Drawing Inspiration from Nature & Found Objects
Continuing our interview series with artists who teach, Trudy Perry talks with Jenn Lima about weaving, drawing inspiration from nature and found objects from the hardware store.
Based in the Santa Monica Mountains, Trudy Perry is a working Fiber Artist. With a background in design, she creates large scale woven wall hangings using organic materials. Inspired by nature, she brings these elements into her pieces. Creating something that is intentional, thoughtful and visually appealing is deeply gratifying. She loves seeing the magic that happens when a piece is finished and the story it tells. She currently exhibits her work, creates commissions, and teaches weaving workshops.
1. We love that you incorporate everything from rose quartz to Hawaiian shirts and coconut husks in your pieces. Is there a material out there that you haven't yet worked with that's on your wish list?
Yes, I'd like to work with copper wire and found things at a hardware store. I know this is random but the most useful things are great incorporated into weaving.
2. The natural world plays a huge role in your work, both as inspiration and as elements of your woven pieces. Has being in Topanga altered your practice at all and do you draw from its creative energy?
I wouldn't say it's altered however the peaceful and natural setting has charged my creative juices. My studio is on Chumash land and I can sometimes feel the energy there.
3. Is there a jumping off point that you typically begin with when starting your creative process such as a location, memory, or the materials themselves?
It really depends on the project I am working on. Sometimes I am inspired by the materials, or the space a piece is going in. Weaving is intuitive for me so sometimes I just am in the flow of things and a design just comes out.
3. Could you talk about how you came into weaving and the importance of passing the practice to others? Has teaching others inspired you to experiment with your own practice?
I came into weaving on a trip to India. I was inspired by a man weaving on a giant loom and he looked so peaceful and the piece he was working on was so beautiful. I decided I needed to try that when I got home. I was living in Hawaii at the time and there were so many wonderful things to incorporate in the weavings. Self taught, people started to ask me how to weave and I so enjoy sharing this time honored craft. I definitely push myself and try to learn more so I can answer all weaving questions. I really find the joy in seeing the amazing pieces participants come up with.
4. The tactile shapes incorporated in your pieces invoke waves, skylines, and landscape elements. Do you find that you plan out a piece inspired by your surroundings or do you find the environment influencing your process as you continue to work a piece?
I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings and if I don't find something nearby, I will drive to a new space like the beach, museums or art shows. Sometimes just a drive along the coast we get my creative juices flowing.
Thank you, Trudy for sharing a peak into your weaving practice with us. We look forward to gathering in the Santa Monica Mountains (at a safe distance) and weaving with you!
Take a peak at all of our artisanal and meditative workshops below.
Watercolor or Relaxation
Natural Dye Group
Round Weavings with Natural Fibers- small group in-person
What types of creative practice most inspires you?
Abstract Painting (with kids!)
DIY Abstract Interior Painting - inspired by Leah Bartholomew
I have heard from many of you that you are looking for a creative outlet at this time to share with your kids! Perhaps, after being at home over the past few months, you have even tackled some home projects and have the desire to refresh your walls. I personally love a project that is created with my own two hands- along with one that sparks a memory for all of those involved.
What better way to tap into your creativity than with an abstract painting project- that can even be accomplished with kids?!
This project is one part color mixing and the other part observational drawing-both of which can be incredibly satisfying and fun! As you may know, I love to paint, especially abstracts! I often get the urge to paint more freely and in a meditative way. Color and abstraction really lend themselves to meditation. I recently came across Australian artist, Leah Bartholomew's work and I really fell in love with her style. I am a big fan of color, especially blues and pastels, so I got really excited. Here is a picture of one of her rooms below. One thing that you will love about this project is that you can do it alone, in tandem with your kids at home.
Abstract Painting Materials
You will want to gather some supplies for your abstract painting. First off, I would like to say that you do not need all of these supplies although paints, paper and glue are essential. I was actually able to clean out my collage paper drawer which consists of wallpapers and construction paper and I was able to re-use in that way.
Studio Time • Process •
Here is where I will summarize, what the process looks like for me.
Here are some results from my students!
Later, I added in a pear and an apple! I felt that fruits were easier for my students to draw than flowers. We used tracing paper to draw on, so that background would show through. I added a bit of Modge Podge on top to seal each one. If I were doing the project on my own, I would sketch in botanical illustrations in pencil.
You could also experiment with size. Instead of ordering a set of 3 canvas panels, you could do one large canvas like Leah does - I like this 30" x 40" canvas size for interior art. It would even be fun to create a custom painting using interior paint colors in the room!
I have to share one more of Leah Bartholomew's beautiful pieces with you before you go! So bright and summery, no?
If you loved this project, you may consider joining one of our classes below:
For other family friendly art projects, check these out:
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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