In 1995 the Monet Exhibit came to the Art Institute of Chicago and a whole city became smitten with Impressionism. Pretty French pastoral scenes, and placid-hazy dreams. What an escape! What’s not to love? I was all in, I know. After standing in an endless line, I gazed and wistfully sighed at each piece. Me and a thousand other stoic Chicagoans. Then, in the gift shop, I bought a poster of Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street Rainy Day to grace my first apartment, a steep investment of twelve tight-budget dollars. (I’ll always love that poster!)
Time moved on and I fell for different artists, different styles as my world opened up, and as I changed. But Impressionism will always be so, so beautiful to me.
Like the Impressionists, Redon’s hazy style takes me to some sweet, dreamy place, and it was fun to interpret these pretty portraits in beads, (beautiful beads!).
To catch the quiet mode of Madame Fontaine’s stitching, I used paper beads because they have a hushed and muddied color story. Tiny African brass heishi add a little bit of sheen for interest.
My favorite part of this piece (and another that I made for this Journey) is the vintage laundry pin, used as a clasp. Find it here. It’s a subtle nod to the needlework theme of Madame Fontaine toiling away on her stitching.
Trying to emulate the hints of lace on Madame Fontaine’s gown, I embossed a lace doily pattern onto a Vintaj black metal tag.
I love when artists offer their not-quite-perfect pieces. I picked this beautiful heart charm from C-Koop. While the enameling isn’t “first quality” maybe, I think it’s better! The interesting color and texture gives this heart so much depth. I just added it to an odd length of vintage chain for a quick bracelet. Easy.
This exuberant bouquet is not my usual palette! Good challenge. I started with a vintage rosary-style chain of glass beads from Nagaland. (You can find these beads at Native American beading supply shops sometimes. Not sure why . . .) For an abundant floral effect I added several lampwork blossoms, simply wrapped on ball headpins. The blooms are the tiniest things ever – each one a little piece of glassworking art. These are by Oliver Star. I loved how the vase was busy (almost unpleasing, there I said it) so I made sure to add a curvy vase-like agate teardrop for color.
My favorite piece by Redon inspired the piece I ended up liking the most. No surprise there: I can do butterflies and blue skies any day! These cool butterfly links are printed and laser cut by Pork Chop Show and there’s no end to his cool pieces and goofy ideas. I linked the whole necklace together rosary-style with lampwork and clay beads from Kanna Glass Studios and panyas beads (“Job’s tears”) in blue and white to look like a party sunny sky.