Friday, March 20, 2009

Challenge - The Goldfish by Henri Matisse

This month's challenge theme over at the Art Bead Scene is the painting The Goldfish by Henri Matisse. I continue to be thrilled by the art history aspect of the challenges this year. It's such a great idea!

I gave the painting the old squint test (you know, where you squint your eyes until all you see are the boldest shapes) and noticed the large black circle with another circle inside and the many repetitive aspects such as the green dots, the pattern of the wicker chair and the four goldfish. So, needless to say, circles and repetition became my focus. I find that when working with asymmetrical pieces, such as the porcelain focals I used, repetition serves to unify and give balance to the overall design.

Since I started with three fairly bold, large porcelain pieces I needed to bring in the other colors in a way that would compliment but not overwhelm. So in keeping with the circle theme I took two heavy copper rings and wire wrapped them - one with vintage green glass beads and the other with lemon serpentine. Then I made eight copper rings which I threaded with pink rhodonite beads and soldered closed (the Stephani Lee way - I am obsessed with these rings). I really love these little links - the beads move around freely and have that clustered look like the clusters of flowers in the painting.

The final touch was adding the red/orange glass beads to the center to represent the goldfish. Believe it or not, this was the hardest part for me. I really wasn't sure how to bring in the red without disturbing my peacefully organized and slightly anal necklace. I had to dig around to even find any red beads - blues, greens and aquas dominate my bead stash - so I was thrilled when I found them and even more thrilled when I realized that they were the perfect shade of red. After staring at the piece for an eternity it finally hit me to place the red beads in the dead center. After all, the goldfish are dead center in the painting. Duh. So I secured them to the porcelain and called it a day.

This necklace can be found in my Etsy shop here. And if you would like to see more photos and a breakdown of components please see my flickr photos here. :)


Lorelei Eurto said...

Nancy, I hope you win! This piece is really so awesome.
I haven't even sat down long enough to think about this month's challenge.
I love the painting but immediately think figuratively when comparing it to jewelry and my brain cannot wrap around the idea of goldfish.
Nice work!!

Angela said...

That is amazing! You definitely captured the colors and motion. Good luck!

SueBeads said...

Wow, Nancy, it's great! I love the circle theme! I love how you use your pieces in the necklace.

Dani said...

Great necklace Nancy!! Love the fishies!

peacockfairy said...

Beautiful piece!

Highland Fairy said...

I love this piece Nancy!
It's amazing what you came up with from the painting...the colours are devine!! xx

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I just love reading about how an artist goes from inspiration to finished project...that's what makes the ABS contest so fascinating for me! Great article and necklace!

planettreasures said...

It is an amazing piece, and so interesting to read about your creative process.

Erin Siegel said...

Congrats on ABS Designer of the Week with your piece!