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Spring Wick

Thirty years ago I was introduced to Valley Forge National Park in Pennsylvania; it has remained my favorite place to walk and enjoy nature. The open rolling hills and majestic, old trees remain the same through all the seasons but nature's details (leaves, flowers, grasses) are constantly changing in color, size, and height. The spring of 1778 American revolutionary and British troops crossed this landscape on their way to other battles, no battles were actually fought at Valley Forge. The winters were harsh and spring brought a welcome warmth. The tree nuts and seeds lay fallow that spring just like they do today; waiting their chance to break through frozen ground like the American troops fought to break through foreign tyrrany. In my walks through the park a few weeks ago I took photos of what harbringers of spring I could find, there were few, mostly in the form of seeds and acorns. So with them I am beginning my surface pattern. I have limited experience with pattern design so this is a great challenge for me; I indend to battle no less fiercely and persistently than those Americans in 1778:) My computer is not quite up to the task, I need to buy more RAM and offload some data onto a peripheral hard drive which I also need to purchase this week.

Below are some Mood/Inspiration boards I was able to assemble. Thanks so much to Elizabeth for providing the one template. The nature of Valley Forge Park as I journey through it calls to me so I am using the colors lifted from the landscape. The colors are muted here in spring, no bright yellows, blues, or purples yet. I usually do not work with pastels and muted colors so this is really different for me.

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An internet search provided the following inspirations for me. The American revolutionary war period was a time of scarcity and learning how to make your own or do without so the actual variety just wasn't there for me to pull from.

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My initial sketches were from seeds and plants I found on the ground, quite odd they are too! I apologize for the small picture but my file will not export properly and I cannot even save my pattern to the swatches panel until I get more memory. At least I hope that is the problem. Well, I put in 8 more MB of RAM and my program still will not save my artwork into the swatches panel which is very frustrating. Here are my sketches for my artwork. I am way behind on the challenge, we lost our dog Eddie this weekend, he is in a better place but we miss him so. I wish he would have been walking beside me in Valley Forge Park today.

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Had to diagnose a problem with AI before going forward with my pattern. AI would not let me drag my pattern into the swatches panel because I had a pattern within the pattern! I finally figured out that one of my colors lifted from a photo probably had a pattern within it so had to redesign my pattern with standard AI colors and now I have to figure which one of my Valley Forge colors has a "pattern" in it before I can color my artwork the way I would prefer.

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