It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of March already! Hopefully we’ve seen the last of freezing weather and can now enjoy the steady progression of spring. Several recent events have occurred which have assured me we’re on the way 1) I’ve had a sinus infection 2) the tables and chairs have been restored to the outside courtyard at work (and a full 4 business days before usual!) I was so fortunate as to be able to eat outside yesterday 3) the hyacinths are up and the crabapple trees are starting to tinge pink with buds 5) the floral exhibits at the art museum are opening tomorrow with 5 special gardens making their debut and 4) birdsong has been filling the mornings. I think there’s a nesting pair of doves that have made their home nearby as they’ve been spending lots of time on the deck and I’ve enjoyed their presence in the afternoons.
This month’s artwork will be my favorite of the year. I don’t know what the rest of the year holds, but I can definitely say that nothing will top this for me:
Isn’t that beautiful? I love everything about this so much – the birds and nests, the colors, the composition, the feel of the piece… wow! This stunning painting is the work of Marianne North, a Briton of the Victorian age who lived something of a fairytale life. At the age of 40, Marianne embarked on a series of explorations to paint the flora of the world. Over the course of 13 years, Marianne traveled throughout North and South America, Asia, and Africa. She staying with dignitaries and famous artists/scientists of the time, often remaining in a single country for over a year to learn its culture and the natural history. At the end of her life, there were 832 paintings of birds, vegetation, flowers, and landscapes that chronicled her adventures. These paintings are now housed at the Kew, where her works are on permanent exhibit at the North gallery. She is the only woman whose works have been exhibited as a solo permanent gallery at the Kew. In 2008 the Kew underwent an extensive restoration of her paintings and the gallery so they can be enjoyed for years to come. This is definitely on my bucket list of places to see – I mean, Kew Gardens has been on it for a long, long time, but now to know that this artist’s work is there too – what a special experience it would be to see it in person!
I was very inspired by the artwork because I naturally gravitate to anything bird-related. My first set of jewelry I call “Birdsong”
The necklace features an amazing polymer clay bird by Humblebeads – it’s one of her bramble bird collection. I made a wire-wrapped nest with blue Czech beads as eggs, and also added an enameled leaf by Gardanne Beads. I love the way the blue and yellow tones meld so nicely together. Further up the chain I added a few more blue and yellow Czech beads and dangled a little feather.
The earrings are Czech beads with little brass feathers.
My second set is called “Nesting”
I used more Humblebeads in this necklace as well. I wire-wrapped a nest around the large egg and added a disc beads and blue clay leaf to the nest. A simple chain with tiny Czech glass flower finishes it off.
Earrings are made with Humblebeads birch disc beads and tiny brass nests from Vintaj.
I love the soft, spring hues of these pieces and the bird nest imagery. It was a delight to create with this artwork and to learn about the remarkable woman who painted it.
Blessings to you,