Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's New Wednesday?

Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge is a wonderful painting from Van Gogh. It is titled simply, Almond Blossoms. I love Van Gogh, probably more than any other master artist. I think it's his capture of color as well as movement that draws me in. One of my favorite paintings is one of just a chair in his little room in Arles, France.
Years ago I had done my own version of this in crayon on fabric, just a plain utilitarian object somehow elevated to prominence by being the subject of this artists gifted brush.

Simple knotty wood with a rush seat, an unglazed clay tile floor and the corner of what, a wooden crate? in the background and the walls are all we see in this one of a pair painting done by the master artists Van Gogh and Gauguin (Gauguin painted his in exchange). I wonder, were the walls really that lovely blue? like the Mediterranean sky..........

If you are familiar with this painting (if not the link above is one that will take you to the painting which is in the National Gallery in London, England) you will notice something is missing. There was a bit more in the painting besides the wall, the floor, the box and the chair. Something I still can't make out in that box and in the chair were Vincent's Pipe and pouch of tobacco.
I preferred the chair unadorned so did not include them. But for my first experiment with these special crayons on fabric I was happy with the result. This was done as a direct drawing to the fabric, not using a projector or a pencil drawing to start so I am pleased with this and have held onto it all these years, (and yes I have a chair addiction). :)

In case you were wondering, it measures about 4"x 7" and has a fabric frame around it which I can't seem to locate the photo that includes it, but you can see a bit on the top of the photo if you click to enlarge. I used a crackled wood print, and mitered the corners to simulate a frame.

Anyway, what has that to do with the ABS Challenge? Well doing this drawing of the chair familiarized me greatly with how Van Gogh used color, I won't go into all the details of what I learned but when I saw that ABS's challenge was one of the French period ones I immediately was drawn to it. Problem was, there were too many ideas springing to mind.

I finally got out the sketch book last week and made sketches of the two major designs I had in mind. This painting is a natural for a Polymer Clay artist because it just begs to be literally interpreted with flowers. I have not delved that much into flower making with my clay as some have but thought this would be a great inspiration to start. So I drew out this design. (Excuse the poor photo, I just grabbed my camera and took this under incandescent lighting, yuk!)

I wanted an asymmetrical design with the flowers on one side entwined with branches as they are so prominent in the painting, and a double strand of blue beads/pearls on the other to represent the sky. The flowers were going to be made from the clay and the striped beads in the glass tube were to be incorporated into the wire branches. A bronzed branch clasp would finish it off. I then made another quick sketch of the other idea and contemplated the time involved in both. I decided it was six of one......

Before choosing from the two designs I went over to Flickr to the ABS photostream and saw that so many more entries had been added since a week ago, and many were of polymer clay flowers. So many wonderful ones too. I guess this painting struck the same chord in many a PC artist and that has brought out so many great entries.

But I don't like to be a copy cat, so I'll save this design for another time and I think I'll get to work on my second idea. It will give me a chance to use a focal bead I've had for sometime and just didn't know what to do with, now I do. :)

In the meantime, join me in a giveaway at Heather Powers blog. She is offering a great goodie box of beads and findings and all kinds of wonderful bead goodness. To enter just go to her blog and agree to the terms and you're entered ! Click on link below to see this great giveaway!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads


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