Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Monthly Challenge

Italian's House at Monmarte by Maurice Utrillo
Oil on panel, 53 x 76 cm

About the Art
Maurice Utrillo painted Post-Impressionism cityscapes and was attracted by ordinary houses and suburban churches. These themes, associated with painters such as Daumier, Pissaro and Caillebotte, became Utrillo's chief source of inspiration, but he soon turned to a more ambitious subject—cathedrals. He was concerned with the development of an ordered composition and a flattened treatment of space that suggested the artificial appearance of theatre. During World War I he found that such subjects allowed him to project strong emotions.
From 1909 until 1914 Utrillo mixed glue, plaster or cement with his paint to obtain the whites for which he became famous. His paintings of buildings show a striking contrast between the boldness of his color and his painstaking draughtsmanship (traces of his having used a ruler and compass are often noticeable). Carried to their logical conclusion, these experiments led him to produce austere monochrome paintings in beige and grey.

About the Artist
Maurice Utrillo was born in Paris, on the 26th of December 1883 to the French painter Suzanne Valadon. His mother posed as a model for such painters as Renoir and Puvis de Chavannes before discovering her own talent for drawing and painting. His father, the Spanish painter Miguel Utrillo (1862-1934), only admitted paternity eight years after Maurice's birth.
Utrillo had no predisposition for art, but when he was 19 his mother urged him to adopt drawing and painting as to distract him from his need for alcohol. In search of a suitable subject, he went to the countryside around Montmagny, a village to the north of Paris. There, between the autumn of 1903 and the winter of 1904, he completed almost 150 paintings—somber, heavily impasto landscapes as the Roofs of Montmagny (Paris, Pompidou). By 1906 the doctor felt that Utrillo could return to Montmatre. His pictures of the streets and suburbs were painted with a less heavy impasto and with lighter tones. 
His deteriorating health and social awkwardness led him gradually to withdraw from the streets of Montmartre into the relative safety of nursing homes. Here he developed the habit of painting from postcards. His stepfather, the painter Andre Utter (1886-1948), and his mother selected cards that reproduced his favorite views of la Butte Montmarte. He worked from these in their communal studio at 12 Rue Cortot, in the restaurant La Belle Gabrielle or in a bedroom above the Pere Gay bistro. He exacted his revenge on the locals, who had made his life difficult with their criticisms and jokes, by depicting them in his paintings in rear view as heavily outlined clumsy shapes and stereotyped silhouettes. 
His late paintings are characterized by rich colors and strong black contours and are based almost entirely on landscape themes. From 1937 on his friend and dealer Paul Petrides looked after him at the request of his family. In spite of his wretched life he maintained a prolific output with a deep vein of poetic melancholy. He died in May 1955. His critical reputation declined posthumously, although he remained popular with collectors and the public.

Blog Tour
The Blog Tour deadline is May 29th.
Links must be added to the monthly challenge post comments (this post)
The Blog Tour will be on the 31st.

Monthly Challenge Winners
Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on June 1st.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are Heather Wynn and Mary Harding.
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 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. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. 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 strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply wire 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 MAY ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.
Deadline is May 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.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

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


Sharyl said...

This looks like an interesting challenge! I always find the buildings extra-difficult! There is much to work with here though!

Heidi Post said...

Finally!!! I have the perfect thing for this! I participated one time over a year ago. I'm so excited to do it again now!

Leah Curtis said...

Love the inspiration for this month! I've just made an art bead inspired by the colours. Should be fun!

Empty nester at last said...

Great picture. At first wasn't sure what to do. But as I stated in my blog;postID=5715717504082836526

All the components just fell into place. Yeah.

Beaditi said...

Love the painting and here is a treasury I created around it - featuring art beads, components, beads...


Cece Cormier said...

Great choice. Decided to build a house this month here's the link:
Looking forward to see what is created this month.

Jo said...

I made a house too! Here's my offering

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Mom and I finally finished our piece and are so happy with it. You can see it here:

Keri Lee Sereika said...

I had a blast taking part this month! I have posted about the challenge and blogged it right here -
Thanks for the fun inspiration!

Alice said...

I finally finished a piece for the challenge--the first this year!

Unknown said... is the address for my blog post about my May ABS challenge entry.

Heidi Post said...

Here's my May ABS blog:

SueBeads said...

Here's my post for my ABS entry!

Charlie said...

I made a bracelet for this months challenge. It is the leaf bracelet towards the middle of the post.

A Polymer Penchant said...

I can't wait to see everyone's creations! I've stayed out of the Flickr pool so far since my ideas were still floating a bit. Well after several starts I'm still figuring it out. But nothing like a deadline to snap some focus on things.

So here's my link for so far...I will update in time for the hop

Kimisjewelryandgifts said...

I really enjoyed working on this piece. All created handmade by me. Thank you ArtBeadScene for having this every month. I love working outside the box and challengeing myself.


Sharyl said...

Thanks, I really enjoyed working with this painting! (Of course, I ALWAYS love the artwork selected!) Thank you for continuing to host!

The page for Sharyl's Jewelry is up. The link is:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I posted my image into the flickr group, but only just noticed I was also supposed to put a link here! Hope it's not too late :s