|Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!
Congratulations to Gloria Allen! You have won a set of four Lady Liberty coin buttons. Please contact Tari with your contact information so she can mail your prize.
Hello Bead Peeps! What have you been up to lately?
As supported by Miss Tari's last post, the world is continuing to spin far faster than I can often handle! There have been many twists and turns in my path over the past month, some of it all in the same week! Much of what I had scheduled out for myself to complete each week on my endless notes and lists has been tossed aside like so much trash. I am actually wondering how all of this happened in the blink of an eye, and how I can find my way back to my original plan.
It seems that since the last time I posted an Inside the Studio about my upcoming show, Beauty in the Broken Places
, you would think that I might have something to show for it, especially since I mentioned in that post that I was going to be making something each month toward that end. Alas, I don't! But that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy. In fact, I think that this month in particular will find me working around the clock on many nights just to keep afloat!
Here's a recap of just some of what has kept me from pursuing the art that I want to pursue....while pursuing creative endeavors of all different sorts.....
|Special Pop-a-Dot jewelry (in process) based on my favorite Dr Seuss book, My Many Colored Days.|
Every year for my daughter's dance studio, I host a fundraiser for the National Honor Society of Dance Arts during every night of the show week rehearsals and before each show. I sell a line of magnetic jewelry I devised called Pop-a-Dots and always come up with something extra special themed to the show.
This year the show was based on the Dr Seuss book, Oh! The Places You'll Go!
So I made some digital prints
that fit in a 5x7" frame as well as notecards with some of the iconic Seuss lines. The dancers and their families loved them, as well as those that are celebrating graduations in May. Their messages are perfect for encouraging enthusiastic exploration of the whole wide world!
|This was taken a few months ago, but I love the smile on her face!|
My mother's 70th birthday was in the middle of show week as well. So I took off half a day to spend it with her.
That same exact weekend, my son and his lovely girlfriend attended Prom. So, of course I had to add one more thing to my plate and decided to make the corsage and boutonniere for them. Gah! I think they turned out quite nicely! Of course, it helps that I happen to have an entire studio filled with sparkly things to make them extra special and unique! I really had fun making them. I have made wedding flowers before, but perhaps I may have missed my calling! ;-)
So much is coming up in this month! My son Calvin is going to graduate from Pacelli High School. This is bittersweet as it is also where my husband and I graduated from (and where we started dating!), as well as my father and his siblings. Proud to have a 3rd generation graduate in the family! Even more proud to announce that he is planning to attend our college alma mater as well... University of Wisconsin-Madison
. We bleed Badger red and are thrilled that he will be carrying on the Big 10 tradition. He has been accepted directly into the College of Engineering and I think that my summer will be quite busy getting him (and me!) ready. There are so many big things this month, including the Project Grad party held the night of graduation. I am in charge of the Senior DVD slide show that will be given as a gift to them all. It has taken me all spring to gather the pictures. Now I will be starting on the actual slideshow on Sunday and hope to be done in one week (of very late nights!). Adding to that, there are baseball games a-plenty every other night of the week, and almost every weekend (so far we have lost just one game all season! Woot!). I simply cannot miss a single moment, especially since this boy who started as a catcher at age 9, is now an impressive young man of 18 and coming to the end of his career. The Cardinals were ranked 3rd in the state by the sports writers/coaches and he made the list of catchers to watch. Such a wonderful career! I know that I am the one having the hardest time with the coming loss of this passion. Never thought I would say this 18 years ago...but baseball is my favorite season! And to top it all off, we are planning a HUGE backyard party complete with a large tent and caterers and a movie night under the stars for the entire class! Next up on my list is to update the backyard and put together the brand new propane fire pit for all to enjoy!
As you are reading this, I will be on my way to the Gallery Q for the changeover this weekend (on Mother's Day? What?!@?!?) for the next show: ArtSpace
. The idea for this show is that the gallery will be transformed into "rooms" or vignettes inside the space, for a unique way to display our art. I don't have a lot of jewelry to bring (see below for a peek), but what I do have to contribute is the window displays. I enjoy doing it and like the look of windows to invite you to come in and find out more about what is inside. A little mysterious, if you will. One window will be a picnic scene, complete with a small table and chairs, handmade table linens from one of our artists, a handmade vase with flowers, oil paintings of the rolling countryside and other things that will hopefully evoke a sense of playfulness and summer fun. The other side was a brainstorm that came to me in the middle of the night this past Sunday: a front door inviting you to step inside. I have an artist friend and handyman who is contributing one of these doors (above), complete with an old doorknob, with a brace or bracket support to be freestanding (see my rudimentary sketch). I am bringing in a welcome mat and a planter urn complete with fresh flowers and an arrow sign I made pointing to the gallery for the ArtSpace show (with magnets! So I can reuse it!). And hanging on the faux door will be a wreath that I am finishing up right now
, made from a Q monogram, washi tape and a jumble of paint brushes (that I will hopefully be able to grunge up a bit to make look like they were well used). I am excited to make this all take shape and hope I can make it happen quick!
About the only thing that I have really made in the last month are what I call Mageia Drops.
These little charms are something that I am experimenting with for use in my upcoming September show (see Beauty in the Broken Places
...note to self....must.get.busy!
). These involve a painting technique with a special morphing paint that reacts over the course of a few hours to transform into a mystifying beauty. Then it needs to rest and cure for three days. The word "mageia" is Greek for "magic" and seem to suit the outcome of these little gems, which are completely unpredictable. What you see above is the results of my experiments...and each one of those little drops was eventually covered in resin for a glossy, magnified look, tied to a scratch off code card and sent off to be added to the goodie bags for those on the Bead Cruise this week with our lovely Miss Heather Powers! I hope they find them fun! I guess it wasn't all a detour... these drops were an experiment and I learned a lot from making about 100 of them, in how to control the paint, what colors work best together and ways to make sure that no one touches them (especially me!) while they are drying! I am using these Mageia Drops in all sorts of things....they make great earrings, or charms on a bracelet. I have even clustered like-colored ones and added them to some necklaces that will be for sale at the Q on Friday for the changeover.
Whew! That was a LOT for one month, with no signs of it letting up! My head has been spinning because I have had some big plans of making art and jewelry for my show and getting something together for some charities as well as developing some new ideas and paying someone to come and help me organize my studio so I can have fun working in here again...and...and...and...but, we all know...
"Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans." ~ Allen Saunders
That seems to be very true for me! And I am guessing that it is also likely true for you. So my question to you is this....
When you are sidetracked from what you originally had planned,
do you power through and try to get back on the track you were on...
or do you follow that path wherever it may lead, discovering new paths along the way?
The random winner will receive a set of 4 Mageia Drops
and a 5x7" print of your favorite Dr Seuss quote
, suitable for framing (and perfect gift for the graduates in your life!).
This month's amazing inspiration is "On a Shaker Theme" by Charles Sheeler.
A cool color palette but I can see bringing in warm colors to make a nice balance.
We are very linear this month but I can see all the fun house charms and pendants available that would be perfect for this month's challenge.
I could see you mixing in colors and texture with leather, waxed linen, sari silk, chunky square beads or hammered chain. I can't wait to see your creativity with this inspirational piece.
I checked out the Art Bead Scene editor's websites and shops for a few picks that would work perfect for this month's challenge.
(Don't forget Tari can make any of her buttons into pendants for you!)
So what is your favorite part of this month's painting?
Our Wonderful sponsors for the May Challenge.
We will have 2 Lucky Winners this Month!
Marsha Neal Studio
Marsha Neal Minutella of Marsha Neal Studio creates fabulous ceramic beads, buttons and jewelry components. I love Marsha's work! I have had the pleasure of meeting Marsha. She is such a wonderful person. Buy her beads, you need some!!
Marsha Neal Studio is located in Hockessin, Delaware.
Marsha is donating a $50 gift certificate.
Mindy Macgregor of Moogin creates wonderful Lampwork Beads. I love the beautiful colors and designs. These need to be in everyones bead stash!
Moogin is located in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Mindy is donating a $50 Gift Certificate .
: : :
Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here. Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.
On a Shaker Theme by Charles Sheeler. This Month's art has many different elements that can be used for inspiration: abstraction, architecture, linear design, geometric shapes, perspective, houses, doors, windows, blues, burgundies, greys and tans.
We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this month's challenge!
**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put MAY 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.***
"On a Shaker Theme", 1956
by Charles Sheeler
oil on canvas
23" x 29 1/8" (58.42 x 73.98 cm)
About the Art
Showing his deep respect for Shaker design, Sheeler wrote, “The Shaker communities, in the period of their greatest creative activity, have given us abundant evidence of their profound understanding of utilitarian design in their architecture and crafts. They understood and convincingly demonstrated that rightness of proportion in a house or a table, with regard for efficiency in use, made embellishment superfluous,” (Quoted in Constance Rourke, “Charles Sheeler: Artist in the American Tradition,” New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1938). Sheeler probably started collecting Shaker pieces in the 1920s, and began to include his Shaker furniture in paintings of domestic interiors such as “Interior” (1926, Whitney Museum of American Art). In 1934, he visited the Shaker villages in Hancock, Massachusetts and in New Lebanon, New York, where he photographed the Second Meeting House. In the same year he painted his first oil of Shaker architecture, “Shaker Buildings” (private collection), a rendering of the laundry and machine shop in Hancock, which he was to portray in three more paintings, including “On a Shaker Theme.”
The laundry and machine shop is a three and one half story building constructed in 1790. The structure served as a washhouse, machine house, herb and seed room, and woodshed and thus it exemplified the Shaker principle of maximum utility (Mary Jane Jacob, “The Impact of Shaker Design on the Work of Charles Sheeler,” unpublished M.A. thesis, 1976, quoted in Flo Morse, “The Shakers and the World’s People,” New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1980, p. 138). Over time and subsequent renovations it had acquired a unique shape. Two additions to the original building created interesting relationships of structural angles and forms that especially appealed to Sheeler. He depicted the building a second time in 1941 in “Shaker Detail” (The Newark Museum), showing a closer view but from the same angle as in his 1934 “Shaker Buildings.” His final two paintings of the laundry and machine shop are the Museum’s painting and “On a Shaker Theme #2” (Babcock Galleries), both composite images painted in 1956. While the first two pictures of the laundry and machine shop are straightforward representations, in the last two paintings, Sheeler interpreted the Shaker architecture in his late style, which employs more abstracted forms.
In 1946, Sheeler had begun to experiment with composite photography as a basis for his paintings. He superimposed photographic negatives, sometimes reversing them, to arrive at evocative compositions. In “On a Shaker Theme,” Sheeler overlaid two images, one slightly smaller and in reverse, of the portion of the laundry and machine shop depicted in “Shaker Detail.” He also radically simplified the details of the building so that windows and doors are reduced to rectangles. Sheeler’s method of overlapping images resulted in a complicated scaffolding of diagonals and verticals. “On a Shaker Theme” celebrates the refined geometric forms that underlie Shaker design, although its compositional intricacy eschews the Shaker virtues of purity and simplicity. This complexity, however, becomes integral to the piece if we consider the title of the painting to be musical - Sheeler had used musical titles starting in 1940 with “Fugue” [40.780] - as in Brahms’s “Variations on a Theme by Haydn.” Some of Brahms’s variations on a simple theme become quite complex with the addition of contrasting but parallel melodic lines played along with the theme. Thus Sheeler took the simple geometric shapes that he admired in Shaker architecture as his theme, and by using composite photography created an intricate tribute to a beloved building.
About the Artist
The American modernist Charles Sheeler (1883–1965) explored the relationships between photography, film, and more traditional media such as painting and drawing with more rigor and intellectual discipline than perhaps any other artist of his generation. As in a well-conceived scientific experiment, Sheeler used his own photographs and film stills as the basis for paintings and drawings, thus crystallizing the differences and similarities between them. Works in one medium manage to function as independent objects while also being inextricably linked to works in other media.
During Sheeler's lifetime the essential role that photography played in his creative process was often criticized or obscured because the medium's legitimacy as an art form remained controversial. In 1931 Sheeler himself — wary of being accused of simply copying his photographs, and at the behest of his dealer, Edith Halpert — began downplaying their connections. Yet the complex dialogue Sheeler forged among various techniques early in the century is one of his most innovative and important contributions to the history of American modernism.
Sheeler was trained at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia from 1900 to 1902. He then enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1903 to 1906, where he learned an impressionistic style under the tutelage of the painter William Merritt Chase. In early 1909, on a trip to Paris, he encountered the revolutionary works of Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and other European modernists. Recognizing the break with the past that these artists represented, he returned to the United States determined to cast aside his previous conceptions of art and pursue a new direction in his work. Around 1910 Sheeler took up photography as a way to support his painting — first documenting buildings for local Philadelphia architects, and later photographing works of art for New York dealers. In 1913 he participated in the first comprehensive display of European and American modernism in the United States, the Armory Show in New York, where he admired the works of the iconoclastic French artist Marcel Duchamp. By 1917 Sheeler was being recognized not only for his cubist-inspired paintings and drawings but also for his innovative photographs. Alfred Stieglitz, the influential champion of modern art in America, proclaimed Sheeler, along with Morton Schamberg and Paul Strand, the "Trinity of Photography."
Please visit us Monday to see the prizes!
How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
You need to have a Pinterest
account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.
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 MAY 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 May 31st
You may upload 2 entries per month.
ENTRIES for ART BEAD ARTISTS!!
• 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. 2 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 Wednesdays, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!
• An InLinkz 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. It is no longer necessary to add your blog post URL to the description unless you want to. 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 May 31st.
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 InLinkz code at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!
• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on April 1st.
Perfect Pairings :: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Formerly the Featured Designer of the Week, our new Perfect Pairings will 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 Wednesday here on 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.***
Congratulations to the April Monthly Challenge winners!
Our Third lucky winner is Karen Martinez/Fairies Market. She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Artisticaos
A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month! We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.
Visit us tomorrow to see what May's challenge brings.
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