More Tiles (More?!? You Say?)

Here are some more tiles, 4″ x 4″, from that group I made for a friend. The theme of this post will be – how I get the ideas for these tiles.

The general answer is, I get ideas from everything. I think pretty much everything is interesting to look at, so I’m never short of subjects. I take my camera around with me everywhere (it’s just a little point and shoot, nothing special, but I do think it takes nice pictures and it has a good zoom, so that’s why I favor it over the phone camera).

I will take a picture because it’s a pretty scene, because it’s a bizarre scene, because I want to remind myself of something, because the scene reminds me of a different scene, because the people in the scene look interesting, strange, beautiful, or have arranged themselves in a noteworthy way, because the people are doing something interesting or ordinary, because the scene contains cars, buildings, trees, water, chairs, tables, clouds, swimming pools (I like all of these subjects very much) or because it features objects or people in patterns or color combinations I like.

In other words, I’ll take a picture of anything that’ll stand still long enough for a photo.

And that’s just what I see around me. I also get ideas from books I read, conversations I overhear, memories, sounds, something someone told me when I was young, something someone told me this morning, cars, buildings, trees, water, chairs, clouds, swimming pools…You get the idea.

Really, I don’t know where the ideas come from but I’m grateful they choose me.

OK. Enough generalizations. Here is what prompted some of these tile scenes, one by one.

Clay tile - Ann 1-16 4x4 man in rowboat small

Man in a rowboat – I was doing some collage poetry, taking words from a Hardy Boys book, and they were out in a boat in a storm. Honest, that’s the true source of this tile’s image.

Clay tile - Ann 1-16 4x4 wide eyed bird small

Bird with a red eye – I had been reading about birds in Australia and  this is my idea of what one of the birds the author described looked like. Maybe.

Clay tile - Ann 4x4 1-16 bed small

Bed – I like furniture and I felt like making a checked quilt and a pillow, so, a bed fit the order. I like reading in bed so I made a bed I would like to read in.

Clay tile - Ann 4x4 1-16 garden and trees small

Garden – I received several seed catalogs and they reminded me of how much I like the geometry of a garden, how much I like making little shapes, and so I made a garden. With a couple of spiral trees, because I felt the gardener should have a place to sit and rest.

Clay tile - Ann 4x4 1-16 house with red roof small

House – I love to make house pictures. I imagine myself living in each one and put features I would like to have. This house is small, just a little cottage, so I would see it as being a place out near a lake, just for weekends.

Clay tile - Ann 4x4 1-16 kitchen small

Kitchen – I love my kitchen. It looks nothing like the one in this tile, but it’s the spirit of the thing – I love being in a kitchen. I would like to have a black and red tile floor like this one, maybe in that lake cottage I mentioned above.

Well, that’s the short tour. Anytime you ever want to know what prompted an artwork, just ask. Be ready for some odd answers. That’s what keeps this whole going, isn’t it – finding the interesting in the ordinary?

15 thoughts on “More Tiles (More?!? You Say?)

  1. memadtwo

    The garden is my favorite.
    As for ideas…too many, not enough time. I love your descriptions. Fun to see where everything came from.
    And yes, the kitchen. (K)

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    It’s always interesting to learn about from where an artist draws their inspiration. In your case, it seems you are eclectic and stimulated by all sorts of things. That’s very cool. You must never experience an artistic block.

    The tiles are all great in their use of composition, colour and pattern. I’m especially drawn to that row boat under the stormy sky. Maybe it makes me think of home, given the grim weather.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, regarding ideas, I never run out, that is a blessing, certainly, and I never get bored, either. I’ve always been like this and I can’t tell you how many expeditions I have dragged friends or family on that entranced me but left them cold, I think. On the other hand, it has been great for my art work and I like being sort of an experience collector like this!

      We lived on a lake when I was growing up and we had a canoe, not a rowboat, but the Hardy boys were in a rowboat, so I sort of combined the scene and the boat. In my original drawing I had a boat dock with another man, but there was no room on the tile!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I do love that time when you get into bed and read and get all settled for the night, so I like making pictures with beds and cozy covers…

  3. dorandana

    Oh Claudia! You never fail to delight…..would you please send my best to the curator of the Claudia McGill Museum? I was thinking of her the other day, while on a shopping trip I looked down to see a hair thingy perched over a bird feather! Imagine that…

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I will tell her. She has been on a sabbatical from the Museum, it looks like, attending to her other enterprises, but the Museum is patient, thank goodness.

      Hair thingie season is coming up – summer is a big time for it. The thingie and the feather, now, that is an image. Almost kind of surreal. Hmmm…The Museum needs to think about that 0 Hair thingies in juxtaposition with other objects. Sounds like reading the tea leaves or something, doesn’t it?

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          I am feeling the same way and I think it’s an aspect of my animistic way of thinking that I do – and I have always felt the world was full of beings (including objects) with feelings and motivations, since I was a child. Guess it still comes through in what I choose to notice even now!

          I see so many hair thingies on the ground outside the gym (my gym, the gym at the shopping center I go to, the gym my husband goes to, it’s universal) and I can’t help thinking they just couldn’t take all that commotion or whatever anymore and refused to go in, one more time.. Or else gave up in exhaustion on the way out.

          And that’s just the gym!

  4. Ashley Lily Scarlett

    Spealing of Australian birds, one night last week a beauitful corella fell out of the sky and landed at my feet, a beautiful pristine white. I thought it was a piece of paper before it hit the ground. Poor thing was breathing so heavily. I phoned Wildlife Rescue but it died before they got there. It was horrible watching it suffering for about 20-30 minutes. The woman who arrived was wonderful; she wrapped it in a blanket as if it were still alive. She said it had suffered a head injury (so it couldn’t have been saved anyway). She bid me feel its breastbone that was sticking out a bit which indicated it was malnourished. It was an adult. She played me the corella birdsong from her phone. Really, she was lovely; there being nothing to be done for the bird, she comforted me in this way.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      This story is so moving. I did not know what a corella was so I looked it up. How lucky you are to live where there are birds like this. And to have one fall from the sky like this, it seems almost – like something supernatural, magical, fairy tale like. Like a message. It was nice that you were there in its last moments – like it knew to come to you for someone to care it had existed. I may be getting a little out there with this, but anyway – Wow!

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