Gift #1107: October Art Challenge

Each month I participate in a jewelry challenge hosted by Art Bead Scene.  For October, we had a sumptuous portrait to work from.


This is Madame De Pompadour by Fracois Boucher.  This Rococo portrait was painted in 1756.  The artist was noted for his classic and pastoral themes and was one of the most celebrated painters of the 1700s.  He also designed theater costumes and sets and tapestries.  Here’s what I liked about the painting:  the saturated, but still muted, color scheme and the way the light warms and glows the subject matter.  Now Rococo is not my favorite art style.  It’s too frilly and just too much excess.  There is an interesting set of documentaries produced by Athena called Understanding Art hosted by Waldemar Januszczak (one of my favorite art critics).  The episodes on Baroque and Rococo movements are insightful looks at how culture and politics played a key role in the shaping of these movements, which encompass painting, architecture, fashion, and cultural mores.

I didn’t want my take on this painting to be too literal because I wanted to stay within my style and create something I’d like to wear.  And also, because it’s October I wanted to create something with a nature focus because it is my favorite season.  Fortunately my collection of Humblebeads came to the rescue and I used some pieces I’d procured a few months ago.


The focal point of the necklace is the floral long bead which I used to capture the use of florals in the painting, and it also reflects the general color scheme.  But I liked it because it reminded me of a wildflower field in late autumn.  I had a terra-cotta bird which matched perfectly and I made a wire nest connector to link the two pieces.  To the bottom of the focal bead, I added some charms – brass heart and bellflower and a lucite flower with brass bead caps and a tiny blue crystal.   To finish off the necklace, I added floral chain.

The earrings I initially made mirrored the necklace with the color scheme and brass elements.


However, I hated the blue crystals with the peach and brown disc beads.  I detest pink/blue combos and this was too similar.  Instead of tying in with the necklace, the earrings felt disjointed and the colors competed.  I replaced the blue crystals with peach faceted czech glass and that worked much better.  The design flowed much easier with similar colors and I think they look much more elegant.


While not a direct translation of the painting, I ended up incorporating a fair amount of elements – the color scheme, floral beads and chain, and use of warm brass throughout give a luxurious feel to the jewelry set, but still keep it within the realm of something I’d wear.  And I managed to sneak a bird into the necklace!  Both the necklace and the earrings are longer than I usually make, but I rather like the elegance that imparts to the design.  They kind of look more Art Nouveau than Rococo, and that makes me quite happy.  Thanks for dropping in to see my creations for the month.  I’ve taken a peak at November and there will definitely be fall foliage involved in my creations (just a sneak peek!)


I hope you’ve had a wonderful October.  Mine has been full of exciting adventures, learning new things, hiking, creating, and enjoying every moment of fall.  I’ve not been blogging much because I’ve been doing so much but as things slow down I hope to return to the blog and share my pictures and experiences with you.  Until next time…

Blessings to you,


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