I try to enter the challenges at ArtBeadScene every month, for two reasons: Number one, I love a challenge and the chance to stretch my mind and improve my technique; and number two, the paintings Heather, Jennifer, Tari and the other editor ladies choose are always so cool!
For the past several months, the ladies have featured two of my favorite artists, Katsushiki and his 36 Views of Mt. Fuji and Kandinsky and his color masterpieces. But this month, although I'm not familiar with the artist they've chosen, I am very familiar with the style or "genre" of the painting, primitive folk art. I collect primitive folk art and "Outsider Art because I am drawn to the bold colors and graphics.
This month's challenge is to create an entry based on Ruby C. Williams' delightful "Piano Playing Cow". The bold colors immediately inspired me to go searching for some really bold, graphic colors, something hip and modern, but something happened on the way to the stripes. I found these vintage advertisements for a 19th century French Hot Air Balloon Show at my friend Corinna's Etsy shop, Piddix, and fell in love. An idea popped in my head and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.
These are the beads I made, a huge departure for me, but I love them! They are capped with 20mm bead caps in an antique copper finish. They are solid, not hollow, and the image is wrapped around the bead and meets in the back. These are my first attempts, and it was slow-going, but now that I know how I want them to look, I plan to make LOTS more.
Okay, beads done, now I needed a pendant. I thought a long time about what shape would compliment the beads and decided on oblong, and brought in a starry, indigo blue background which complimented the colors in the balloon beads nicely, baked that sucker, sanded and buffed.
Now to the composition of the necklace. This is always the most nerve-wracking part for me. I always want to get it right the first stringing, but that seldom ever happens.
My first thought was to use an AB finished Czech glass bead in a coppery aubergine, but I quickly discarded them as too fancy and flashy. I knew I wanted Copper to be featured heavily, and I remembered I have these gorgeous 28mm fluted copper balls which mimic the shape of the balloon and the wires attached to them. Perfect! Then I thought I needed another accent color either in blue or red, so I'd have at least one of the colors in the Williams painting in the entry, but everything I had was too dark or two light or too purple red, cherry red, etc.
So I sat down and thunk on it a little while until the little light bulb went off over my head. Sponge Coral! A cross between orange and red with a light and dark variagated, textured surface. I had these little saucer beads, but they didn't pop by themselves, so I added smooth antique finish copper beads caps, since there were all those bead caps on the balloon beads. I think this piece has great "flow" and I am very pleased with the result.
While it doesn't have the bold, bright colors of the Williams painting, I think the graphics on the balloon beads and the pendant draw the eye, just as the colors in the painting do.