Tuesday, April 21, 2015


This month's Earrings Everyday earring inspiration came from The City of Arts and Sciences located in Valencia, Spain. The buildings were designed and conceived by Spanish architects Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela.

There used to be a building that my husband and I would pass by and it had those aqua windows which I noticed on the buildings from this challenge. I've always loved the color of them. I kept being drawn to them so that's where my inspiration came from. When I look at the buildings I see an element of nature along with the sleek and structural. I used 2 bead caps (that I need to straighten out a bit) and aqua glass Yes they are more organic but oh well this is what I came up with!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Is Pain?

As an artist, pain is often expressed and relieved through our art. This month's Art Bead Scene challenge is about the experience of pain. 

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
By Frida Kahlo

Kahlo created at least 140 paintings of which 55 are self-portraits. These self-portraits often incorporate symbols of physical and psychological wounds. After an accident, her extensive injuries left her in a great deal of pain. Although she recovered from her injuries, that affected nearly every part of her body, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The intensity of the pain would leave her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. The medical complications and permanent damage also prevented her from having children.
Having to spend much time in bed she was able to spend her time painting. It's in these paintings that we see her expression of her life and most certainly her pain.

 Necklace shown on model.

Necklace shown on dog ~ Shorty
(for those who don't know me, I think I'm funny)
When I first saw the painting for our April inspiration I was delighted and excited to see the colors, textures and objects to choose from. At first I tried to make something that was cheery and happy but I just felt like something wasn't right. I looked again and again at the painting and slept on it. When I woke I realized that the painting, does show beautiful elements but in reality, to me,  expresses something much deeper.
As I would look at the painting I would read it like a page, literally, out of a diary. I would continually follow it from left to right, top to bottom. In the beginning I see those wonderful objects that looks like a sunny happy place, but as I would go down I felt the more disturbing element of something unhappy. Her face, the monkey and cat then the thorns showed me a life of physical and emotional pain. 
When I was around 25 years old I was in a boat accident which has affected my neck dramatically. I also understand mental and emotional pain as a constant companion. I have some very important people in my life that have experiences that deal with this everyday.
My necklace is to represent the pain that I experience. The polymer clay pieces are like thorny bones. The red beads are Czech.

After the war Americans became aware of other areas in the world. Tropical prints with exotic floral patterns became popular. Inspired by Frida Kahlo, new colors like terra-cotta and turquoise along with styles came from Mexico and Latin America.   http://hubpages.com/hub/Fashion-History-Design-Trends-of-the-1040s

The Real Jewelry of Frida Kahlo
Chris Franchetti Michaels - BellaOnline

"Her earrings were elaborate drops or dangles in the traditional Mexican style, and her necklaces often featured roughly-hewn, handmade stone beads and pendants. These styles were popular in early Central America; they were not "trendy" or in fashion at the time of Frida's life. For Frida, they represented cultural tradition, and she wore them largely as a political statement.

In fact, it's been said that Frida sometimes was the brunt of  jokes when she walked in public in her showy, traditional out-fits and gaudy pre-Columbian jewelry. But this look, which included over-the-top traditional Mexican hair styles, was deliberately crafted by Frida as a backlash against new trends and a message of cultural preservation."

Pre-Columbian 500 - 1000 AD

 Pre-Columbian, Ceramic, Stone 1000 - 1500 AD

Pre-Columbian Teotihuacan Jade & Green Stone

My second necklace is a necklace with polymer clay, and tagua nut beads. I wanted to represent the colors of the prints that were brought to the United States in the 1940's which is the time of the painting presented to us this month. I also wanted to reflect the hand made, hand carved, Pre-Columbian style of jewelry that Frida herself wore.