Friday, April 17, 2015

Art Bead Scene April Challenge Frida

Every month Art Bead Scene posts a painting as inspiration and asks readers to join in, and use at least ONE art bead and create a piece inspired by the art.

I used to enter this all the time, but as the years go by, and my business is more business....I have less time for play.  However, when I saw this painting, I knew I had to play along.

I just watched the movie Frida the other week, and I was amazed at what a strong and creative woman she was.  I love the rich symbolism she put into her pieces, and she painted her life, and her emotions in such a beautiful, yet real and raw way.  She much adversity in her life, and all of it comes through in her work.

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940

You can read about Aprils challenge here

I really wanted to capture the nature of this painting.  Her white dress, the thorn necklace, the brilliant leaves of life, behind her.  So I started sketching, and then got out the polymer clay.

This is the piece I made.

I chose to do the thorns in white, to represent her white dress.  I wasn't going to carve them, but I felt that since it is MY representation, that it needed to have my signature on it, so carved them I did!  I also hung a polymer hummingbird skull from the thorns.

I used some balled up wire beads and annealed steel wire work to further give the feel of tangled thorn branches and add contrast to the white.

I felt that this painting, really shows the washed out (white) hurting (thorns) present, with the life filled leaves and color behind her, in the past.  So I definitely wanted to use color for the back.  What better way to do that then to use Sari silk and batik fabric.  I added some more embellishments to make it truly my own style as well.  I am over the moon happy with how it turned out. 

Here they are side by side.

Here it is on me

I think doing challenges like this are plain old good for the soul.  I like to push my limits and think outside the box to keep things fresh. If you haven't participated in one, do it.  It is so fun and you won't regret it.  There are no "winners" or "losers" (there are prizes but they are picked at random) is simply a place to show off your design.  There is no wrong or right!

Thanks for checking it out!

If you are interested, I recently did a tutorial over at Love my Art Jewelry, on how I do my fabric in necklaces.  You can read that here if you want to try it out too.

batik fabric sold by Starry Road Studio


  1. Wow that is awesome!!!!!!!! My jaw drops!!!

    1. Thank you! I am so thrilled with it! going to make a smaller version of it I think, a little more wearable, but still dramatic!

  2. I love it!! Scrolls and thorns.. you nailed it!

  3. Love your interpretation of the painting! I feel it. Sounds strange but I do. I think it is great the size it is as well. Smaller would maybe be less dramatic. I need to do a challenge again. It is soul food.

    1. YES! it needed to be dramatic, because the painting is! thank you.......and do some challenges, I know I never regret taking the time to do them

  4. Love your interpretation of the painting! I feel it. Sounds strange but I do. I think it is great the size it is as well. Smaller would maybe be less dramatic. I need to do a challenge again. It is soul food.

  5. Wow what a fabulous piece.It's perfect for this challenge. it brings the painting to life.

  6. I had to stop by and comment. Hauntingly amazing interpretation of her work. I love how you brought the symbolism into your piece. I'm feeling inspired by how you use form so freely as it's an area I often feel really stuck around. Feeling the need to start participating in these kinds of things again just to get juices flowing. Gorgeous contrast in shapes, warm turmeric and the metal balls next to the organic curves of the thorned branches. Superb work.

  7. This is over the top gorgeous and wonderful! When I see something like this, it really inspires me to push myself. I can't do this, but I can, for example, try your tutorial. So thanks for that!

  8. I love carving too, I think thaat's why I'm drawn to the poly clay. This is spectacular you are one talented lady!

  9. Thank you SO MUCH for lending your unique artistic vision to this month's challenge! I agree that challenges are what keeps us moving forward, trying new things and stretching our creative boundaries! I just watched the movie the other day as well while I was making my beads. She is fascinating and I kept thinking that I wanted to be right there with her. (Although I have never been that daring!). You, my dear, are a truly unique and inspiring artist with passion and purpose...just like Miss Frida. I think she would be proud to wear this one herself.
    I think I need to explore the carving of the clay. Something I haven't done. You always intrigue and inspire me. You are one of those creative geniuses that I would like to emulate. Thank you for sharing you talents with us!
    Enjoy the day! Erin

  10. That is an amazing interpretation of that painting. I love how a lot of ideas worked their way into the structure of that necklace. And it was a nice touch to just add the skull rather than the whole hummingbird, as it fits well with the concept of the white thorns. It's really compelling whenever stuff like jewelry is taken into much more interesting places and idea. Anyway, thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. Cheers!

    Ricky Rowe @ Find A Jewelry Expert