Fossils: the Art Elements reveal for November!

Welcome to the (slightly late) but inspired by ancient… fossils that is… Art Elements revel post! When Niky chose this theme I knew I had a plethora of choices by my talented team mates and Mother Nature herself…

And I chose something completely different. Ok Muse – I hear you!

On and off since this summer I have been working on new pieces embedding crystals into polymer pieces, creating a crystal terminal/point on the base of the piece:

The owl prototypes – they were extremely popular.

I have been planning more in this series, and sourcing amazing crystals – stay tuned for that. But this month an unlikely item caught my eye: a megalodon tooth. (wiki). I believe Lindsay sent me this as a gift?!

I knew I wanted to make a goddess figure – so I started the sculpt with her body in granite polymer. She has fine line striations to match the tooth’s texture. To adhere the two I sculpted a connection in Apoxie sculpt – and textured it as well. I am SO sorry I didn’t take a pix at that stage! Here she is done:

And with another fossil from my stash, I tried another style – embedding the fossil. ( Also granite polymer)

I am really pleased with how they turned out and look froward to more along this theme. I imaging them in shadowbox frames, with a felted beaded backdrop? Or handheld pieces for table or altar? Or both…. Excited for the new work the new year will bring.

But for now – wishing you a happy holiday weekend for the US crowd, and happy fall to everyone else –

OH – Dont forget to hop :

AE Team

Jen

Lesley

Sue

Claire

Jenny ( you are here)

Niky

Guests

Cat

Tammy

Susan

Dawn

Michelle

Sarajo

Evie & Beth

Divya

The eyes have it: the Art Elements theme reveal

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Eyes: Lisa Peters, Joan Miller, Diane Hawkey, Laney Mead,
Andrew Thornton, Peacock Beads

Thank you Laney for such an inspiring theme this month – and World Sight Day on October 12th! As you can see from the photo above – I had a plethora of pretties from which to choose. And yet – it is halloween month – and this happened:

So my $3 plastic eyeball – plastic. Hmm. I cannot set it in polymer. I wanted to go with something ornate, maybe a bit Victorian, and a bit Gothic. I used the polymer piece I was imagining – and then after curing it, set the eyeball. The bezel is Apoxie clay. Acrylic paint to bring out the texture… ( Now I think I want to do another with Swellegant and crusty patinas… )

The next 2 pieces are based around very bling-y eye cabs by Megan of Peacock Bead Shop. The first – in turquoise and cobalt was near impossible to photograph. The top cab is mother of pearl. The bottom is a faceted plastic? that shines like a bike reflector in person! Things have been really hectic this month with travel and teaching and shows… so it was a necessary Zen moment to sit and bead on these eyes!

The second piece will be for me! I was playing with different quotes and layers of meaning, thinking on seeing is believing, trust your path, envision your future, manifestation… so the compass was my first choice. I am thinking of hanging the beaded piece off the sterling banner – and stamping it with…? Latin? Welsh? I do like an obscure hidden meaning in a talisman. Or do I repeat the circular motif and dangle the “soul” charm? What, dear reader, would YOU do?

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! And before you leave – make sure to click through – it is a blog hop after all!

AE Team

Susan  

Marsha  

Claire  

Cathy 

Jenny  

Niky  

Laney

Guests

Dawn  

Hope  

Beth & Evie  

Kathy  

Michelle 

Tammy    

Cat 

 Elaine

Foliage – the Art Elements theme reveal

This month has been a blur. I have been working towards a 2 woman gallery show with artist friend Joanna Barnum. We installed the show yesterday – more on that in another post! It looks amazing and I am beyond excited. But it made me late to this reveal….

When the theme was announced – it dovetailed perfectly into a piece I was working on for the show. A piece involving foliage, goddesses, and owls.

I am calling this series “Animal Icons” and you can see here 2 awaiting cold finishes in the studio. The owl is inspired by the Welsh goddess Bloddeuwedd. She was magically created from 9 plants, although some retellings of her tale simplify to three.

In her tale – she is created as a bride for Gwydion. She was supposed to be the ideal docile wife. Well… she ended us having an affair, and in some ways awakening as her own independent entity. She and her lover plot to betray and kill her husband. ( You can read her whole tale here. ) I think this quote from Journeying to the Goddess sums it up: “After Llew is killed, She is pursued and as a punishment, turned into an owl. Owls are associated with wisdom. Blodeuwedd has become the Crone. She has learned what happens when She accepts Herself and turns against what others want Her to be. Blodeuwedd was ‘transformed into the diametrical opposite of her previous self. From a meek, gentle, smiling, benign, beautiful and perfect Mate, She became a solitary night predator, maw gaping in silent flight, screech cutting through the forest. In a positive sense, we may say that She became assertive, independent, self-realized – and wise.’

Blodeuwedd by Hrana Janto

The base of my ceramic piece is carved with 8 of the 9 plants. ( It was crowded, and bean wasn’t as photogenic… ) I have finished the piece with multiple thin layers of acrylic washes, and then a sealer.

The owl perched atop, also finished with acrylics, is affixed with a dowel for stability. The niche holds moss and a moonstone egg.

A peak into the gallery. The show runs for the month of October at The Palette and the Page in Elkton, MD.

Thanks for reading my entwined tales of myth and art making. Please take a trip through the blogs – team mates and guests!

AE Team

Lesley  

Susan  

Marsha  

Claire  

Cathy 

Jenny  

Niky  

Caroline

Guests

Dawn  

Hope  

Alison  

Beth & Evie  

Laurie  

Kathy  

Sarajo  

Michelle  

Tammy  

Divya  

Karen  

Alysen  

Mary  

Cat  

Jill

Sarah

Anita

Octopus – the Art Elements theme reveal

Claire has a deep love for octopus. If you know her – you know this. So it wasn’t a surprise when this was her selection for the theme this month! Personally I find them alternately beautiful and creepy, yet utterly fascinating. They are chameleons, and very intelligent. (Image from this NY Times article)


CreditCreditFred Tanneau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

I sat down to bead – to bead a tapestry with the perfect enameled Octopus by Anne Gardanne.

I was thinking. a felted and beaded tapestry .I tried out ideas for an embellished frame that wold have embedded shells in Apoxie clay. I wove ribbons of hand dyed French silk ribbon amongst the tentacles….. Nothing. The Muse was not a-mused. ( I set this aside for another day. )

See what I kept thinking of was a mermaid. Who says they all have to have fish tales. I mean, Ursula the Sea Witch was an octopus. So I went to one of my all time favorite artists for inspiration. Alfonse Mucha.

This is “Dance” completed in 1898. It was the figure reface I needed – clearly Mucha in style, with clear lines to alter the lower half of the figure. And I traced it – full disclosure!

I drew my own decorative elements, and did line work in sepia permanent marker. I painted happily one afternoon – a break from the studio – red hair, aqua waves, and a mottled background.And then tackled those tentacles!

I started a base coat of watercolor. I had masked off the edges a little…. I planned on using salt in a wash to get speckles. But I had small salt, and it wasn’t dramatic enough – so I started shattering! What a wet mess and SO much fun. Then I added some Brusho pigment crystals…

Wet and wonderful

I had thought about drawing in the suckers with white Gell pen? Or painting a hint of them in watercolor… but the Brusho are so intense they kinda ruin a piece for working back in. They also splattered past where I had applied Maskit and are very hard to cover! ( They reactivate with anything wet…) SO I think I am done!

This was just what I needed – to paint for pleasure. Thank you Claire for a great theme. Oh – Zoey wanted in on the octopus action too:

Don’t forget – this is a hop! Take a look at other creations from the Art Elements team and our guests this month!

Guest artists:
Cat
Evie and Beth
HopeKaren
Kathy
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarajo
Tammy

Art Elements Team:
Cathy
Claire
Jenny
Laney Lindsay Marsha

Flowers – the Art Elements theme challenge for July

I left for Wales as the month began… on a trip with family that was part heritage tour and part vacation. ( In depth Wales posts are coming shortly.) I kept flowers in my mind as I was touring castles, exploring old seaside villages, hiking in the national parks…. It was an amazing transformative trip, and I will be feeling and seeing the creative effects of it for a long time coming.

But after returning home, and catching up on sleep, laundry, household chores… there was very little of July left for me. I offer you some works in progress for this month – inspired by the theme.

The first showcases these vintage glass pieces. I do not know anything about their original purpose – but when I saw them – I saw frames. ( Sadly there was a blue one too. The set of 4 made me think – 4 elements. I was only able to procure these three.) They have no holes or fasteners/bails of any kind. What do you think they were?

After sorting through many folders of vintage and antique papers ( did you see my post on my paper class with Keith LoBue?) I found some images in the right scale. Two were antique cigarette cards, the other an image from children’s illustrated encyclopedia. ( Yes – mine form my early childhood) I added gesso to the images outside the window area to cloud the colors – I didn’t want them showing through the glass.

Above you can see the copper piece engineered to fit the glass. I had not picked up the jewelry saw in months? a year? and it was so wonderful to be back at the bench pin! Below you can see the piece assembled – well, how it will be.

Currently – the images are drying – a coat of Diamond glaze to protect them. And the copper is in the tumbler – left bright, no patina. I plan to add 3 jump rings from the top arch/bail to add the connection point, and a little movement.

These pieces – when done – will be available for purchase at Bead Fest!

I have missed seed beading in all my travels this month – so I prepared a bead piece, wanting to sit and chill and bead. Well, you can see how far I got:

Labradorite and Lisa Peters cab. Waiting patiently on the bead table.

I hope you have had a wonderful July – whether you traveled or not…

For now – please enjoy a bit of armchair travel as you visit the blogs of my team mates and our guests. Thank you Marsha for a fertile theme, where I am sure many ideas have taken root !

Here is a list of our Visiting Artists:
Alysen
Cat
Divya
Evie and Beth
Jill
Hope
Kathy
Linda
Louise
Martha
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarah
Sarajo
Tammy

And our Art Elements Blog Contributors:
Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Jenny ( you are here)
Laney
Lesley
Marsha
Susan

The Art Elements theme reveal: Birds of Prey

Welcome to the reveal! This month Cathy challenged us with “Birds of Prey“. I found it to be extremely inspirational. I really wanted to work with osprey – as they nested on the river where I grew up, all along the Chesapeake Bay, and I still see them often at the Delaware beaches. But the owls had their hooks in me…

First are these mixed media focal pendants. This is a style I am diving deep into pf late – getting ready for an online show, a local show, and then.. .Bead and Button!  ( details at end of post.)  These polymer assemblages feature found OOAK images, and antique lenses. Optometry lenses or watch crystals – I am not sure.  The image is sandwiched between polymer and lens. The bezel – for lack of a better term – is sculpted. All are hand painted! ( I may have to keep that Barn owl… )

Polymer and mixed media pendants.

The polymer station is simply staying set up in my studio. I have ideas bubbling up all the time! After a lovely day crystals shopping with Staci – These owl were born. I want to sculpt similar pieces with goddesses and other animals as well.

Crystal owl prototype!

2 crystal owls, one with a loop. Coming soon to “One Sweet Bead Market” on FB.

The image in Cathy’s original post haunted me. Zoomed in, cropped… I decided to try translating it to beads. I want to experiment with some beaded paintings, of a sort… I made the conscious decision to use only size 11 rounds, keeping the surface uniform. Then color and direction of stitches would take precedence…

Beaded painting in progress

At the same time – I was working on this cabochon – a barn owl. So often I am caught up in the cycle of production, being efficient, producing more. That is a cycle I strive to break this year. This piece was very satisfying to sculpt in detail, and i used antique jet beads as eyes. ! I knew it was destined to be paired with flowers. I was inspired by the Welsh goddess Blodeuwedd – who was created from flowers and later shape shifted into an owl…

New cab, colored with pastels, amongst vintage lucite flowers.

Here are these 2 bead embroidery pieces finished! I am happy with how they both came out – but thrilled with Blodeuwedd, if I do say so.

Completed as a brooch, shown in hand for scale.

Beaded piece measures 3 x 3″ , framed in a birch panel frame.

This was  a great theme, and a very productive month, especially for a short month! Please take a few minutes to visit my team mates, and out guests this month. Thanks for stopping by – see you in March!

Guests:

Tammy

Beth

Cat

Anita

Kathy

Alysen

Linda

Rozantia

Jennifer

Hope

Sarah

Sarajo

Melissa

 

Team Members: 

 

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Jen

Karen

Laney

Lesley

Lindsay

Marsha

Niky

Sue

Its a phase… the Art Elements moon theme reveal.

Welcome to the first theme challenge of the year! And the first blog post of the year – a habit I plan to revive…

This month Lindsay selected the Moon as our inspiration. The moon is frequently my inspiration! I rifled through my stash and pulled out a few moon and crescent pieces:

1.Diane Hawkey 2. me 3.Nikki Thornburg and Lesley Watt 4.Staci Smith 5.Lesley 6.my stash 7-9. me 10. Caroline Dewison. 11. Lisa Peters Russ. 12. Anne Gardanne

I was completely overwhelmed. So I turned to something completely different. Laney Mead gifted me with the most adorable lamp work hare! ( It was Secret Santa a year or so ago.) Since he arrived, he has been living on my beading table in a wee tiny wooden box – waiting for assemblage! SO here he is – my lunar hare !

Now he is sitting on my desk as I write this!

Back in the studio – I have been missing metal. Last year was fraught with challenges, both personal and professional. I made work show by show… This year I am focusing on what really speaks to my heart. SO I plan to incorporate more metal. This piece is still a WIP – the sterling hare needs tumbling. The faux bone needs antiquing maybe?

Faux bone – heated, stamped, painted, sanded. It will tolerate anything!

Linoleum printmaking is also on the 2019 want-to-do list. I plan to have limited edition cards featuring motifs that are showcased in my ceramic pendants and tiles. But as a warm up? Moon phase stamps for my art journal!

So all was gong along rather nicely – until Lindsay there me the BEST curve ball! She surprised me with a few leather pieces and some vintage treasures! ( I sent her something for this month’s give away.) These pieces are drawn/sculpted/painted by her friend  – and I for one think they are fabulous. The moon over the (iridescent) water makes me so happy! 

But you know which one I started with, don’t you? And then I found this mini star cab that Sue made… There may have been a snow squall – but I was happily beading!  I think it will be a lapel pin for my winter coat…

Beaded lunar hare – in progress.

Thank you so much for reading my ramblings. Please take a look at the creation from my team mates at AE and our guests this month! And stay tune here for a resuscitated blog!

Guests:
Art Elements Crew:

We are all stardust… the Art Elements theme reveal

Hello – its that time again!

This month Laney gave us STARS. This is a motif near and dear to my heart… should be easy, right? Well I apologize as I have only a WIP post for you today. With my part time job ( at Sarafina Fiber Arts!) and shows, and a two week plague  ( upper respiratory) I only have a WIP to show you. SO let me get started:

Awaiting paint

I started here with a votive star goddess on polymer. I imagined her, framed in a shadowbox, before a speckled starlit sky…

At Sarafina – I carded a custom blend. Starting with a variegated blue, I boosted the teal and purples. I was seeing the background as a wet felted piece.

My custom carded night time batt

From my stash at home – I added merino wool in teals, white nepps, dyed silk, and twilight sparkly Angelina fibers…

The assembled ingredients.

After wet felting – it didnt go as I had planned. I did not get complete adhesion between the fibers, and it is too large. ( I used wool batting as a core of sorts, and the piece shrunk much less) I can work on this agin to try to bond the layers.. .but for now – I will set it aside.

Purples and teals…

details of silk and nepps

I did two smallish pieces at a time. This one in a more teal palette makes me happy! But it sill needs a little work. And with the business of the fibers – I think less beads would have been called for…

teals and blues

The spiderwebs of silk…

The new plan is this: Beading on a piece of felt  – created from felting a cast off sweater. It had a nice heathery color and I can bead a galaxy of sorts swirling out from the star goddess. I am seeing her embedded in epoxy clay, amidst crystal shards in the bottom of the frame.

I am so sorry I couldn’t do more for tis theme! But I will finish – and for now, why not hop over to my team mates and our guests?

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

Guest Artists
Art Elements Team

Faeries – the Art Elements theme reveal

This month flew by on gossamer faerie wings. Or a mermaid retrieved it from a shipwreck to hide in her undersea lair. Or a green fae woodland spirit absconded with it- hiding it in a hollow tree in a mystical wood. Whatever the cause – its reveal day! And this theme is one I work with frequently. Caroline introduced it – and I shared some fae inspiration earlier this month on the blog. I have a few different things in progress – let me share them with you…

A few months ago – I pulled four fairy cabochons. My fairy design is very butterfly inspired – as I think butterflies could easily be faeries in disguise. There is also a nod to The Preservers of Elfquest – a graphic novel/comic series that had been a huge part of my fae aesthetic since I was 12! (That’s a whole other post!)

I haven’t gotten any further than pulling beads… these four are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. I plan to start the bezels all the while designing the surrounding bead embroidery to reference the elements.

With my schedule a little hectic ( who am I kidding? its crazy!) with fall shows – I have been glazing a few variations on my Faerie tile. One of the things that keeps this from boring production work is individually glazing each tile differently. My glazing style involves quite a bit of detailed hand painting in underglazes. This trio below shows you some of my fairy themes: Earthy with a seedling, celestial with the Earth/moon backdrop, and an ethereal Celtic version.

I did have a chance to play a bit this month: I received a printed moth paint/embroidery kit from Lesley for my birthday. I want to paint some, bead others… but one large one had to be a faerie! (The directions recommended a thin coat of white craft glue before cutting to prevent the fabric from fraying… )

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Painted in thinned acrylic, ready to cut out.

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She will flutter over my reading chair…

I think she is a perfect fit with this stoneware goddess pendant. I think I will hang her in the studio…

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Please join us in the hop! Links to participating AE members and guests are here:

Guest Artists
Cat 
 
Art Elements Team
 

Swirls: the Art Elements theme reveal

Swirls.

Its the time of month – reveal time for our theme challenge at Art Elements. Marsha picked a wonderful theme – so many ideas! This month does involve Bead Fest, travel, Lesley visiting from the UK – so I was glad it was a theme that resonated so strongly with my creative self.

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Travelogue doodles at Bead Fest.

My main swirly piece is a beaded tapestry I am working on – although swirls were on my mind even in doodles ( see above.)

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This piece is approximately 3 x 5″ and features a swirly ceramic goddess by Lesley! There is a bronze clay moon, antique miniature buttons and beads, so many beads. I wanted the swirls to be evident in color – and am keeping size and texture of the beads uniform throughout.

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This one? Its on deck on the beading table. It was fired for Bead Fest but sadly had a flaw. Such a shame I have to keep it and bead… LOL. I also must say – once you start looking swirls are EVErYWHERE! (Chihuly installation at DE Art Museum; Art Deco door also at DMA. Hotel wall paper!) 

Hello – Lesley here...I’m currently vacationing with Jenny so I’m piggy-backing her blog post too. I didn’t get anything started for this challenge before I left the UK but it turns out that was a good thing because I got some great inspiration from a trip to Longwood Gardens with Marsha and Jenny. When I think swirls one of the first images that pops into my head is ferns and the wonderful patterns the newly forming leaves form as they unfurl. Fortunately for me there were examples aplenty at Longwood.

Back at Jenny’s I started to think about how I was going to use this inspiration and looked to a half face cab of Jenny’s that I’d started beading a few days earlier – unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it then but it brought to mind the ‘Mud Maid’ sculpture from one of my favorite UK places – The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

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I decided I could use these two elements to create by own beaded Fern goddess and this is what I’ve come up with so far…

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Jenny’s cab has been bezeled with Peyote stitched and then I’ve just free-form beaded around it – the excess backing will be trimmed away to give a contoured edge. I’ve used dagger beads to create mature fern fronds and seed beads to represent the swirling new growth. Fire polished crystals give some organic structure and random flower beads add texture. It’s not finished yet because I’m not sure exactly how I want to continue. The plan is for the lower portion to graduate into slightly more earthy colors and finish up with some sort of fringing to suggest the ground and roots. I need to take some time to think it through so it will probably happen when I get home. so far though I’m pretty pleased with it.

I did also manage make a couple of other pieces – both using ceramic components from our lovely host Marsha. First up a pair of earrings using the yummy pod charms she made for the last Art Elements challenge. I added some swirling wire and some pale smokey quartz beads to come up with this design that I’m pretty happy with…kinda cute and very easy to wear.

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Finally I beaded (because that’s what you do when you stay at Jenny’s) a pendant using a swirly cab of Marsha’s that I brought from home.

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This one is in my trademark muted autumnal tones and uses a lovely Peyote mix I picked up at Bead Fest…pretty simple but again very wearable.

So that’s where Marsha’s challenge took me and to be honest, I could probably go on for ever with this theme as there is no end of inspiration. So a big thank you to Marsha for giving us this opportunity, to Jenny for letting me raid her bead stash and to both of them for taking me to the wonderful Longwood Gardens.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our offerings and will join us on our blog hop to see what all the other participants have come up with – just click on the links below. Enjoy!

Guest Artists:

Alison

Anita

Cat

Caroline

Jill

Kathy

Karin

Kimberly

Mischelle

Raven

Sarajo

Susan

Tammy 

Art Elements Team: 

Cathy

Caroline

Claire

Jen

Jenny & Lesley

Laney

Marsha

Susan