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