Monday, June 26, 2017

Don't Kill Your Inspiration!

Some of you may know I have face book group "inspiration in everyday" where folks share their inspirations in relation to art beads.  Most share jewelry, I share beads because that is what I make most. The concept is to share what you create, but just as important, share also what inspired you. 
Here is what I shared this month, both photo and text:

So..... I got inspired by garlic!! I'm so strange! I know! I cut the bottom end of a bulb of garlic and when I looked at it - I was curious what it would look like pressed into porcelain. On the right is the result after pressing the garlic and adding a brown stain and some hand painted designs with black. So technically it is a garlic pendant I suppose! But no - I don't live in fear of vampires lol!! I just love pressing various textures into clay😀! Inspiration is all around!!

I get a lot of enjoyment from pressing random things into clay and learning the result, but I don't always put the results out there for the world to see.  What stops me?  If I'm honest, fear of rejection!  It was not so hard to share the results in the small, humble face book group of encouraging people!  But was I planning on offering this pendant for sale, where it could be rejected? No! I would self talk myself into thinking no one would want to buy my artistic, but still garlic inspired pendant, its much to odd!

 But Something surprising happened and made me think about how often negative self talk must stop my artistic growth! What happened was someone private messaged me asking if they could buy the pendant.  The very pendant I never would have listed for sale thinking no one would want it! So it's helped me to reflect, and hopefully grow a little more courage next time my inspiration takes me down an unusual path. There are others out there that appreciate unusual things as much as I do, and I should not let fear stop me from putting my unusual work out there! This incident has lead me to my post for today about the things that kill inspiration.

At times inspiration can start out small and often be quite fleeting.  There are also times it can be very loud and in your face! Some artists have referenced having to wrestle with inspiration in order to get or keep grip of it, while some have painted a mental picture of gently catching inspiration like you would a butterfly, treating it ever so delicately.  Others can even claim inspirations can fall right into their lap, completely unexpectedly!! I'm sure many artists and designers relate to one or all of the above, and have even more ways they come into inspiration!

So whether you go out and desperately search for, chase after, forcefully wrestle, cling to, catch, or just be ready when inspiration hits you - what you don't want to do is KILL it!!
So let's talk about what kills inspiration so we can learn ways to avoid killing it!

I like the mental picture of inspiration being a tiny sprouted plant under the care of the inspired artist/designer. This is also why you might see me use the word cultivate - a lot!  The sew and reap concept is a very important one to me.  Investment of time and resources is crucial in any area we want to see growth!!

Here are 3 Things that I have come up with that will kill inspiration, along with some thoughts on overcoming them:

1. Lies that bring forth self doubt! Lies such as, but certainly not limited to;
-" If you cannot win, you should not play" -  Oh, how tragic! All the beauty and learning through the process you will miss if you believe this lie!!

-"I'm not good enough, smart enough, creative enough, skilled enough, and so on, and so on"  The never ending I'm not ________ enough!  This is negative self talk and it's best to just send it away as soon as it comes! It is never helpful!  Something I heard once that has stuck with me is -" If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them!"
The truth is where you are at on your journey is a great place as long as you are moving in the right direction.  You will get better the more you practice, so don't waste time worrying about what you think are your shortcomings, or comparing yourself to others!  Here is a quote I like - "Don't compare your beginnings to someone else's middle " Alexander K Trenfor

2. Fear of failure.  Failure is painful, yes! The tragedy that happens with fear of failure, is not only does it halt growth, but  it stops you from taking risks.  Risk taking is a crucial to bringing forth creative ideas!
Cultivate a growth mindset, allow failure to be part of your process.  Choose to learn from it rather than be stunted by it.  I have failed so many, many, times, so you can take it from me - it gets easier the more you do it!
 I will share a personal example of failure, I have lots to choose from! I make ceramic art beads. Living in a rural Canadian area, there is little market for ceramic art beads.  Quite a while back I signed up to do a local craft fair.  I thought maybe I could sell my art bead pendants by stringing them onto necklaces of silk cording (mostly because I like silk cording). I sold some items but I did not sell a single necklace at the craft show.  Although the failure did not feel so nice, I chose to ask myself questions, rather than give up and decide to never do a show again.  As an artist, I could have taken it as personal rejection .  I could have though my art beads were no good.  Growth could have ended right then and there for me! But I did not let that happen! Through a process of questions I asked myself, I ended up learning that although I love hand dyed silk cord, others in my area prefer chain.  I also learned better ways to display necklaces. When I fail there is a song that comes to mind about getting knocked down, and getting back up again!!  If you get knocked down, get back up, and learn what to do differently next time! Grow, and consider yourself wiser!  And find something else to do with all the silk cord you bought in bulk - oh wait - that last part might just be advice for me only!

3. Perfectionism, friend or foe?  If perfectionism keeps you from perusing your inspiration, it will stunt your growth the same way fear of failure will.  It will also keep you from taking important, necessary to risks.  Sometimes perfectionism can be helpful.  It can push you further and help you get to the next level. If that is the case, use it!  If it is stopping you, or holding you back, let it go!!
Here is something to try, that might help you if perfectionism is what holds you back.  Ask yourself, what will happen if I do go for it?  Then ask yourself what will happen if I don't?  Answering these two questions will help you come to the realization that perfectionism is only keeping you from moving forward! Even if things don't turn out perfect, the sun will continue to rise, and set. The birds will still chirp, and life will go on, and the best part is, you allowed for growth!!

So protect that tiny sprout of inspiration and give it the best possible chance to grow.  Don't allow the dangers that be, destroy it!  Nurture it as though your creative growth depends on it!

Next month I'm away all month so I won't be around to choose a random winner for the "Inspiration in everyday " monthly prize.  So, what I am doing instead is offering 4 of these "inspire" bead combos so that in August 4 of you that share your inspirations over the next 2 months will win one of these sets:

So if you have not joined the group yet, you can here and share what inspires you!  I would love to see the things that inspire you!  Hey, I never mentioned yet where I am going next month!  Well, I'm pretty excited that half of the time I'm away, will be spent in Italy!!  It's an insanely exciting opportunity and  I am looking forward to sharing some inspiring things from my time there!! I have been there once before and found it to be endlessly inspiring!

Take care and wishing you all - inspiration in everyday!!
Terri Del Signore


Friday, June 23, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: SJ Designs + Earth Expressions

This month's inspiration is all about COLOR!
The colors are deep and saturated, yet soft around the edges with intriguing textures.
That is what I think these earrings by Sarajo Wentling capture completely.
I love these bright polymer clay charms and the way that Sarajo pulled beads that draw your eye up from them. This fun and flirty design is perfect for these hot summer nights!

Featured Designer :: SJ Designs
Featured Bead Artists :: Earth Expressions

We are now using Pinterest! 
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline June 28th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for June 30th.
TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Wafer Bead Inspiration

Today on Bead Table Wednesday I shared three projects using my new Gilded Bramble Wafer beads. I love this fun shape, I could design with them all day long! You can watch the video here:

Resources from the video:
Beads to Live By Trunk Show - Jackson, MI
Wafer Beads, disks & Kits: Humblebeads
Dark annealed steel wire: Ace Hardware or
Renaissance Wax:
Ceramic round beads: Firefly Design Studio 
Brass leaves, bead caps, bronze colored wire and buffing block: Vintaj or
Czech glass:
Sari and Chiffon Silk:

Earrings use 5" of 20 gauge wire per earring. Shown above are copper wire that has been antiqued with liver of sulfur. Below the wire is bronze colored wire by Parawire. 

 Use 6" of 20 gauge bronze colored wire to wrap the pendants and beads on this necklace design.

Wire sizes: Wreath - 20" 19 gauge steel wire. Wafer: 5" 20 gauge bronze colored wire. Tassel: 8" 26 gauge bronze colored wire.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flatlay Fever

One of my biggest challenges for selling online has always been photography, making my photos eye-catching and beautiful whilst maintaining accurate colours and size references so that I don’t mislead any potential customers. 
Recently whilst chatting with a photographer friend I was introduced to the concept of Flatlay, anyone familiar with instagram with recognise this style easily, it lends its self so well to product photography for anything from clothing to cupcakes and is surprisingly easy to create. 

You will need the following:
  •  1 large sheet of white paper or card, or very lightly textured paper or card.
  •  Access to a large window where you will have good natural light. 
  • A decent camera. 
  • Various props to create the story or theme you are going for. 
I find it easier to set up your shot on the floor, one of the key things to a good flatlay is getting some height to take your photo, you are shooting straight down onto your work. 

A flatlay should tell a story, take a look at these examples and consider the story, what might the photographer want to communicate?
Coffee break! this photographer took a quick phone snap during a break. 

Its a great idea to include some of the tools you use to create your work, it shows your process and that your hand tools are an important part of the creation of your work. 

This is one of my personal favourites, it includes rods of glass used to create the floral beads, the book about wild flowers used for inspiration. 

The props you use should only be there to help frame the focus of your photo, consider setting your work out in a grid pattern or triangle, experiment with colour themes, asymmetry, storytelling and styling with what your jewellery might go with, scarves, tops etc. 

Stand a chair or small set of steps to get height and shoot straight down over the set up, remember the photos can be cropped when you are editing. 

Sally Sutherland is the creator of Soul Silver - Lampwork Beads and Jewellery, you can see her work on Facebook @soulsilversally  , instagram @soulsilverbeads  and twitter @soulsilversally

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Firefly Artbeads

It has always interested me how you can hand people the same exact subject matter and they will all interpret it a different way. Our personal experiences shape how we interpret the world, and in turn gives us a unique style and vision. I live in Virginia, and in the summertime our woods are full of wonderful fireflies (or lightening bugs if you prefer).  They are such a big part of what makes Summer magical, that I wanted to create some beads to celebrate them. These are some of the designs I came up with:
I used gold leaf to make it seem as if they were shining. If you are looking for some, I have some available in my Etsy shop:

Here are some beautiful earrings that Loralee Kolton made with them. I love the wonderful attention to detail she has. The way she carries the gold from the fireflies throughout the entire design is really great.

I also follow the wonderfully talented Kylie Parry on facebook. She was also working on some really great firefly jars! They aren't available yet, but look out for them in her future shop updates!
Kylie Parry

I came across these awesome works of art by Diane Hawkey. Loralee Kolton was lucky enough to snag them at bead and button, and they are really wonderful!

Diane Hawkey

Thanks for checking out all of my finds. I would also LOVE to hear about more artists making fireflies, or firefly jewelry:) 

Ashley Bonney: Summer Wind

Friday, June 16, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: McEnroe Moments + Pebble Dreams + Scorched Earth

Michelle of McEnroe moments is back at it again with some multi-layered earrings in deep gemstone shades of amethyst, aqua and plum. I like the use of the dark black findings that bring in a depth just like in our painting inspiration by Odilon Redon. These look like earrings that the stately woman in the painting might wear! 

Still lots of time to create for this month's challenge, so let's see what inspires YOU!

Featured Designer :: McEnroe Moments
Featured Bead Artists :: PebbleDreams + ScorchedEarth

We are now using Pinterest! 
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline June 28th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for June 30th.
TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Wire Flower Wreath Pendant

Today on Bead Table Wednesday I share some of my Bead & Button loot and a fun new project featuring wire wreaths embellished with glass leaves and flowers. Watch the video below.

Resources featured in the video:

Polymer clay leaves and disk beads: (There are a few kits on my website too!)

Glass leaves, flowers, wire and butterflies:

Raw brass chain and jump rings: Yadana Beads

Supplies used in the pendant:
30" 20 gauge Antique Bronze Parawire
Vintaj brass butterfly
Humblebeads leaf pendant and disk
4 Czech glass leaves and 4 flowers
25" raw brass chain
1 6mm brass jump ring
2 8mm brass jump ring

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Earring Whisperer - Heavenly Bodies

Same with the dark blue/gold, polymer pair. I tried many different sizes and shapes of crystals and different rings.  The challenge with this pair was the different length and sizes of the focal components. Asymmetrical designs are a favorite of mine, but each piece brings new challenges to solve.  The delicate "neck" of the teardrop shape need a light bead and also I wanted to cover the connector loops for a more cohesive look.

My suggestion is to hang on to ALL of your little bits and pieces from other projects, you never know when they will come in handy!


earring pair 1.

I hope you enjoy looking into the process as much as I do!

It's been a crazy wonderful week for me Attending Bead & Button!  I could use some serious sleep but that will never happen!  LOL  Hopefully I will have some new exciting things to show you all soon!

Many thanks for stopping by!  Meow

Loralee  xo

Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Bead Evolutions :: Bead & Button Show Recap

So last week I buzzed down to Milwaukee to commune with my bead peeps, so instead of a post about what I am making for the challenge, I thought I would share with you some of my experiences at the Bead & Button show.

I missed the Bead & Button show last year so I think I was making up for it (in a BIG way!). Starting Tuesday, I took four day-long classes and then spent the rest of the week shopping and sharing and otherwise soaking up the presence of a lot of my favorite Loralee + Martha, Andrew + William, Sarajo + Eric, Michelle + Diane, Marsha + Vlad.....

Me and my Beady Bestie, Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I love this girl so much! Notice how sparse the trays were...she brought 130 birds and sold at least 90 by the end of the show! So glad I snatched some goodies up to add to my collection of Humblebeads bowls and platters. Woot!
Tuesday I took class with Gail Crosman Moore. Sometimes I take classes with instructors I just want to be around, and this was one of those cases. I adore the unique materials that she manipulates and the way that she adds detail. She is also a color addict, like me, so I knew that we would hit it off. We spent the day making molds of various items and then worked with paper clay. I had never worked with that before and it is a really interesting medium. I must have been so engrossed in the process because I don't have a single picture of anything I made. You will have to trust me that it was way cool. I anticipate that I will be playing around more with this, maybe even for this month's Simple Truths Sampler, so stay tuned!

Next up I took a class with Julie Picarello of Yellow House Designs. Her work is so very recognizable. I can spot it a mile away! Her chosen technique is mokume gane. I have my own variations of this technique, but it was so nice to learn how she does it. I loved the color mixing that she taught, as that has always flummoxed me. Julie really broke that down and now I get it! She shared all her imprint tools and that prompted me to take a quick road trip to the American Science & Surplus to look for oddball things. Found some interesting stuff! I will need to find a way to make this more of my own look, but since I have done this before, I think that should be no problem. What I most loved about the class was really at the very end of the day, when she shared her finishing techniques. Her work feels like the softest satin, which makes it even more beautiful. Now I know what I need to do for some of my pieces that will really take them to the next level. I treated myself to her book and a pair of her earrings. More to come on this technique!

On Thursday I had a half-day class with Irina Miech of Eclectica. She is a wizard with precious metal clay (PMC). I have taken two other classes over the years in PMC, mostly ending in failure. You would think that with my years of experience with other clays that this would come easy. Not so much. But Miss Irina was such a wonderful teacher. We worked with molds again, this time with some more natural materials like leaves and twigs, and even set tiny CZ stones in our work. I plan to trek back to her store in Brookfield (west of Milwaukee) to take another class with her in the fall, because I really want to see if I can master this medium, or at least make it consistently in my own style. I am excited about that! Now I dearly want to try the bronze and copper clay versions.

Nature's Elements in Silver PMC with Irina Miech

Finally, I took Kitchen Table Soldering with Francesca Watson of the Makery. I have always adored her work so learning from her was a definite highlight. She is larger than life. Her laugh is booming, and her taste in music is fabulous! Her first words were that she was going to work us hard. And boy, did she ever. I barely had time to catch my breath! In the end, I am pretty happy with how my pendant turned out, and it makes me appreciate even more those that do this all the time. Amazing what you can do when you start with just a piece of silver wire and a stone. I don't know if I will be setting stones in the future, and her set up is a LOT more robust than what I could have at my kitchen table, but I have always wanted to make my own bezels for my clay creations, and I can take a lot of what I learned here and apply it to my own vision.

Kitchen Table Soldering with Francesca Watson
At the end of the week, I finally got to spend a little more time with my best friend Heather Powers. We were even able to have a wonderfully relaxing celebratory dinner complete with cocktails, just the two of us, to catch up and recharge. That was one of the best times all week! I told her that I wasn't really going to shop at the show...HA! Famous last words! Old habits die hard! I found myself going to my very favorite booths.... for stones, pearls, beads, components and of course, art beads. Now I need to get to the making! Here's a little tour of the goodies I found....without really looking...some of which would work well for this month's inspiration, don't you think?

Clockwise from top left: Beads Direct faceted rondelle gemstones (diamond blue silverite, AB peach moonstone, AB labradorite, AB blue fluorite, AB ruby moonstone, AB dendrite opal); hematite strands; glass hexagons, faceted drop bezels, fossilized orthoceras, carved mother of pearl; metal spacers, pearls.
Clockwise from left: buttery soft leather tassels; Vintaj blanks and new pewter bezels; bone and wood carved feathers, copper etched pendants, copper patina charms, beetle wings
Clockwise from top left: Green Girl Studios + Allegory Gallery; Humblebeads; Diane Hawkey + Firefly Design Studio; Anna Bronze + Aja Vaz of Wandering Spirit Designs; Bob Burkett from Tiger Tiger; Golem Design Studio.
Since I didn't get a chance to create my own art bead interpretation for the challenge yet (but these classes are pointing me in a direction!), I will share with you the necklace I made for the Halcraft Pretty Palettes challenge for May. I started that challenge over there as part of my years on the Halcraft Dream Team, and now that my time there has ended, I have passed the baton to Molly Schaller. She is continuing this great monthly challenge. The colors for May were brilliant greens and to that I added some light blue, deep raspberry and golden hematite nuggets. I had a pendant from our own Ashley Bonney of Summer Wind Art that was perfect for this month's painting, with the watercolor splashes and the touch of gold leave. I call this Meanderings.

What have you been up to so far this month? Are you working on something for the challenge? Can't wait to see how you interpret this month's painting!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June Monthly Challenges Sponsors: Allegory Gallery & The Classic Bead

We have two very talented artists as our wonderful sponsor for the June Challenge. We will have 2  Lucky Winners this Month!

Allegory Gallery
Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery creates handmade jewelry, jewelry components and unique art at his studio in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

"We are a creative space that's one part bead store, one part jewelry boutique, one part fine art gallery, and one part gift shop. The aim of Allegory Gallery is to promote artisan craftspeople, inspire the community to explore their creativity, and act as a focal point for classes and artistic education in the area."

Andrew is donating in everything pictured above valued over $50 which is made up of a strand of amethyst, vintage plastic, Czech glass, vintage seed beads, polymer clay by me, freshwater pearls, yellow jade, and dyed shell, for the Jewelry Pinterest board winner. 

Visit Andrew on FacebookEtsyTwitterInstagramAndrew's Blog and Allegory Blog.
: :

The Classic Bead
Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead creates wonderful earthenware clay pendants, beads, jewelry components and she also designs jewelry in her Kansas City, Missouri studio.
"For years I sewed, made reproduction porcelain dolls, and at the request of my friend Sara who owned a bead store I began creating pendants and so The Classic Bead was born.  In 2008 I opened my Etsy store and my business grew.  I have expanded to supply bead shops, shipping trunk shows, and opened a second Etsy shop for buttons and other supplies.  So in a way....a hobby turned into a small cottage business where I can work from home where I am content and make special little lovelies to share with my customers."

Tracee is donating everything pictured above + 1 yard of assorted suede & Deerskin lacing, valued over $50 for the Monthly Recap winner.

Profile on Red Meanders by Odelin Redon

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here. Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.

This Month's art has many different elements that can be used for inspiration:  female profile images, human form, images inside of images, red, blue, green and orange.

We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this month's challenge! 

**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put JUN ABS in the title or tag of your submission(s).  Pinterest doesn't keep Pins in the order they are posted.

Provide us with the artist of the Art Beads used and we always love to know all the materials you used. 

***Art Beads MUST be used in your entry.***

Monday, June 5, 2017

June Monthly Challenge

Profile on Red Meanders
formerly Jeanne d'Arc
Odelin Redon

About the Art
In Profile On Red Meanders, a pastel drawing Redon exhibited in 1903 at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, a female head reminiscent of the early Renaissance stands out against an intensely red background, streaked with blue, with no mimetic function: it is there as a clear illustration of how it was created by applying parallel, vertical strokes over the dark grainy surface with a pastel crayon. A horizontal strip in the lower part of the drawing tends to make the figure appear unreal, suggesting an 'image within an image' through a process used by Redon from very early on and is derived mainly from Renaissance portraiture. In the upper part, a kind of star on the left and the orange, green, red and
blue patches on the right, grouped together to form a nautilus shape, can be interpreted as a night sky, fireworks, or phosphenes, suggesting that the 'background', which moves towards the spectator, is really a representation of the figure's inner mental space. The uncertainty about the scale and status of this representation is confirmed by the hooded figure beneath the nape of the female figure, coiled against a fold of her head-dress, which looks like an enormous serpent. The motif is a clear reminder of the figure of Death Redon visualized from Flaubert's Tentation de Saint but its genetic relation to the profile remains enigmatic.

During his early years as an artist, Redon's works were described as "a synthesis of nightmares and dreams", as they contained dark, fantastical figures from the artist's own imagination. His work represents an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to place "the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible". A telling source of Redon's inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journal A Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:
"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."

The mystery and the evocation of Redon's drawings are described by Huysmans in the following passage:
"Those were the pictures bearing the signature: Odilon Redon. They held, between their gold-edged frames of unpolished pearwood, undreamed-of images: a Merovingian-type head, resting upon a cup; a bearded man, reminiscent both of a Buddhist priest and a public orator, touching an enormous cannon-ball with his finger; a spider with a human face lodged in the centre of its body. Then there were charcoal sketches which delved even deeper into the terrors of fever-ridden dreams. Here, on an enormous die, a melancholy eyelid winked; over there stretched dry and arid landscapes, calcinated plains, heaving and quaking ground, where volcanos erupted into rebellious clouds, under foul and murky skies; sometimes the subjects seemed to have been taken from the nightmarish dreams of science, and hark back to prehistoric times; monstrous flora bloomed on the rocks; everywhere, in among the erratic blocks and glacial mud, were figures whose simian appearance—heavy jawbone, protruding brows, receding forehead, and flattened skull top—recalled the ancestral head, the head of the first Quaternary Period, the head of man when he was still fructivorous and without speech, the contemporary of the mammoth, of the rhinoceros with septate nostrils, and of the giant bear. These drawings defied classification; unheeding, for the most part, of the limitations of painting, they ushered in a very special type of the fantastic, one born of sickness and delirium."

The art historian Michael Gibson says that Redon began to want his works, even the ones darker in color and subject matter, to portray "the triumph of light over darkness."
Redon described his work as ambiguous and undefinable:

"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."

About the Artist
Odilon Redon was born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, to a prosperous family. The young Bertrand-Jean Redon acquired the nickname "Odilon" from his mother, Odile. Redon started drawing as a child; and, at the age of ten, he was awarded a drawing prize at school. He began the formal study of drawing at fifteen; but, at his father's insistence, he changed to architecture. Failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect, although he briefly studied painting there under Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1864. (His younger brother Gaston Redon would become a noted architect.)
Back in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpting, and Rodolphe Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. His artistic career was interrupted in 1870 when he was drafted to serve in the army in the Franco-Prussian War until its end in 1871.
At the end of the war, he moved to Paris and resumed working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. He called his visionary works, conceived in shades of black, his noirs. It was not until 1878 that his work gained any recognition with Guardian Spirit of the Waters; he published his first album of lithographs, titled Dans le Rêve, in 1879. Still, Redon remained relatively unknown until the appearance in 1884 of a cult novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans titled À rebours (Against Nature). The story featured a decadent aristocrat who collected Redon's drawings.
In the 1890s pastel and oils became his favored media; he produced no more noirs after 1900. In 1899, he exhibited with the Nabis at Durand-Ruel's.
Redon had a keen interest in Hindu and Buddhist religion and culture. The figure of the Buddha increasingly showed in his work. Influences of Japonism blended into his art, such as the painting The Death of the Buddha around 1899, The Buddha in 1906, Jacob and the Angel in 1905, and Vase with Japanese warrior in 1905, amongst many others.[4][5]
Baron Robert de Domecy (1867–1946) commissioned the artist in 1899 to create 17 decorative panels for the dining room of the Château de Domecy-sur-le-Vault near Sermizelles in Burgundy. Redon had created large decorative works for private residences in the past, but his compositions for the château de Domecy in 1900–1901 were his most radical compositions to that point and mark the transition from ornamental to abstract painting. The landscape details do not show a specific place or space. Only details of trees, twigs with leaves, and budding flowers in an endless horizon can be seen. The colours used are mostly yellow, grey, brown and light blue. The influence of the Japanese painting style found on folding screens byōbu is discernible in his choice of colours and the rectangular proportions of most of the up to 2.5 metres high panels. Fifteen of them are located today in the Musée d'Orsay, acquisitioned in 1988.
Domecy also commissioned Redon to paint portraits of his wife and their daughter Jeanne, two of which are in the collections of the Musée d'Orsay and the Getty Museum in California. Most of the paintings remained in the Domecy family collection until the 1960s.
In 1903 Redon was awarded the Legion of Honor. His popularity increased when a catalogue of etchings and lithographs was published by André Mellerio in 1913; that same year, he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show, in Utica, New York.
Redon died on July 6, 1916.

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How to Enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.

2. Email us at to get added to the monthly challenge board.

Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request

You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.

3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board:

Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.)

Add your photo directly from your computer

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.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

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

Please add the tag or title JUN 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 June 30th
You may upload two entries per month.


• Beads Makers Pinterest Board - Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. Two entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Monthly Challenge Recap
• Please post at least one single shot of your creation on the Pinterest Board. This will be used to make a collage for the Monthly Challenge Gallery. Every creation will be added to the collage, regardless of a blog post. So everyone gets included!

Your entry must be on Pinterest 2 days BEFORE the recap to be included.

• Be sure to share with us the name of the art bead artist in the description of your photo so that if you are selected for the weekly Perfect Pairings on Friday, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!

• An Link Up button will be added to the bottom of the Monthly Challenge Recap post. Here you will be able to link up your blog post if you have one.  Be sure to hop around and see all the great inspiration and leave some comment love!

• The Monthly Challenge Recap with Blog Tour will be posted on June 30th.

Monthly Challenge Winners
• One prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted on the Pinterest board.

• One prize winner will be selected at random from all blog posts added to the hop for the Monthly Challenge Recap post. So if you want to be in the pool for the second prize, be sure to use the Link button at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!

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

Perfect Pairings: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Perfect Pairings focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photo on the Pinterest Board. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!

• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured every Friday here on the ABS, so get those entries in soon.

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.***