It’s the end of another month… again! Weren’t we just saying goodbye to April? What is happening to the year?? New months mean a whole new host of jewelry challenges, but before I get too involved with that, here’s a look at May’s art challenge and what I came up with. Here was our artwork:
This is called “On a Shaker Theme” by Charles Sheeler, 1956. Obviously he favored the simplistic, angular forms of Shaker art. I read that he started experimenting with composite photography as inspiration for his art in the 1940s, overlaying photographs together to get new perspectives. I think that seems to be going on in this piece. It looks almost like an optical illusion to me. It’s quite a complex piece in bold, graphic colors. Unfortunately, it didn’t really resonate with me, being a bit harsh in color and form for my taste. (I come to think I’m an exceptionally picky person about my art appreciation – need to broaden my tastes). I wasn’t for sure how to proceed with designing jewelry for this month, and was considering not participating, but them I remembered a spectacular prize I received from Art Bead Scene earlier this year. One of my pieces won a goodie bag from Art Incendi, who makes amazing enameled metal pieces. She sent me a box overflowing with lovely pendants and beads and I remembered a blue bird was among them. The bird was perfect for this month – there was some bright blue in it, but most was a toned down grey-blue which matched nicely with the colors in the painting. I also had some bright blue czech glass flowers that matched well.
At first I was just going to wire the bird to beaded chain, but that didn’t seem like enough. I made a wire nest to dangle the bird from and that gave the added visual weight to balance the design. It also played nicely on the “home” imagery in the painting, as I love nests as metaphors for places of belonging and nurturing. I toned down the brighter hues with gray and black speckled beads (which matched the centers of the flowers!). And I also added in some wood rounds that are distressed with a dark teal-grey paint. I’m pleased with the contrast of bright and moody colors and of course, I’m thrilled that I could incorporate birds into the piece.
Here are the earrings I conjured up to match. I thought about making nests for earrings, but that was too big of a design and detracted from the necklace, so I stuck with pulling the same selection of beads from the necklace into the earrings. I love this drop design best and nearly 90% of the earrings I make are like this. Maybe I should branch out to something different?
My thoughts have already turned to June’s inspiration. It’s beautiful and I’m really excited to have some artwork that I find appealing to work with. I think I’ve already got an necklace design formed in my imagination – now I must work up the energy to get it created!
Blessings to you,