The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow artist about wallpaper. She plans to paint wallpaper motifs into her still-life painting. We talked about wallpaper as it is used as a decorative element, often chosen by women, to adorn walls in rooms in homes.
This conversation had me thinking about William Morris and his desire to combat industrialization with craft and handmade items of beauty—including wallpaper. You can learn a little bit more about him here.
Then this mini dive into Morris' history (I recall doing quite a bit of research on his arts and craft shops while earning my MFA) made me realize that I am once again creating work that could work well as repeat patterns (like wallpaper). In fact, I have often had people tell me, "you art would work well as fabric or gift wrap."
I hear them. I hear the compliment. But must I make my patterns into more than a painting? Eh? I get to decide.
As an example, this small work on paper made as a part of my Dot Dilemma Series.
Dots 31, Navy Pattern + Teal, Tan & Orange, mixed media, 6 x 6 inches.
This certainly could be made into a repeat pattern. But it is made first and foremost, as a painting. Creating patterns, as almost any artist would tell you, is extremely calming and meditative. We need that these days.
Maybe wallpaper is meant to be calming too! What do you think?