Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Monthly Challenge

Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni 
by Marie Spartali Stillman (1844-1927) 
Watercolour, gouache and gum arabic, 30.9in × 24.1 in.

About the Art
Given to the Walker Art Gallery on behalf of subscribers, by Harold Rathbone.
The woman is a character from the Italian poet Dante. She was described as a heartless lady dressed in green. In her hand she holds a crystal bowl reflecting the figures of Love and Dante.
This type of painting, a half length femme fatale in Renaissance costume, was initiated by Rossetti and imitated by many others. The artist of this picture knew Rossetti. She modelled for one of the handmaidens in Rossetti's painting 'Dante's Dream' (Walker Art Gallery).

About the Artist
Marie Spartali was born in Middlesex in 1843, daughter of Michael Spartali, import-export merchant and sometime Greek consul in London, and by birth and acquaintance like Maria Zambaco (mistress of Edward Burne-Jones) a member of the cultured Greek community in London whose doyen was Constantine Ionides. From 1864-70 she trained under Ford Madox Brown, alongside his daughters Catherine and Lucy.
She was a noted 'stunner' (the Pre-Raphaelite slang for a good-looking woman) and sat for Rossetti and Burne-Jones as well as the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. In 1871 she married against her family's wish the American journalist and amateur artist W.J. Stillman; they had three children, one of whom died in infancy. Owing to her husband's work as a newspaper correspondent the family settled in Florence in 1878, and then Rome until 1898. Despite prolonged residences abroad, Spartali became a regular contributor to Grosvenor Gallery from 1877 until 1887, and its sucessor - the New Gallery - as well as at various venues in eastern USA.
Her sustained output proves her professionalism, but little of her work seems to have sold. Her favoured subjects were literary-historical figure groups and decorative female heads preferred by patrons; landsapes and flower pieces are equally representative though less distinctive. Many of her works draw on Italian literary themes, especially Dante and Boccaccio as well as depicting Italian landscape.
Her daughter Euphrosyne (Effie) became an artist, as did her step-daughter Lisa Stillman; her son Michael was an architect and settled in America, where retrospective shows were held in 1908 and 1982. 
She died in Britain in 1927.

Color Palette
Blog Tour
The Blog Tour deadline is November 28th.

Links must be added to the monthly challenge post comments (this post)
The Blog Tour will be on the 30th.

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

Our Sponsors
Our sponsors this month are: Hint Jewelry 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 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. 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 NOV 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 November 30th. 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.


Alice said...

A beautiful inspiration painting! I love the story behind the woman in the painting.

I can't wait to get started.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

One of my favorite sources of inspiration are the Pre-Raphaelite women depicted in John William Waterhouse's paintings. Even my blog and shop banner was created from his "Soul of the Rose."

Maria Stillman's work is new to me, but very much reminds me of Waterhouse; and I can't wait to get started on my entry!

Cece said...

Excellent choice. Love the color palette. Looking forward to seeing everyones creations.

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous choice for the challenge, I hope I will find the time to enter again :-)

The Crazy Creative Corner said...

I love these colors and just so happen to have some hand-made lampwork beads I recently bought in these colors... I've never done a challenge like this (new to this particular scene)... I might have to try this....

Jenni said...

I love the painting, the story behind I and th may just have to give it a go!

The Crazy Creative Corner said...

Okay... guess I'm gonna be brave and try this! I haven't got any pics up, yet, but I've posted about this on my blog so I've committed myself (or maybe I *should* commit myself! HA!) Thanks for the chance to stretch my brain!

Heather said...

Love the warm earthy colors in this one and what a lovely face! Hope to participate this month.

Grubbi said...

Here's my entry and blog post. Love this months painting and colour scheme. :)

Grubbi said...

Dawn said...

I would like to try to participate in this challenge. I saw the painting and immediately had a great idea. I am also going to be working on another challenge project this month though so I am not sure I can handle two simultaneously. I will try I guess.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

I blogged my entry here. Thanks again, ladies for another gorgeous painting!


My Life Under the Bus said...

This is stunning!!!

Hazel Ward said...

I loved this painting, so I *had* to join in this month :D

Kym Hunter Designs said...

I love this months art piece!

Mackin-Art said...

I've finished my piece, more info at :

Cece said...

Just posted my entry here:

Gale said...

I've added my interpretation at Flickr. No blog yet....

JenHoney said...

I just posted my entry here:

Thanks for introducing this challenge. I had so much fun with it an I'm looking forward to next month's challenge.

beautifullybrokenme said...

What a beautiful inspiration piece. Here's my post:

As always, thanks for hosting this challenge!

:) Molly

MiddleEarthsJewels said...

Just posted! is my blog link..

Just couldn't let this challenge slip by..'Madonna Pietra' is more than beautiful!