Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Monthly Challenge

Almond Blossoms 
Vincent van Gogh Stichting (1953-1890)
Oil on Canvas, 73.5 X 92 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

"Theo (Vincent Van Gogh's brother) wrote to Vincent of the birth of his son, whom he had named Vincent Willem.
Van Gogh, who was extremely close to his younger brother, immediately set about making him a painting of his favorite subject: blossoming branches against a blue sky. The gift was meant to hang over the couple’s bed. As a symbol of this new life, Vincent chose an almond tree, which blooms early in southern regions, announcing the coming spring as early as February.

Already in Arles, Van Gogh had been fascinated by the orchards, filled with apricot, peach and plum trees and in full bloom at the time of his arrival in March 1888.
The composition of Almond Blossom is, however, both unusual and unique in Vincent’s oeuvre (the works of a painter, regarded collectively). The branches seem to float against the blue sky, and it is unclear if they are still part of the tree or set in a vase, as in one of his earlier works.

With an unusual regularity, the entire pictorial surface has been filled with branches, which are further accented by the use of dark contours. Both this sharp outlining and the placement of the tree were certainly inspired by Japanese prints, which Van Gogh had seen for the first time in Paris. This influence can also be seen in a number of other paintings.

Your entry this month can be influenced by the colors, pattern or whatever you choose to focus on for your creation. Just remember to include at least one art bead in your design.

The Prizes:
Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on April 1st.
Our sponsors this month are sponsors: Vintaj, Miss Fickle Media and Jade Scott, please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

Featured Designer of the Week:
From all the entries during the month, an editor is going to pick their favorite design to be featured every Monday here on the ABS. We want to give our participants more time in the spotlight! Our Featured Designer will be this Monday, so get those entries in soon.

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

***Beads by themselves and beads simply strung on a chain or cord will not be accepted.***

2. Upload your photo to our flickr group. Detailed instructions can be found here and click here for a tutorial for sending your picture to the group.

Please add the tag or title MARCHABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is March 31st. Photos are approved by our moderators, if a photo hasn't followed the guidelines it will not be approved. You may upload 2 photos a day.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.***

p.s. If you have a blog, post your entry and a link to the ABS challenge to spread the beady goodness.


mairedodd said...

exquisite choice! the abs challenge pieces always seem to ingrain themselves into my mind... i cannot wait to come up with something for 'almond blossom', and see what others do as well...

LynFoley said...

I love that painting! I am already inspired, and can't wait to get to the torch. What colors! And funny, I just took a photo yesterday of the first tiny blossoms peeking out from the branches of my plum tree. The sky wasn't that beautiful intense blue though!! Here's to it.

TesoriTrovati said...

I have been sketching an idea that is right in line with that painting. I will see if I can get it fleshed out in time! Thanks for the incredible inspiration.
Enjoy the day!

SharonP said...

What a gorgeous painting filled with passion and love, I can't wait to see the challenge entries!

Kate said...

Ohh, a Van Gogh! I love this one, not as familiar to many as others but defiantly Vincent! So many ideas are going through my head right now, now to choose one!

Cindy said...

Such a beautiful inspiration choice.... it will be fun to see the entries this month!

Janet said...

Not only do you keep us educated (lest we have forgotten)with famous works...the Challenge is Lovely!

Carol B said...

I was leaning toward doing something with that color scheme before I saw the challenge painting. Thanks for spurring us on!

Diana P./Vintage Blue said...

This is a gorgeous painting. I sat out the last two challenges because I just didn't "feel" them but I'm really into this one. Can't wait to get started on a piece.

Donna Davis said...

Some people use patterns of historical significance in their paintings.
Was VanGogh perhaps Levite?
Therefore what precious materials would be most appropriate in this piece?

Jeannie said...

Great Choice!
I have alway seen this picture as an aerial view of the tree. Growing so tall you can't see the ground to which it is rooted.

Now I'm off to the studio.

heather said...

I am very excited about this inspirational piece! Love the colors. Have some deadlines to meet but will definitely create something for this challenge. Heather

Azure Islands Designs said...

Gorgeous painting...the color combo is one of my favorites!!!
I didn't participate in the last challenge as I was away...I may just have to give this one a try!!!

Sweetwater Designs said...

Lovely choice to inspire...it may be just what I need to putter in my dusty little work space once more.

Jill Palumbo said...

Thanks so much for the inspiration. Your challenge this has been a joy for me to tackle.

Susan said...

I really enjoyed this challenge. I had wanted to be in the running, but for some reason my piece is not showing up on the group ABS challenge page. There are so many beautiful entries. What great inspiration this piece was. Thanks.