own that mistakes are OK and often lead to an even better result, that materials can be used in many ways other than what was intended, that you get better at something by trying again and again.
This piece is particularly special to me because Cassie influenced it so directly - and taught me an important lesson in the process. When she was 5 I made a piece for a freeform crochet challenge that she really liked and wanted to keep. It was a piece I was particularly happy with and I wasn't ready to part with it, so I suggested that she pick out some yarns from my bags (and bags and bags) of small bits and then I would try to use them all to make something similar for her. She loved the idea! My guidance to her was simply to pick yarns that she thought were pretty and would be pretty together, and to put them all together and take out any that didn't look good with the others. I didn't edit her choices, except for two very thick, fluffy yarns that I just couldn't see how to use. The remaining yarns were not at all a combination I would have picked, but a promise is a promise, so I went with it.
I didn't expect to end up with anything I liked; I just hoped it would make Cassie happy. However, I learned that colors that appear to be dissonant can form a harmonious work. I learned how to arrange rows of crochet to emphasize some colors and yarns and de-emphasize others, and how to take advantage of certain textures. I renewed my knowledge that necessity is the mother of invention and that challenge is both fun and fruitful. I love how this piece turned out and best of all, even now, at almost 10, so does Cassie!
When my mom picked out these colors for me, I thought, "Hmmmm not the usual bright, bold, colors that are in most of my drawings. But maybe I could make something nice out of them." So I worked for two days on this project, and when I finished it, I thought, "Wow, this turned out WAY better than I thought!!"
My mom influenced me to make this. She once made something for me, and, she used colors I chose. So for this project, I said, "Mom, choose a few colors for me to work with. I'll make something pretty." And that is how this drawing came about.
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