Saturday, December 6, 2014

New larger canvas paintings

Angel Fairy coming out
So tonight I decided to play with a 16 x 20 inch canvas and buy myself some alkyd paints for Christmas. Couldn't wait to see what I can do, so started drawing.

This is how she started coming about

She evolved into an angel fairy 
She evolved into an angel fairy listening to the celestial messages coming to her from her higher Self.

Angel fairy with Lynx
She has with her her faithful totem animal the beautiful lynx, who guards treasures, keeping them secret. There are coins beside the treasure chest to represent the payment given to a seer when the participant is willing to pay for knowledge gained - value for value.

She's very beautiful
I haven't painted in this style for about 25 years but am excited about getting back to it!

Her lynx
It should be very interesting to find out what I can do with alkyds and glazes and larger sizes. Stay tuned for the finished painting.


Monday, December 1, 2014

New Jewelry for Christmas at the Bellefonte Art Museum and Green Drake Gallery

Melinda's happy elephant Ojime bead necklace
We love animals, and this year, the Bellefonte Art Museum's theme for the Christmas Holiday Show and Sale is animals!

I had made a happy elephant necklace for my sister a while back, with a beautiful hand-carved Ojime elephant as the focal bead. Her elephant likes to play, so I gave him a colorful little ball to roll around on.

So for the upcoming show and sale, I chose several new Ojime beads for you! These beads just fascinate me because they're intricately detailed and elegant, as well as humorous and fun.

Here's what I had to start with - yum!
The necklaces available at the show include cats, rabbits, monkeys, horses, frogs, and dragons, oh my!

Ojime Bead Traditional Use (from Fire Mountain Gems)

"Ojime Style Beads from Fire Mountain Gems are inspired by traditional, antique Japanese Ojime beads. These hand-carved boxwood miniatures are skillfully detailed by contemporary Chinese Master-Carvers, who take up to four hours to craft each one. Each unique carving is signed by the artist. In Japan, Ojime beads are traditionally combined with Netsuke and Inro boxes, and worn from the Obi belt of the kimono."

I did a little research to see what beaders do with Ojime beads and what I saw out there was pretty "interesting." In my necklace designs I wanted a flow between the necklace and the bead, so that the whole piece is integrated. I also thought about color, including green gemstones in the necklaces where an animal might enjoy playing in a garden, and turquoise in the ones that remind me of horse country. The dragons live in a world of their own, so some of those necklaces include gorgeous shimmery jet lined topaz colored seed beads.

My favorite Ojime horse bead necklace
I chose a selection of beads for the necklaces that includes brown to pull in the colors of the carved wood beads, and I felt that gemstone tube beads would be beautiful in-between, so the horse bead necklace above is made with howlite, a gorgeous gemstone that has great energies, helping to calm the mind, "strengthen memory, and stimulate a desire for knowledge," according to Judy Hall in her book, The Crystal Bible.

I loved the challenge of making this necklace, as the beads must go up through the middle of the horse, at just the right length, and come out nicely on each end. I also love this bead because the carver created a seamless circle bracelet around the horse's back legs, and that had to be quite a challenge!

Happy rabbit Ojime necklace
Another favorite is this happy rabbit Ojime necklace, which incorporates tiger's eye and agate tube beads in between the seed beads. This rabbit is never far from her garden, as you can see by the little glass leaf beads on the tips of the dangling tails.

Fat and happy little frog Ojime necklace
There's also a fat and happy little frog Ojime necklace that includes beautiful moss agate and aventurine tube beads as well as glass leaf tips on the tails. Moss agate is one of my favorite gemstones, said to "refresh the soul and enable you to see the beauty in all you behold," and aventurine is also a huge favorite for its capacity to enhance creativity and bring about prosperity. (Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible, 2003)

This Ojime cat has caught herself a mouse. 
The Ojime cat necklace includes beautiful lapis tube beads, which "stimulate personal and spiritual power," and a bit of onyx, for strength. (Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible, 2003.)

It takes about 4-5 hours to make one of these necklaces, which are strung on AccuFlex wire for durability. They're about 35 inches long, slip right over your head, and hang below the chest. They're soft, lightweight, and go very well with black or green or brown agate teardrop earrings, which I'll have available at the Green Drake Gallery through December.

Come visit me at the Bellefonte Art Museum - I'll be there Sunday, December 7th from noon til 5 and Saturday December 13th from noon til 2:30. The Holiday Show and Sale hours are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. and there will be lots of other wonderful, unique animal themed gifts for Christmas.

Hope to see you there!