Monday, July 18, 2011
BarbAnn Pappas: Spirit, play and color describe my knit artist of the week
My Rav name is PassionToCreate and as the name states, I HAVE to create and that is all there is to it. I have always loved color and fiber so a lot of what nurtures my soul involves one or both. My creative journey started when I taught myself to sew at age 10 and before long I was making most of my clothes, which continued through college. I became what was called a Home Economics teacher in those days mainly because I loved home crafts. Today, I my other life I am an educational administrator supervising Adult programs for GED and ESL, from which I will retire in a year.
In 2004, everyone was wearing novelty fiber scarves and I wanted one. So, I typed “How to knit” in an internet search. I studied the diagrams and I learned to knit. Eventually, I took a class, but very quickly became bored with the scarves, and other accessories. I wanted to knit clothing. I started to incorporate multiple yarns in one garment, and I was immediately attracted to “free-form” knitting and crocheting. But, I just did not have the courage to venture too far away from a written pattern, and was frustrated, because I wanted more originality. I’ve never liked to color in the lines and get bored following a pattern exactly.
I saw Jane’s designs in 2008 when I joined Ravelry, but, because I had not seen or touched a piece in person; I did not understand how it was made. I am very visual and tactile and when I see something I can usually recreate it. Once I saw a free-range piece, I knew it was for me. My first piece was “Green before Gold Ponchoette.” That was about a year ago and I now have knit 15 “Jane” inspired garments. Sometimes I use Jane’s pattern as the spring board, and other times I use conventional patterns using them as primary shapes and I make it with a variety of colors in different fibers and stitches. Free ranging lends itself to blending lots of colors, which I enjoy. I love not having boundries!
I also spin some of the fibers that go into my garments; loving the additional element that they bring. I crochet, weave, quilt, felt, paint, bead, and work with polymer clay and some metal. I crave learning about new techniques and mediums to bring to my art, and I love to find ways to combine them into one piece. I am truly nurtured by the creative process. My head is crammed full of ideas most of the time. I started a blog so that I could visually document my art www.passiontocreate.blogspot.com
I live in the Twin Cities, with a very supportive husband and 2 silly cats. I have a great studio that makes me smile with lime green walls that look out to my lovely wooded lot and garden. My life is truly blessed and I am so grateful to all who have cultivated, inspired, supported and encouraged to be without judgment the truly amazing creatures we are meant to be. I am blessed to be counted among such talented artists.
JANE: BarbAnn, everything you do expresses a spirit unleashed and reminds me of the days when I outwardly suppressed my creativity, at least in terms of how I dressed, to fit in some place I didn't. Is your creativity your personal escape hatch?
BARBANN: You know, Jane I suppose it could be called that. My creativity is simply who I am and it is the place that is most comfortable for me. When I am in the studio, I am immersed in the process and nothing else matters. As the years have gone by, I have embraced creativity, and I have come to realize that I have to continually feed my soul through creativity. It is learning to be an artist not a crafter.
JANE: If you could give a hesitant knitter one gift, what would it be and why?
BARBANN: B Jack to the Picasso quote, when we are children we are creative with no bounds. As we get older, we impose rules and self-doubt. Let the rules go, there are no rules in creativity. Embrace the process of learning. I get frustrated when I hear people say, “I can’t’ do it right.” There is a difference between not being able to do things and not knowing how. To learn is to try things we never have done before. There is another great quote by the Greek philosopher Antisthenes - “The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. “ Unlearn the rules and you will master your desire!
BARBANN: I always wore things I made; first it was the garments I sewed, and then beaded jewelry, sometimes tie-dyed socks, and now my knitted garments. Almost every day, I wear something I have made, without thinking about it. I make things that make me smile, are comfortable and colorful. Some people like what I wear, some people admire the pieces and some people just don’t say. I used to try to fit in, I did my nails, wore high heels and suits, but that was just too much work. Now, I don’t want to work at trying to look like anybody else.
JANE: Okay, here it comes: do you wear what you create and, if so, what are the reactions you receive? On a typical day, how do you express your personality in your clothing?
JANE: Your color combinations excite me because you have a rare and intuitive sense of what works and are clearly brave enough to launch color explorations. How did that come to be?
That is a great complement Jane, thank you. Color calms me; I get a headache if colors around me are not working. I love to watch colors change in different light and how color plays with others. I think that is why I have been drawn to knitting and specifically free range; the blending of colors and the play against one another become the process. Oh, it makes me so excited. I think like most of us, I simply express in my work what I feel emotionally.
Jane, I can’t thank you enough for giving us this opportunity to learn more about each other and to ask us to search our souls in sharing our passions. This series has been a delight to read and be a part of.
Without art-reality would be unbearable.
Posted by Jane on
07/18 at 02:53 PM
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