Sheree Burlington

designer. creator. seeker.

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Winter Pretty

I love winter. I love the quiet hush of snowfall - the slumped shoulders of the trees under its weight. Our first snow, almost 18", was on Thanksgiving day. We lost power, so dinner at my new house was postponed. I spent the day at a neighbor's house, gazing out of windows fogged by pots rattling on the stove and listening to the sound of their generator humming in the background. 

In the last month, my part of NH has received over 60 inches of snow. I love feeling safe and warm in my little brick cape - every window framing a view of winter loveliness. When I read the course requirements, I wondered how I'd find nature inspiration when everything was buried beneath 2' of snow. This weekend, I pulled on my boots, wrapped a scarf around my neck and headed out to my back yard. Across a large expanse of deep snow, bare branches of a naked maple reached across a fence wrapped with grey vines. Closer by - a stack of cord wood, a wispy pine, low hanging branches and long afternoon shadows.

Creating my mood board was fun. A lifelong fan of warm colors, I've recently fallen in love with blues and greens. I pulled this together using one of my favorite online design programs, Polyvore. I taught myself abstract art collage on Polyvore and found it an easy way to create an image collage. I can see myself using this board again - there are so many shapes and color combinations that inspire me. 

Last week, I spent an afternoon creating these sketches. I also abandoned the results so many times that I decided to abandon the whole lot and start over. The good thing is that some of these inspired new wedding designs for my pottery business. 

Technology issues prevented my scanner from communicating with my computer, so I sketched my motifs right in Illustrator using the blob brush. Here they are, printed and traced using my light box. Maybe one day I'll clean them up and add detail. Or not. I found it difficult to sketch on the computer and deliberately kept these simple. Like, wicked simple. I mean really - check out those trees.

Here is my work in progress and my first pattern test. I can't tell you what a kick I got out of seeing this design in repeat. This is the original color scheme, as designed. I think it would be more successful as a half drop repeat, but that will come later. 

Here is my final pattern in two color-ways. I see companion patterns buried in that snowy landscape. A designer friend once told me that even bad sketches are made lovely in Illustrator, that it was like magic. That's how I feel about snow. 

Sincere thanks to Bonnie for putting together this course. After having created my first repeat, I'm excited to learn more and really look forward to the next segment. 

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