Love is all we need. 

This week I was working on a new beaded tapestry for a members show at my local gallery The Palette and the Page. Although February and Valentines is approaching I was more inspired by the news. The Women’s march, the coming together… a need to express my feelings and fears in a positive way. Because- 
Love is love is love . 

Here is a time lapse of sorts of this newest beaded tapestry: 







Polymer heart by my friend Staci Smith. Finished size 5×8″. Total time- conservative estimate is 8 hours. This piece and others can be seen at the “Convergence” show at The Palette and the Page in Elkton MD. 

And be kind to each other. No matter what. 

It’s all in my hands. 

Last year I challenged myself to create a beaded tapestry each month. I decided that I do enjoyed the process, the exploration, the structure of the challenge – that I would do it again. 

This year I have created 12 hands in polymer, holding various symbols that related to myth or the seasons/wheel of the year. Join me on this journey! I will be posting the inspirations and meaning each month as I design and create the mixed media piece. 

A year of Goddesses: part 2

For the first half of the year – go to this original post.

It started out as challenge to myself. Inspired by artist/beader and  now fellow Art Elements contributor Cathy Mendola. It turned out to be educational, inspiring, and very, very fulfilling. Here is the remainder of the 2016 beaded goddess tapestries: 2016-part-2

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December may be my favorite. Mandala and snowflake inspired shapes crown her head. 

November – with a nod to Thanksgiving – rooted, holding wheat, recalling the harvest. 

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October brings Dia de Los Muertos. The color palette  and designs inspired by sugar skulls and talavera tiles. 

September/Virgo is my sign. I wanted her to reference the Zodiac a bit with the plenty/harvest that adorns the frame. 

 

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August – the ocean. Cresting waves, sandy neutrals. 

July – the summer sky and a hint of swirling fireworks. 

I am beginning work on a series for this year. While I had intended to take a smaller seasonal challenge this year – I had a great idea…. Stay tuned! Pictures coming!

Draconic inspiration: the theme reveal at Art Elements!

Here be dragons! 

When Niky posted the theme for December it was instantly inspirational!  I count myself lucky to have many visual artist friends and I shared some of my dragon favorites earlier on this blog. I love dragons versatility. They are creatures of air, earth, fire… They appear in myriad forms across all world cultures. For this month I worked with a vintage image and one of my original carvings:

First up – this archaic watery dragon pictured on the top right. I cast a vintage button – and cast these in porcelain. Infinite possibilities.

Below ( bottom right) are mu original hand carved dragons. These are cast in stoneware and I was really delighted/surprised with the intense colors! They were fired to ^10 in a gas reduction kiln – known for earthier tones, not usually such intensity. (This is one reason I love AMACO velvets. )

Last but not least I pressed a few polymer dragons. The one pictured here feels Art Nouveau – and I love the copper patina paint finishes.

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Dragons are available in the Art Elements Extras destash group on FB. 

The polymer dragon I kept was treated with Swellegant paints/patinas. I used an iron base with a rust patina and color accents. It makes me think of sunken pieces of eight recovered from a deep ocean wreck. I beaded the bezel and then was stalled: tiger eye vs tiger iron? Both colors in the cab, but which to accentuate?

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The finished pendant – with pearls, citrine, goldstone, tiger iron.

The finished piece! Beaded… I added citrine and copper pearls since I had chosen the red tiger iron. I am really pleased with the results – and I love the effect of the red-orange lined yellow seed beads.

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Details of the crusty patina and the gems.

Bonus dragon: vintage image, applied as an image transfer to a polymer cab. (Banner photo: includes red City of London dragons and the Welsh flag. )

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Bonus dragon: image transfer onto polymer

Thank you Niky for setting us of on this path! I have more dragons flying around in my head. But for now – please join us in this reveal blog hop!

Guests

Shai Williams

Kathy Lindemer

Anita Rao

Kelly Rodgers

Tammy Adams

 

AJE Team

Susan

Cathy

Jen

Niky

Diana

Laney

Caroline

Claire

Playing hooky at Jerry’s…

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old journals end. new journal’s beginning. plans and goals.

Jerry’s ArtARama to be precise. Its the end of December. I made some progress on a commission and learned the deadline was less tight than I had thought. I decided to play hooky for a few hours. I have been cleaning and organizing, reflecting on 2016 and setting art and business goals for 2017.

I needed glazing medium. Yes, really I did. I will be doing Journal 52 again this year. I participated this year, and created about half of the weekly art journal entries. This year ) hope for an even higher percentage. The art journal gives me a place to play, and to meditate, and to experiment… without all the pressures of producing art for a show, for sale.

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What I came for…

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Why are brushes so delightful to look upon?

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This store has character and pizazz.

I am lucky that there is a Jerry’s in Wilmington. I usually order online, pay shipping, wait, and wait… I was browsing Dick Blick online when I realized – support local! And I am so glad I did! The store has great art and murals throughout. The people were friendly and helpful. The whole store is a visual treat; eye candy. I treated myself to some Golden acrylics, and a new  deep panel “canvas” to try for a new mixed media idea…

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So many pencils, makes my hands actually itch to draw? Really?

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Yes, please. One of each.

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I dont even like working with pastels. But be still my heart.

This summer I was doing a little printmaking when my friend Lesley was over from the UK. I do have plans for more in 2017. Some prints to accompany tiles, drawing on my personal and mythic symbology.

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mmmm. printing inks. Delicious.

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Art is fun. Art is serious. Art is serious fun.

So I spent a few hours out of the studio! And I have some yummy new inspiring supplies! And the loyalty program at the store saved me money! And I supported local! Win Win. See you next year, Jerry’s…

Here be dragons…

This month – over at Art Elements blog, our theme is dragons. Create art around that theme and share it on your blog… This is not a challenge for me – if anything the challenge lies what to do!

15241281_10209977830190062_7652353610430501620_n-2I made these dragon cabochons this summer – they would be perfect beaded or bezel set. There are a few currently available in the Art Elements Extra sale page on Facebook.

My current dragon tile design is being retired. It was a Welsh dragon.I have plans for a new
flag_of_wales_2-svgone – I am thinking inspired by the City of London dragon. This one has held a very dear spot in my heart since my student undergrad days living there are going to school in the City each day. The photo below was taken on my 40th Birthday trip.

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City of London dragon.

And I have a tribe of talented artist friends. I count myself lucky to know them. SO let me leave you with a few dragons from friends and fellow artists. (All images remain the property of the artist. )

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A miscellany by Meredith. All images available as prints on her site: MeredithDillman.com

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“Draco Lucis & Draco Noctis”. Art by Meredith Dillman. These are favorites of mine!

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Jane Star Weils is a dear friend and an insanely talented woman. Here: “Summoning the Elemental Dragons & Dragons Wine”. Prints available at her site!

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The prolific creative genius that is Cory Godbey.

And last, but definitely not least: Charles Vess. Charles is currently working with Ursula K. LeGuin – yes. THAT Ursula K. LeGuin – on an illustrated Earthsea. She is the original Mother of Dragons. You can read her thoughts on this complete, illustrated Earthsea collection here. And see Charles sketches as he works on this lifetime achievement type job… he shares them on his FB page.

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Earthsea title page (c) Charles Vess. 

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Earthsea title page

So here is to draconic inspiration in its myriad forms! Me?  I’m off to bead.. .or sculpt… or collage… Until the reveal! 

Celestial Moon – the Art Elements Component of the Month reveal

I can’t believe we have turned the calendar page to December… Before we deck the halls, and fatten the goose – lets take a minute or two for the November COM over at Art Elements!

This month we had a guest artist! Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay donated a few of her signature glass/glaze circular pendants. They are rich in color – pools you can dive in to! As you would expect – I forgot to take a picture of mine when I received it… I got the one pictured here on the top right!

The donated pendants from Artisan Clay

The colors were evocative of the night sky to me – and we had a Super Moon on November 14th. Wheels are turning… the Muse taps me on the shoulder. And I knew I would wire the “moon” into the center of the piece. Then stars, then crystals… and it all came together quickly.

Jasper “moon” wired into the celestial sky

Umm –  love it all and its too big for me to wear – even better! I’ll hang it in my studio!

Finished pendant

I decided to add to the piece with a top section: nickle silver and faux bone. The Latin translates ti: “From darkness, light” and is a favorite quote of mine. I love the engraver – for those freehand swirls! I need to experiment more! I’m not sure how I want to hang the piece, but this ribbon is one option. What are your thoughts? Overall I am really happy with how it turned out  – and I have been beading so much lately, it was GREAT to saw again…

Thanks for stopping in and please don’t miss the other designs this month from guests and team mates alike.

Guest Designers:

Sarajo Wentling

Lola Surwillo

Beti Horvath

Kate Kemp

ArtE Team

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Claire Fabian

Jen Cameron

 

 

Dia de los Muertos – our Component of the Month reveal

Time flies so fast in the Fall. Shows, nice crisp weather, classes to teach… and Halloween. This month at Art Elements blog (formerly Art Jewelry Elements) We have a super cool lamp work glass skull! These are the creations from Jen Cameron/Glass Addictions. And they are wicked cool.

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Aqua to bring out his eyes…

I knew I wanted a necklace, something colorful and festive. I was actually trying NOT to do too many flowers – like a self imposed regulation to make it harder? Who knows. I have been beading skulls and flowers a lot of late and was trying to do something different.

Creating the wire wrapped bail gave me more color – and a hanging mechanism that created a strong statement to set the skull off.

I used recycled glass/bottle beads, carnelian, Czech glass: anything and everything in my primary color palette. The back section is three strands: cobalt glass, seed beads and braided sari silk handspun yarn! I know – there IS a lot going on, but the colors played well and it created a volume that balanced the focal.

I DO have a second skull, staring up at me from the work table. The primary colors are so out of my usually palette – but I think these links will be in there somehow… The hoplite was a maybe, but the scale was wrong. We shall see!

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On deck. Rainbow eyes!

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My Dia de los Muertos mantle.

I do hope you celebrate the holiday – and the blog hop with us! Have a pumpkin spice something and check out these great designs from the team and out guests. Until next time…

Guest Designers

Staci Louise Smith

Karin Grosset Grange

Solange Collin

Art Elements Team

Caroline Dewison

Susan Kennedy

Laney Mead

Claire Fabian

Diana Ptaszynski

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Lindsay Starr

Niky Sayers

Lesley Watt

Cooky Schock

Jen Cameron

 

Anticipation…. and revelation

Unloading a kiln is like opening presents. Its eager and tentative. Excitement and trepidation. Anticipation, sprinkled with hope, resulting in happiness.

I do this on average once a week. My work, my student’s work, other student work… Here is one window into one kiln.

My triple hare, my students mural tiles and other student work.

All looks good! 

 

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My custom giraffe, mural/mosaic border tiles and my adult students relief tiles!

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My triple hare, my students mural tiles and other student work.

Fairy tales by mail! The art charm exchange and auction

Welcome the the Art Charm Reveal! This special event is designed to raise funds for a great charity : Beads of Courage. In case you haven’t heard of them , their mission is “… providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.”

Beads have been seen in many  cultures as symbols of wealth, of status, amulets of power…and healing. The BOC page has a great article to that effect.  Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions has organized this swap and auction for a few years running. Participants made and traded beads, offering at least one of each design up for auction – where all proceeds benefit the charity.

This year I was very inspired, as the Fairy Tale theme is a focus of my work on a regular basis. My first charm was the castle – seen above in its original sculpt and then painted. The castle is such an icon in fairy tales… as the starting pint from whence heroes and heroines depart on quests of discovery and exploration…. as the destination after trials and travails. Its the home, the haven, the sanctuary and yet its the goal, the reward. It can even be the jail, the challenge, the obstacle…

In working on my charms I was playing with the dragon as well. This is its debut! There will be one OOAK charm available at the auction. Dragons can be the obstacle to overcome, but they can also be a guide on the hero/ine’s journey. Associated with age, wisdom, wealth… they are a powerful and recurring icon.

My third charm is very detailed, very meaningful and related to one specific tale. Inspired by the Grimm’s “Fitcher’s Bird” and Angela Carter’s story “ The Bloody Chamber” – this is a polymer hand, with charm key and blood red garnet drop. The tale tells of BlueBeard’s wife, given and egg to hold, and a key to a secret chamber she must not enter while he is away. Curiosity wins, and she enters to find the remains of his previous wives… Through ingenuity and cunning she defeats him… A gruesome tale to be sure, but the original tales usually were… ( Read more at“BlueBeard and the Bloody Chamber” and article by Terri Windling)

So take a look at the treasures I received – and remember! You can bid! Its a great cause and these unique special edition beads could be added to your collection!

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1. Red Riding hood ceramic bead. Caroline at Blueberribeads 2. Tortoise and the Hare ceramic bead. Terri at Artisticaos.

Hand carved exquisite beauty by Caroline, such clear and simple beauty telling the tale. Hand drawn totems by Terri – 2 sides of the same coin as it were…

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1. polymer face bead by Patti/Miya Beads 2. resin charm by Vanessa of Culturezine  3. “Muchness” lampwork and metal focal by Jen at Glass Addictions 4. Stamped heart charm by Marianne of Simply Seablime

Some Alice in Wonderland love from Jen and Vanessa – always a favorite! I love that Jen’s heart has a subtle fairy tale message and is such a  stunning complementary palette!  Magical faces and iconic words from Patti and Marianne!

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1. Polymer charm set by Brooke at Artistic Endeavors  2. polymer hat charm by Alenka at Pepita  3. Lampwork pot-o-gold by Sue at Sue Beads

This batch was tougher to photograph ( apologies). A generous robust set by Brooke! A wee adorable hat by Alenka! And Sue’s pot of gold is to die for! Its a amazing shape, and a tiny scale that could work in almost any design!

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Had to show you the packaging! Silver charm by Charlene of Clay Space!

This last one – I adore! And I haven’t even unwrapped it yet because the packaging was too cool! Thanks Charlene!

Now – Please hop the blog hop… but steady on like the tortoise! There are many lovely offerings to see. AND the auction- details to follow as soon as possible! Don’t forget. Great cause – and a treat for you! 

Participants: