I admit it. When I saw Susan's post for the June Design Challenge on Art Elements with the theme "Sunflowers", I thought I got this, but alas, I have been living together with myself for 53 years now and still know so little *sigh* Yes, of course there were some things that got in the way, life tends to be like that, but I really should have known that I would harbor ideas, tucked away neatly in my brain until shortly before the reveal - but I made it.
A few weeks ago I mentioned the sunflowers here that I used to have as a teenager. Since we didn't have a real garden, I only had a little spot. As I am also blessed with what I like to call ten black thumbs, all of them left with me being right-handed, plants don't really stand a chance around me. These few sunflowers, however, did their very best in a probably not so perfect spot. The highest one was around 30 inch, I'd guess, but the others were much smaller. The end of it was a last tiny flower, more like 5 inch. When a friend of my little brother's pulled it out, I became, well, let's say, a little harsh (just words, no violence). He was a natural at crying, though (that's putting it nicely), not so small anymore, and I had warned him before. When I met him decades later, he didn't seem to be too traumatized to talk with me at all, so I would say we both got over it ;-)
So that was one inspiration, the other one was obviously the first picture in the challenge post, Van Gogh's sunflower painting or should I say one of them?
"“The public is hardly aware that Van Gogh created a series of paintings
of sunflowers,” says Leo Jansen, a curator at the Van Gogh Museum and
editor of the artist’s letters. “For nine out of 10 people I tell, it’s
news.”" This is from a BBC article about the "unknown history" behind the sunflower paintings. Yup, another thing to admit, I would have been one of those nine people. In fact I never really thought about it because - and please remember now that the perception of art is different for each person - I'm not that much of a fan. I have seen one of Van Gogh's sunflower paintings at the National Gallery in London and it didn't become a favorite of mine.
How did it become an inspiration for my piece anyway then?
What I knew first was that I wanted to bead the flowers. I had made a beaded sunflower for another challenge once using a mahogany obsidian cab in the center, but hadn't been completely happy with the petals, so I finally ripped it up again. I had also crocheted a large sunflower from wire and beads before.
This time I wanted something different, more delicate which was a good decision considering I started so late. I looked around for chessboard crystals as centers, but didn't find any brown ones, so went for rivolis instead. I beaded two blossoms and two leaves - not as easy for me as it sounds because I hardly ever bead off loom - but now what?
Put them on a bracelet? Or make them into a pair of earrings which I had actually been one of my very first plans? At least add another leaf because I blatantly ignored the rule of the uneven number (just like Van Gogh did in some of his paintings, by the way!) and turn it into a pin?
None of those because I suddenly had a different idea which was probably really triggered by me looking at the Van Gogh paintings, even if I hadn't been aware of it. A vase. A beaded vase, though? No, I didn't have an idea how to do that best, and time was running out for experimenting.
Wire. Of course. Woven wire. With some texture to it. A tad of three-dimensional feeling.
Here you go. I did it. One day before the reveal. And I like it. Something to keep in mind for future playing. Different flowers? Bigger? Oxidized copper or a different wire? Time will tell!
Hopefully Art Elements is going to let me participate again next time, and this time I'll start earli.... forget it, I know I won't. Maybe I need that pressure, who knows? ;-) I can dream, though, right?
Now to all the other participants of this challenge. I'm already looking forward to going through their posts with oohs and aahs, why don't you, too? :-D
Alysen - Anita - Cat (c'est moi) - Divya - Jill - Kathy - Linda - Linda - Mischelle - Norma - Raven - Sarajo - Tammy
AE Team Members
Caroline - Cathy - Claire - Jenny - Laney - Lesley - Sue
I really enjoyed reading your post, and your necklace is soon cuteReplyDelete
Thank you very much!Delete
I did enjoy reading about your relationship with sunflowers (and gardening) and how it inspired your piece. Ithink the pendant looks quirky and whimsicalReplyDelete
It's all true, friends make jokes about plants and me :-D I'm more of an animal person ;-)
Your pendant is lovely and I think putting the flowers in a vase was inspired- beautiful wire work. You're always welcome to join out challenges :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Lesley!Delete
I love hearing stories from when people were 'little-er'. Your finished pendant is gorgeous, I love the wire vase and the contrast with the beaded flowers and leaves. Just lovely.ReplyDelete
Be prepared for more. I find I often get inspired by stories from the past in some way ;-)Delete
I almost put one of your cute little lampie bees on there, but I couldn't find the right spot, so it would sit still. Maybe on a bigger piece eventually! :-D
I enjoyed reading the story about your sunflowers, and about your process for this challenge. And the vase of sunflowers pendant is so charming. Great idea.ReplyDelete
Cat - I LOVE your post! Your story telling is excellent! And OH YES, the vase - great idea! I love it! I would oxidise but that's me - thank you so much for joining in!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sue, and thank you for this theme!Delete
I usually oxidize and was very close to it again this time, I couldn't even tell myself why I didn't.
Then I just looked at it again, and strange as it sounds, but I think it had to do with the TV mini series I had running while I was working. It took place in the Victorian times, everything looked so dark, dirty.
I guess I needed the feel of a shiny, polished vase with some happy, sunny flowers to brighten things up.
Without your comment I may not even have thought about it again, so thanks for that!
I love your pendant! I think it would work great with all kind of flowers and oxidation would give it even more depth! And I am sooooo with you!I start planing -followed by a long time not doing anything - ending with a time pressured panic state ;) I tell myself the time in between is incubation time for ideas - but probably only to let myself feel a little bit better! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you :-)Delete
I explained in my reply on the comment above why I think I left the copper shiny this time (which is not easy for me to do, I usually give in to the urge quickly).
Incubation time for ideas - I like that! Definitely sounds better than procrastinating!
This is just too cute. And I totally understand not being able to keep plants alive. I am the same way. Have a great weekend.ReplyDelete
It's good to know I'm not alone. I like plants, but I guess they don't like me.
Looks like you found your muse! This is perfect beadwork and wire weaving! Sometimes we need deadlines to get moving too.ReplyDelete
So very true.Delete
Thank you, Alysen!
This is adorable! Even with procrastinating you were able to pull it off in time. I have a habit of procrastinating ALL the time. The wire pitcher you created for the sunflowers is the perfect balance to the beading. And those perfect leaves are just PERFECT!ReplyDelete
Thank you very much!!Delete
The first time I took my daughter to the see Van Gogh's sunflower paintings at the National Gallery in London, all 5 years of her, boldly stood in front of it and loudly stated "well it's rather messy, I'm sure I could paint something better!" boy did she get some laughs from the visitors around her! I absolutely LOVE your piece, the bead work is beautiful as is the wire work and I love the look of both of them together, so much texture and so beautifully done!ReplyDelete
I love it *lmao* Thank you for sharing.Delete
My first time at the National Gallery was with a five year old, too. As much as she loved some paintings (her favorite being The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, it was hard to drag her away from that), as pitiless was her judgement about others.
Clever idea, adding a vase. I love the pendant, and the stories behind the inspiration! :) I'd love to see how you make more progress on the pendant.ReplyDelete
Maybe I'll be able to put some of resting bead stash to good use.
Such a cute idea! Love the use of wire for the vase.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much!Delete
I adore your little flower and vase pendant. I'd wear that all the time. Great design!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Linda!Delete
I love your wire vase and beaded sunflowers! So lovely and smart! You could totally do a series of these and I bet they'd sell like hotcakes!!ReplyDelete
I am indeed planning on making more eventually.
What a cute little basket! ♥ ♥ ♥ReplyDelete