Several months went by without creating any new jewelry. Then I realized that I didn’t want to spend an enormous amount of time creating beadwork necklaces that would have to be priced close to $1000 for them to be worth making. As it is, my most intricate piece is priced half that. To be paid more than peanuts per hour, I felt as though I had to start creating jewelry that would take me a fraction of the time and also worth it monetarily. The answer was obvious; I had simply overlooked it: beadwork earrings. I had already made a white pair that I thought were quite nice because of the Swarovski crystals. So, in eight hours, I made a similar pair with black iridescent triangle beads and twisted bugle beads, silver Charlotte beads, and Swarovski crystals. “Elegant Bling” is the phrase that comes to mind when I look at them. Next up, a similar pair in red, and one in blue. After that, a new design in different colors.
I have done quite a few bird paintings. Of those I’ve sold, one, in particular, has sold twice already. The paintings are of a cute little hummingbird hovering near a flower or flowers. The first two hummingbirds were orange and red.
This week, I decided to paint another of the same bird to see if I could sell him again. This time I decided to make him much more colorful. Instead of orange and red, I made him blue with tinges of purple and green with a ruby throat. Instead of small flowers, I painted one big flower: this one a pink hibiscus. And, instead of darkening the edges, while keeping the center background very light, to keep the viewer inside the painting, I added some grass on the left side of the bird and created a more colorful center background. The result is shown below.
I definitely like the idea for one big flower. I don’t know which color bird I prefer. It’s a wash. But I can’t decide whether I like the added grass as an eye stopper or prefer the dark upper left and lower left edges painted darkly. Any opinions out there? I think the next painting of this hummingbird will be dark edges without the grass. Will there be a next painting of this particular bird? Only if this one sells.
I recently veered from my usual creation of full necklace and earring sets by creating a bracelet and a brooch. my most current piece of jewelry, highlighted in this post, dangling white beaded earrings with Swarovski crystals, begins a new trend for me: dangling beaded earrings. (Below to the right.)
While it may take me two months to make an entire beaded necklace and earring set that compares with “Autumn Leaves”, below, earrings may only take 8 hours or so. The earrings not only supply more immediate gratification, they also come with a price tag that will not shock potential buyers. At $395.00, “Autumn Leaves” is actually a steal, but buyers may not be used to seeing that price tag for jewelry. If The Bead Museum, in Glendale, Arizona
were still open, I would be leaving my jewelry sets there on commission. Unfortunately, The Bead Museum closed and will be sorely missed.
The special part of these beaded earrings are the Swarovski crystals at the bottom of the dangles. Many different colors shine through the facets of the crystals, especially the Aurora Borealis crystals. Each facet reflects a different color.
My next step is to create the exact same style of earring, but in different colors: blue, red, iridescent black, etc. Then I will continue by creating different styles of dangling earrings. I recently began selling my jewelry on custommade.com. The jewelry in this post is at Custommade Autumn Leaves and Custommade Dangling Earrings. Only invited artists can sell on this site. I can sell a ready-made only item or give a buyer the ability to have the item made with custom options. I gave the option of different colors when I listed these earrings.
It has been more than six months since I finished the painting called “Safe Haven?” For all that time, something had been bothering me about it. This is the painting as it had been finished. Yesterday, it dawned on me what I didn’t like about it; and everything I didn’t like could be fixed quite easily. First, I didn’t like how light the gate’s stonework was. It was too bright for something that not only wasn’t the focal point, but was at the edges of the painting. To fix this, I glazed over the stones several times with paynes gray. Next, I didn’t like the flatness of the trees. True, it was nighttime, but I could still show the three dimensionality of the trunks. I did this with a watery white dulled down with paynes gray and a few sections of yellowish light from the porch. Next, many of the branches weren’t showing up. For this, I put some of the dulled down white on the branches for some highlight. I brightened it for areas that were in direct moonlight. In addition, I also straightened out and emphasized the lines of the front door, porch posts, and fretwork. Finally, I punched up the light coming from the porch light. The final, final painting is now
something that I am very satisfied with.
Continuing my recent immersion in painting still lifes, I have completed one in which the realism meets my expectations. It’s called, “Floral in an Egyptian Urn”. From inception, through detailed drawing, to final painting, this project took me approximately 60 hours. The drawing for this painting is my most detailed to date. At first, I wasn’t going to draw in each line of the two-tone fabric. However, I finally listened to that little voice in my head that tells me how a detailed drawing will lead to a better final painting. When it came to actually painting, I was very happy that I took the time to draw in all the detail.
The secret to making the gold urn really look like a metal surface were the reflections. I reflected the green of the leaves, the peach and magentas of the flowers, and the reds and blues of the ornamentation, especially in the top of the urn. I had turned three lights toward the setup from which I was painting. I painted all of the reflected light that I saw on the urn, including the fine lines of light falling on the raised ornamentation. Although these small additions of light were very simplistic in application, they made a big difference in changing a potentially flat, painted-on style of decoration into raised, 3-D ornaments on the urn.
I changed the original colors of the setup. As the next photo shows, the drapery was a coral color, and some of the central urn inlay colors were blue. I changed this so that the drapery was a two-tone blue, and the inlays were red. I wanted a cool color in the background to make the background recede, and I wanted a warm, bright color bringing the urn forward. Another tactic I used to make the drapery recede was to apply a couple of coats of blue glaze over the drapery, which toned down the highlights and midtones of the drapery. Highlights closer to white were only used on the urn and flowers.