This week's colors contained one of my favorite pairings: raspberry and tangerine. The accent color was lemon yellow, not so much a favorite (I prefer golden yellows) but workable. I quickly discovered the problem of working with colors I do like: an overabundance of choices. I pulled out beads, made an origami lantern and thought of several other possibilities before, while on a morning walk, a patch of dry grass littered with shed trumpet vine flowers caught my attention. Not only were the dying flowers just the right shade of orange, it perfectly expressed my feelings about the wilting heat of summer.( Here"s my week 6 raspberry, tangerine and lemon yellow canvas. (I apologize for the skewed angle of the photograph.)Collapse )
I am all kinds of pleased with this week's piece and for reasons that have little to do with the outcome, though I really like it. The week's colors were red, royal blue and light blue, and I admit that my first reaction was dismay. How in the world was I going to prevent this looking like a 4th of July leftover? I enjoy celebrating our nation's birth, but it's a red-and-blue-together thing: I'm just not crazy about working with primaries except in their "off" shades.
So what's a girl to do but look to other places where red and royal blue come together. With Steffanie Karnetzke's comment on last week's piece still in the back of my mind, thoughts of Asia came unbidden...( Here"s my week 5 red, royal blue and light blue canvas.Collapse )
Only one piece this week, a mixed media canvas, but what fun I had with it! The week's colors were pink, apple green and dark green, and I was tickled pink when I saw them. Is there any more deeply refreshing color than green? The color of new spring leaves, of mountain streams running over moss-covered rocks, of deep, cool beds of clover that tickled your face when you lay in them as a child? Green is all that to me and more, and this week I had a chance to stare into it to my heart's content.( Here"s my week 4 pink, apple green and dark green canvas.Collapse )
This canvas took longer than I expected, but I so enjoyed working with the combination of textures that I was determined to finish it. I did, finally, on Wednesday, but needed to work on this week's piece so I'm later than I intended posting this one.( Here"s part 2 of the lavender, grey and plum challenge.Collapse )
"MMW" is the Mixed Media Workshops group I discovered a couple of months ago through some Facebook friends. It offers informal share groups as well as workshops in which you can learn more about particular materials and techniques. The Authentic HeART group is a share group that features monthly challenges open to any form of mixed media. The only restrictions are a topic and time frame, so I thought I'd give it a try.
This month's topic was "bugs" (prompted by June bugs, of course). At first I thought I was sunk: I've little interested in bugs, except in getting rid of the pesky ones, and this part of the US doesn't have particularly impressive species, unless one considers its sheer numbers of mosquitoes, fruit flys and love bugs impressive. My first ideas were oriented toward a canvas of some sort, but I wasn't very enthusiastic about either. Then I remembered some stash beads: a carved bone bead and two carved mother-of-pearl flowers I'd bought to go with it. Perfect opportunity to do something with them!( For those who are interested, here"s my Dragonfly Necklace.Collapse )
Second verse, same as the first; one more time, but in reverse: Last week, I finished my canvas but not the jewelry; this week I finished the jewelry but I'm still working on the canvas. So here we go again, Saturday's here, tomorrow morning's deadline is looming, and I'm not likely to post the canvas until after I've a piece for another challenge that's due on Monday.
This week's colors were lavender, gray and silver. When I post part 2, I'll comment more on that. For now I'll just say they did pose quite a challenge on the canvas, though not for this necklace. It's not even a new piece, but one I finished about a year ago.( For those who are interested, here"s my week 3 amethyst choker.Collapse )
As promised, here's the rest of this week's teal, coral and white challenge, a bracelet this time and closer to the intended color distribution with white used as the accent color.( For those who are interested, here"s the bracelet.Collapse )
This week's colors were teal, coral and white. I had a head start this week because I'd already prepared two canvas boards for working and culled a few possible images from my sketchbook. Then, as Jayne Cobb says, "I got stupid": I decided to make a bracelet, too. So Saturday's here, tomorrow morning's deadline is upon me and I'm not likely to finish the bracelet until tomorrow afternoon. Hence, the "part 1" attached to the subject line.( For those who are interested, here"s my week 2 canvas.Collapse )
Yes, I know I said I'm not a challenge person, but there are rare ones that which happen to be headed in a direction in which I'm interested. Summer of Color is just such a challenge, if you consider a huge arty block party a challenge. I don't. It's six weeks of freewheeling, play-when-you-can, all-media artistic sharing in which the only restriction is use of each week's designated colors. Participants range from beginners to pros, so the intimidation factor is low. If I mess up a piece, I mess it up. Big whup.( For those who are interested, here"s my first week"s piece.Collapse )
It's said that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. I'm insane.
What I'm not is a challenge person. I should know this by now, but each time someone says, "Let's have an art (or beading) challenge," it sounds like so much fun, a chance to socialize with others who enjoy art or beading. I think that, somehow, this time will be different. This time, I'll keep up.
And of course I never do.
For the longest time, I thought it was a lack of creativity, but it has finally dawned on me (and about time, too) that my creative juices only flow when powered by the capillary action of fascination, and the things that fascinate me—microscopic photography, sea creatures, natural fractal structures, ruins, ancient history, grids, the texture and colors of surfaces that have been worn away by time—aren't the sort of things that resonate with the artists who issue the challenges. They're usually interested in birds, houses, pears, bell peppers, etc., things that are a part of daily life in and around the home. As a result, I end up lying awake night after night, bug-eyed, tired brain spinning like a hamster wheel, trying to come up with a working concept that is as extrinsic to me as my preference for sleep is to one my cats if she or he decides it's time for me to get up.
More detrimental than the maddening brain-tired lack of sleep is that my attempts to conform to the challenge prompts hinder the development of my own way of expressing the wonder I feel in creation. At my current level of artistic ineptitude, it's no loss to the art world, yet I'm sure there's a large measure of procrastination and fear attached to my repeated attempts at challenges. That bothers me. It's fear of failure and discovering yet another thing I'm not without discovering where I fit. At my age, that's scary.
I know, I know. I just need to get on with it. There's no substitute for practice, practice, practice, and the funny thing is, that's what I've always wanted: something challenging, a vocation or avocation that afforded continual progress rather than something easily mastered by reading a book, listening to a lecture or daily repetition. So I should just grab the Nike slogan and run, right?
As always, easier said than done.