Monday, August 26, 2013

Art Bead Scene August challenge

     This month’s challenge art piece at Art Bead Scene Blog  is titled 'Tres Personajes', or 'Three people'. It is an oil on canvas work from 1970 by the artist Ruffino Tamayo and is said to be one of his more stellar works. It has been called a 'masterpiece in color, abstraction and texture' and I decided to let all three speak to me as I took my inspiration, albeit a very literal one, from this painting.

     My bead stash is poorly lacking in these colors and if I'd known of this piece before attending my last bead show I would have stocked up, but sadly my palette was more earth bound.
     So, my only resource was my own worktable and I sketched out a few ideas, the shapes, the colors and motion that attracted me, and to think this million dollar painting was actually found in the trash only five years ago!

    These are the things that popped out to me each time I viewed the painting.

  • Two Red Dots
  • Purple curved lines over pale yellow
  • Grey and red stripes in a thin rectangle
  • Golden line which had zipper teeth
  • Circles, squares and other geometric shapes. 
  • Smoky Industrial grays
  • And of course, 'three people'

     After making a variety of beads and auditioning Gray metallic findings, only a few didn't make the cut. 


     My first 'bead' is structured like a pendant but is not the focal point, purposly. In my representation I wanted to evoke the feeling the painting does, that of abstraction and  have my necklace emulate that, not only with the beads but with the construction and placing of those beads.

     The three faces are Purple, Red and a Ying-Yang Red and Purple that stands for the androgynous figure that the painting includes.  These faces are placed on a background of stripes of Purple, pale yellow, black, Red & grey and purple & gray  stripes. The black has 'zipper' teeth highlighted in brass, cast from a real zipper. This I did not want to use as a pendant so my greatest challenge was how to attach this to the necklace in a different way than front and center, focal. I did this by stringing silver-heart clear glass beads and attaching a bail to the pendant and stringing it on top of them; when worn this falls off to the side of the rest of the necklace just a bit and gives it a unique look. I tried to take a photo of this to share, the weather was not my friend for photography today but to give you an idea.....

     I know....... awful picture. but by the time I thought of draping it on my manikin it was very late in the day and I had to use the flash. But this will give you an idea of how the three faces are supposed to look when worn. You can also see my metal bicycle chain woven throughout the left side of the piece.

     I was next taken by those two red dots on the far right figure. I had to incorporate that somehow. I did have a few red coral beads that I have included at the top left side, but I wanted them to be more prominent so I set to work on another bead. This was not originally going to be the focal, but when I strung it up the side of the necklace it didn't look right, then I realized since I had given this bead two holes instead of one that I could string down through it and back up, but it should have a purpose and that is where three of my twisted purple beads came into play. I added a small red coral bead to the center one and highlighted the twists with grays, the other two have ombre grays to blacks going the opposite direction.

       This focal is a rectangle rapped with a variegation of pale yellow, light grey, dark gray and black.   Encircling the black side is a metal zipper, made completely from polymer clay from a mold I took of a jeans zipper. This is what I saw in the middle of the painting with the yellow line with small dashes. The two red dots have hammer studs embedded as does the next bead up the left side.

      This next bead started its life a bit differently. I was going for the square within a square on the one persons head and  added it to this silver cylinder. Not liking what it was doing I ended up giving it a twist and deep lines, circles and embedded metal studs. This kind of captures many of the elements in the painting into one bead.

     There are also red and grey twisted beads for the stripes in the painting as well as textured disc beads that bring out the circles and the reds.   Further up is my first attempt at a hollow pod bead. The under layer is pale yellow with purple strings that encase the pod but don't completely cover the yellow, allowing a peek and reminiscent of the yellow with purple lines on the right figure.

     My last prominent art bead  is a pale yellow and silver striped one wire wrapped with silver plated wire with a few twists. This is for the large yellow area on the right of the painting mixed with grays, it reminds me of a small tornado.

     So there you have it.   All this was strung on black beading wire and because I wanted all the beads to show, once it gets up to the curve of the neck that disappears behind you I attached a antiqued gray chain. And almost all the beads were antiqued with antiquing medium in different shades of grays.

    I had some fun with this one, it was very bold, but very interesting and it gave me a chance to play with reds and purples. Although I can proudly and rightfully wear the insignia of the Purple hat Society I haven't yet chosen to do so, but If I ever do I have the perfect necklace to go with it and a story behind it to boot!



  1. I love how you elected to divide the elements and conquer the challenge of design !

  2. amazing work, the colours are fabulous and I love all the techniques you've used to make some really original jewellery.

  3. Thank you Wendy, I appreciate your compliments!



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