Surfacing: the Art Elements “tidepool” theme challenge

This month I dove into the theme late. I had been away for many weeks, and I am doing my grief work after losing my mother. I relished the chance to dive into the beads, to busy my hands and still my mind a bit.

Lesley selected the theme “Tide pool” and it is  – as these themes can be – so rich that it was hard to narrow my ideas down to one piece. My first ever tide pool experience was in La Jolla CA on vacation with my husband before we relocated there. I was enchanted by the calm encapsulated worlds amidst the rocks and tumultuous spray.

My plan was influenced by the enameled fish I received from Anne at Gardanne Beads. While it takes my pieces from tide pool to ocean – I feel both worlds are represented…

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My teaser sketch – after I had selected artisan beads.

The preliminary stages had me stitching on the densely encrusted tide pool items at the bottom of the 3″ square. The fish swims amidst leather kelp; (if you EVER get a chance to go the the Aquarium in Monterey Bay CA, do so! The kelp forest is ethereal!). Then there is that rather unsightly blob in the lower left. Needle felted from a scrap of wool – its simply a form, an armature of sorts for…

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What is that blob?


Oh my…

… the anemone! I didn’t have exactly the right colors to achieve an ombre effect on the arms? tentacles? but I am still pleased. so now – the piece in its entirety. All 3″ of it!

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“Surfacing”… my finished tide pool inspired piece.

Details: 1. the anemone in situ. 2. Caroline‘s sea urchin bead sitting on top.  3. Close up of Gardanne Beads enamel fish and Sue Beads lamp work star.

Framed in a stained wood frame – the piece is ready to hang. I like the layering of coral and kelp over the fish – creating some depth. This was a very inspiring theme to work with – thank to Lesley for the topic! Now – please – head over to my friends and colleagues blogs – to see what they have created! 


AE Team Members:

17 thoughts on “Surfacing: the Art Elements “tidepool” theme challenge

  1. Rosantia Petkova says:

    Beautiful! I’m looking forward to the variety of items everybody makes for AJE challenges and am never disappointed! Love the creatures and the organic pool you created for them 🙂


  2. lesleyhw says:

    I love this! Such great colours and a lovely sense of movement around that fabulous fish… and as for that anemone – it’s just awesome! Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge after the tough time you’ve had recently. xxx


  3. cathysmendola says:

    Beautiful! Such rich textures and colors. I LOVE your use of leather for the algae-brilliant. Lots of little treasures in this piece. Hope that getting back to work/art has been healing. xo


  4. Saraccino byCF says:

    What a gorgeous work of art! I love how you incorporated the fish with the corals and algae, but I especially love how you added the sea urchine bead! Just outside the box… not sure how I can explain it, but this little detail really spoke to me! 🙂


  5. Anita says:

    Fabulous colors, and what a lovely, picturesque setup of components! Hope spending time on this beautiful project brought on some calm and peace.


  6. Kathy Lindemer says:

    What a wonderful piece of art you made. I think it is extra special because you have so many beads of your friends and colleagues in it.


  7. niky sayers says:

    I have always found creating a helpful part of the healing process and I am sending lots of love your way xxx I think your piece is just beautiful, I love the mixed media and the way that wonderful swirl just draws you in! Your an inspiring and amazing artist my friend xxx


  8. blueberribeads says:

    I love how your bead work is always so full of wonderful treasures… it’s a beautiful piece and has a lovely calm feeling to it. It makes me happy to see my little urchin in amongst all that gorgeousness!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarajo Wentling says:

    I’m glad that you could find a little bit of peace in the beads… I love your little undersea creation. So many fabulous color and textures. I’m especially smitten by that kelp!


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