charlottesemmes

Penelope Prints

Truckee, California · 0 Sales

charlottesemmes

Penelope Prints

Truckee, California 0 Sales On Etsy since 2008

Charlotte Semmes

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Charlotte Semmes

About

A personal relationship with pattern

Throughout my life, I have been entranced and mesmerized by pattern. As a child I had difficulty learning to read. I would sit in total absorption for hours drawing patterns, unaware of time. Pattern provided me with my own vocabulary from which I could draw my world.

During my years working in the surface design industry, I became keen to notice and mentally categorize the pattern that surrounded me. One day I saw the same print on children’s pajamas, an umbrella and a friend’s living room sofa. The scale and the colors were varied, but I could tell that the companies that made these products had purchased copies of the very same artwork. I started to realize how little original artwork there is on most of the products we use everyday. Many of the manmade patterns that surround us are copies, detached from their cultural context and void of human emotion to achieve mass appeal. These computer generated forms give the impression of modernity yet lack the mark of the human hand leaving designs looking more controlled and less spontaneous, imaginative and visually arousing. In my view, this is primarily a problem of a lack of attention and engagement in the creative process.

The hand drawn prints and patterns on the items in my shop are an attempt to create designs stemming from a subconscious source, perhaps born from the collective human unconscious. As I sit down to put my mark onto paper, I simply start drawing without any idea of what pattern will emerge. When I become immersed in the creative process, I am able to achieve a state of flow, allowing the colors and materials to direct my hand rather than any preconceived image. Each design is a spontaneous response to and an expression of a moment in time. The drawings are then scanned, put into repeat, combined and manipulated to create original fabrics.

What I enjoy most about this process is the playfulness it brings into my life. I believe the patterns reflect this playfulness and curiosity of a newborn and that is why I am choosing to create baby products. My first daughter Penelope is due near Christmas and this shop is created in anticipation of her needs and filling her nursery with flavor, color and pattern.

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Last updated on April 15, 2011

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