Welcome to my first challenge reveal of the year! One of the art blogs I follow, Art Elements, hosts monthly art challenges open to any medium to keep our creative energy flowing. For January, our theme was the moon. Right away I knew I wanted to be part of that! I’ve loved the moon as long as I can remember, but it is something that intensifies with years. My first memories of a child thinking about the moon were framed by the ending of Disney’s Peter Pan – when the children were back in the nursery after their adventure and looked up at the pirate ship sailing across the face of the moon. It turns ghostly and then slowly dissolves away into fragments of clouds. That scene captured my heart and imagination in a wistful joy so intense that I’ve never recovered from it – just thinking of that scene still brings chills to my spine. It’s a pivotal moment that shaped who I am and it still symbolizes for me all the magic and wonderment that the moon holds.
The moon has long held sway over men and in some ways, we are all moths entranced by its light. La Luna drives some to poetic inspiration and others to the point of insanity. It is a field rife with scientific discoveries and yet it is the indisputable realm of fantasy. It shrouds our darkest nightmares and illuminates our brightest dreams. It shifts, revolves, disappears, and fattens over and over as it dances with stars across the canopy of night.
It was exciting to focus my feelings about the moon into physical pieces of art that reflected what the moon represents to me. When I thought about the jewelry I wanted to create, I knew I wanted to experiment with hand-form shapes that mimicked the moon.
For “Circle of Moonbeams” I soldered silver wire and hammered it into a ring. I selected several tiny gemstone strands from my stash and strung them across the circle frame in an ombre fashion.
There’s tourmaline, citrine, aquamarine, amazonite, and fluorite, among others. The earrings feature a stack of the gemstones layered against entwined silver rings. I love the way the colors melt and mix with each other.
“Moonglow” was a design I had percolating in the back of my mind for several months and this was the perfect time to try it out. I bent silver wire in a half circle shape and hammered it for hardness and texture. I made loops at the ends from which I strung labradorite faceted stones on fine silver wire.
This is one of my favorite stones and I love the subtle, multi hues that emanate from this stone in the light. They fluctuate in cool tones of gray, brown, and blue and I’m enchanted with them. I found this strand at a local bead show and have been waiting for a special project to use them.
The earrings are miniature versions of the pendant.
“Moonlight Dance” might be my favorite of the necklaces I created. This pendant was born last fall when I took an etching class on a bead retreat. We played with the technique that night and I made a copper sheet full of stamped images, including a beautiful moth.
I knew it would be perfect for this challenge. After cutting it out and filing it smooth, I had initially planned to cut out a brass circle and hammer texture on it. But when I was rummaging, I found a brass plate I had etched a couple years ago in an art class. We made the brass plates to run through a roller mill to emboss copper pieces. I don’t have access to a mill anymore and decided to use this as the background – the effect is magical. The resulting scene creates a story of a secret mountain meadow where fields of flowers open only at twilight, when moths emerge to dance among the moonbeams and drink their fill of the sweet nectar.
I also enjoy working with rubber stamps and paper crafts and created a few items for the challenge. I love to create nighttime scenes with silhouette images against the moon – especially birds. These stamps are from Stampers Anonymous (left) and See-Dees (right)
I couldn’t help but include a few that are more Halloween in style. I did restrain myself from making this a Halloween-rich post since the timing isn’t right, but the moon and Halloween is a perfect match.
Halloween cards are my favorites to create because I can use all my bare trees and spiderwebs! I also like blending multiple colors together with a dark overtone. The stamps for both cards are from Memory Box Co. The quote by Edgar Allan Poe is a special favorite of mine. And no man knew more about the power of darkness and moonbeams.
The last set of projects I almost didn’t make because I already had a lot for the theme. But when the challenge was announced I had thought how fun it would be to create a set of moon-themed canvases. I put it on the back shelf, but it kept niggling at me and I finally bought some supplies “just in case.” I had time over the weekend and they came to life beautifully. May I present “Secrets of the Moon” trio.
I started by painting the canvases and adding layers of ink, spritzing with water to blend and create water-streaks, and adding more ink. I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks and crayons. Meanwhile, I tore tiny strips of paper up and used modpodge to adhere them to white cardstock in a random fashion. After it dried, I cut out circles, wrote snippets of original poetry across the moon, and inked them in various shades of the Distress inks. I stamped foliage on the canvases and highlighted with a sharpie and drew in little stars. I either hand-cut or used dies for the silhouettes. Then I adhered the moon and animals to the canvases and highlighted with glimmer pens. I love the whimsical feel of these and have enjoyed imagining the stories of these animals that live by the light and shadows of the moon.
Thank you for joining me today and following along with my moon-inspired adventures. Please check out the links below for more participating artists. And come back in a couple of weeks when I post “Of Moths and Moons – part 2” reveal!
Blessings to you,