Since we just started the month, I know you are all percolating your ideas. There were no entries yet for this challenge painting, so I thought I would share with you what I have been working on these past few months.
You might know that I have a little component line that I call Simple Truths. I offer a Simple Truths Sampler Club where members can select a 3-, 6-, 9- or 12-month subscription to get a new mystery component each month. In 2013 I was struggling with what to use for my inspiration when it hit me. Duh. Use the challenge art on the Art Bead Scene as your guide! This allows me to also try out new techniques and processes through the Club pieces.I have been doing that ever since and it has been awesome!
Unfortunately, I had to walk out of my studio on March 7th to focus my attention on some personal family issues. I actually left the March Sampler in the toaster oven baking! I didn't walk back into my studio until April 12th and then had to pick up the pieces of where I left off and have been playing catch up ever since.
But last weekend I finally finished up the March, April and even the May Samplers all based on the artwork for the last three months right here on ABS. Woohoo! And since there were no entries yet (let's get those creative juices flowing!), I thought I would share with you what my Club members are just now receiving in their mailboxes. I like to send them the goodies with a little note about the artwork and what tickled my fancy about it, so I am sharing with you what I sent to them.
I loved the illustration for March 2014! This so perfectly captured the way that winter was still lingering around here. The birds have come back and are slightly confused by the cold and the snow, but twittering excitedly and showing off their pretty plumage!
This made me think of how I longed to leave this frozen wasteland. I have a taste for travel and it just isn’t going away. Of course, I don’t have the wherewithal to travel at will, so I had to travel in my mind, and birds are the perfect image for that, flying off at a moment’s notice.
I release a limited edition bird pendant a few times a year. This seemed like the perfect choice! I was inspired by tribal patterns and bright colors that I was seeing everywhere and it inspired me to create a new series that I am calling Wanderlust.
: a strong desire to travel
: strong longing for or impulse toward wandering
I will be offering this very limited edition bird on my site as well as some other pieces in the same style (you can see them in my sponsor graphic in the left column). They are impressed with stamps that I carved myself in all sorts of geometric and tribal shapes and painted with a totally different patina that gives them their bright palette and shiny finish. A complete departure from what I usually do, but I quite like the effect!
This painting by Degas is a very apropos choice for me in April. You see, my own Tiny Dancer performs her big show in April each year. She does jazz, tap, modern and ballet. And this year is the first year that she was en pointe! So while she didn’t have a costume that looked like this, every time I see this painting, I think of her twirling on the tips of her toes!
I love the way Degas captured the ethereal nature of those tutus. I can almost hear them swishing as a dancer waiting in the wings. The tulle made me think of lace, and I loved the seafoam green with the flecks of peach and black. An unexpected color choice, but very rich and very now!
“On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined.”
~Lord Byron, The Eve of Waterloo
I wanted this piece to have that same tutu effect so I chose a lacy bezel setting and used an ecru blend of clay to keep it looking like old parchment. The intricate swirls of lace are colored with layers of wax pastels for a more matte finish and the clay was embedded with some glittery embossing powder( that is hard to capture in the picture) for a subtle shimmer. From knowing my own Tiny Dancer, I can tell you that there is no more joyful experience than that of the dance. This piece is my homage to her and her fellow corps de ballet.
What grabbed me immediately on seeing this landscape, was the strength of the tower and the graceful arches of the bridge. I am not sure that I will ever see the great structures of Europe, but I imagine that they still look like this, as if plucked from the past, immortal. I find it fascinating the engineering that goes into making these grand structures, how each brick was carefully placed by hand.
“A great building will never stand if you neglect the small bricks.”
~ Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha, life coach
I think about the foundation of my own designs. They are built around something strong and appealing, usually colorful and unique. But often it is the little bricks, the smaller beads that make the piece stand the test of time.
I created what I am calling Building Blocks, brick inspired pieces that work together as the foundation of a design or perhaps stand alone as a unique element. I always struggle with beads in polymer clay that have too tiny holes or that lose their shape from the piercing. I think I solved that with a vinyl core for more of a big hole bead, each set with unique markings and colored and antiqued for that weather brick aging. Yes, they look good enough to eat! But I hope that they will lay the foundation to some wonderful designs.
I hope that you are inspired by the strong architectural details, the brilliant blue skies and the earthy stone color palette and create something for this month for ABS. We sure would love to see it!
If you are interested in learning more about my Simple Truths Sampler Club, there are some newly opened spots available - limit of 20 in any one month - please check out the descriptions on my website. And occasionally I have extras of the monthly Samplers that I offer for sale...and I will get those listed as soon as possible!