Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ABS Monthly Challenge - Tribute to Frida Kahlo

The Art Bead Scene (ABS) Monthly Challenge has been on my radar for some time now.  I love art!  So the idea of using a piece of art, usually a painting, to inspire creativity is an absolutely fantastic idea.  The ABS hosts are not saying, copy it, they're saying embrace this piece and use it how you choose; research, color, emotion, etc. -- dive deep and CREATE an original piece of jewelry that is uniquely yours.

This month's inspirational art piece is a masterpiece by the artist Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, entitled Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird.  I've been a fan of Frida's work for many years.  I was fortunate enough to see some of her work in a couple of museum exhibits.  I own many books and art pieces replicating her original work.  When I see her work I am drawn to her bold use of color, her odd choices for pets, her ability to depict how painful life really is and her strength as a woman. 

In many photos you will see Frida's magnificent use of clothes and jewelry which was quite the contrast from the Hollywood bombshell in the 1930's.  Her fashion choices are synonymous with this legendary lady. She built on her individuality and all the tragedies and pain that shaped her life.  Despite major health issues and a passionately painful relationship she managed to present herself as a beautiful and talented woman.  Frida's art was a true expression of herself.  She didn't hide behind the canvas instead she used the canvas to show the world what was going on inside of her; the woman, the wife, the artist, the activist, the animal lover.

The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.  Frida

Her individuality is the very thing that draws audiences to her - past and present.  She often wore large jewelry pieces and flowing cotton dresses/skirts.  Frida used every bit of herself to create beauty, she didn't hide behind the monobrow, instead she painted it for all to see.  Her hair was always a beautiful display of creativity.  These bold choices help us to know just who this beautiful woman was.

The necklace I made was not in the same color scheme as the portrait chosen by the ABS group but the beads are rich in color which makes a dramatic statement.

The Tierra Cast swallow and 25mm metal ring make a great focal point for this tribute to Frida.  I added a bit of wire wrapping to the metal ring with 24 ga. Artistic Wire in gun metal and bronze canon copper wire.  The Raku pottery beads were made by Amy Mealy of the Xaz Bead Company.  These beautiful rust 12mm beads and the vivid blue/green 20mm beads have been in my stash for some time.  I met Amy in Santa Fe at Bead Fest in 2013. 

I included some large 20mm copper beads, spacer beads and findings that I purchased at Beads & Needs in Colorado.  The finishing touch was some small turquoise pieces to add to the length of the necklace.  This eclectic range of metals and the kaleidescope from the Raku pottery beads comes together nicely.

These are two of my favorite images of Frida. Each shows Frida's dark eyes, smooth skin, dark hair and full lips.  She was young and beautiful.  Looking at life head on.

This is a photo I have in my home.  Frida in another self portrait with her hair down.  The dark brow draws attention to the third eye.  The vine-like appearance of her clothing adds another dimension to her work which in and of itself was her autobiography.

Please click here to view the ABS Pinterest board where you will find jewelry of every category imaginable for this monthly challenge...our tribute to this beautiful and intriguing woman.


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