Interactive Colour Wheel

Colour is ………. Well, what can I say, it just is. And some of us can use it to advantage and some of us need help.

Hibiscus - watercolor paintingWhen I painted in gouache using colour seemed pretty obvious. I painted stylistic landscapes and still lifes and used the colours I saw, or a derivative. This is a watercolour painting of a hibiscus. It was growing in the garden of my little Caribbean apartment.

BTW. This is the first painting I ever made.

 

 

 

 

 

It got a bit more complicated when I switched media to fabric. Then it was necessary to suggest colours, find them in the fabric stash, lay them out next to each other and decide if it worked.

Large image of Lydia - fractal art quiltSometimes I had a pre-coloured design I worked from – such as this fractal art quilt Lydia, and sometimes just the line drawing. A minor complication was whether the fabric was solid, tone on tone, or multi-print. But even this could be dealt with by squinting my eyes, looking at the piece of fabric from a distance and gauging the predominant colour.

Then I started working with glass beads. And things got really strange……..

Because now you are working with transparency, metallic finishes, matte and opaque glass. So many different ways light reflects colour. Beads reflect onto each other too, add this into the mix.

One way to get started with colour is to play with an online interactive colour wheel. I found one here – The Interactive Color Wheel.

Interactive Color Wheel

Interactive Color Wheel

What’s specially neat about this colour wheel is the bar which pops up on the right hand side. It shows the hue and the tints and shades of a particular colour. Very useful.

After I found this I discovered Interweave were offering a live seminar – Seed Bead Savvy: Get the Most out of Your Seed Bead Colors and Finishes from Beki Haley. She discusses how to understand different seed beads and pick the right ones for your project. Just what I was thinking about. Thoroughly serendipitous I say.

How to Photograph your Jewelry with Jim Lawson

In the early days, when I photographed my quilts, I used a digital point and shoot camera. A good one, but a point and shoot nonetheless. The images came out very well and many of them are on my website, or even in books and magazines.

However, this does NOT work for my jewelry. A friend donated one of his old digital SLR cameras, we bought a light cube, a tripod, and some lighting equipment. But still I had NO idea how to take decent photographs of my finished pieces.

Enter Jim Lawson and his rather sweet, slightly hesitant narration over an excellent DVD download from the Interweave stores. How to Photograph Your Jewelry has been an enormous help.

The video is divided up into different sections:

  • Introduction with Lexi Erickson, Professional Jewelry Designer
  • Point ‘n’ Shoot Success
  • Using a Fill Card
  • Beyond Point ‘n’ Shoot Cameras
  • Photographing Sparkle and Color
  • Diffusion Frames
  • Capturing Detail
  • Creating a Gradient Background
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Jim talks you through a very simple set up. A camera, light, tripod, and computer. The first section gets you going with only your point ‘n shoot camera and light from a window which is rather nifty. I know you can get some pretty good pictures this way because I’ve done it myself. He then adds in the proper florescent light and talks you through the camera settings.

How to Photograph Jewelry by Jim Lawson

How to Photograph Jewelry by Jim Lawson

On Saturday we went to Michael’s and bought some silver and gold fill cards. For a long time I really didn’t understand what fill cards did. I am getting the idea now and can actually see the difference between using one and not using the card.

He uses Adobe Lightbox which I don’t have. But I do have Photoshop and most of the processes he follows can be done in this software.

I’ve watched this video several times now and keep learning something new. I didn’t know how to use the camera settings properly and now I do – thanks to Jim.

 

Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet

Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Here is a tile superduo clasp bracelet in another colourway. I am thoroughly enamored with the new picasso finish on today’s beads. And I like the peacock finish on tiles and drops. In this instance the turquoise superduo double hole beads go with the slightly greenish, creamish, brownish picasso tile beads.

I think it has something to do with the earthiness – the beads look like polished stones.

Back view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Back view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

And of course, it is all helped along by using one of Jenny Davies-Razor’s ceramic rings. Again, total love affair going on here.

Top view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Top view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Just can’t stop photographing this thing.

Top view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

Top view of Turquoise Tile Superduo Clasp Bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke

The bracelet is 8″ long from the tip of the toggle to the clasp, and is 1″ wide. It fits a wrist diameter of just over 7″.

And don’t forget it comes in Stone.

Nancy Cain – shaped peyote beads

Bead Stitching: Shaped Peyote with Nancy Cain

Bead Stitching: Shaped Peyote with Nancy Cain

I finally got around to buying this online video from Craftsy.com – Bead Stitching: Shaped Peyote with Nancy Cain. I never watched videos when learning to quilt but I find them very useful while learning to bead.

Nancy does a nice job of showing how to make a variety of beaded bead components. And then she explains step-by-step ways to put them together in wearable jewelry. Plus she talks about color and why she uses certain colors and when she wears them. Continue reading

Ann Harwell – quilt artist

Light Echoes from an Evolving Star by Ann Harwell

Light Echoes from an Evolving Star by Ann Harwell

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I spent time with an art quilt group based in North Carolina. Now I am in Florida it is not something I am able to continue. Which is a shame as I enjoyed the interaction between the artists and the critic who was invited to view and comment on our work.

Ann Harwell was, and perhaps still is, a member of the group. She was there at its inception and I always enjoyed her soft voice and gentle manner. She works on her art full time and has produced many pieces over years.

I explored her website recently to see what she was up to and found this quilt under construction. I love seeing how pieces evolve so Light Echoes from an Evolving Star caught my eye. Sometimes I think the work is enough as is, in the construction stage. Just like this piece. The lines of the trees are so evocative with the star showing through.

One day I will go back and see if the quilt is finished.

Jeana Kimball Foxglove Cottage straw needles

Jeana Kimball Foxglove Cottage straw needles size 11These are the straw needles we have decided to put in place of the lovely Jean Lyle needles we used to carry.

They come in a nice little case, there are 16 needles in the case. These are really skinny straw needles in size 11, from Jeana Kimball’s Foxglove Cottage.

They are Jeana’s favorite needle, and make needle-turn applique easy and smooth. Straw needles are also useful for basting, hand piecing and quilting. The narrow shank of this fine needle glides easily through several fabric layers without hesitation.

Safety Harbor City Galleries – library exhibition

Safety Harbor City Galleries

There is no doubt jewelry needs to be seen in person. And tried on, and examined minutely. Though photographs can be very descriptive, there is no substitute for the real thing. My beadwork is on exhibition at the Safety Harbor library until the end of June 2014. You can see it, and touch it, and try it on. And if you like it, you can buy it. Well, some of it. A couple of pieces have already sold – but I take commissions! Just email me – Contact.

Silver Red Dagger Beaded Bead Necklace on exhibition at the Safety Harbor City Galleries

Silver Red Dagger Beaded Bead Necklace on exhibition at the Safety Harbor City Galleries

Richard Harpin – British watercolour artist

You know when people say to you – “Oh, my friend’s husband’s cousin’s sister’s boyfriend is an artist – you should meet!”? You know how your heart sinks? You put on a grisly smile, try not think really bad thoughts, and reply – “Mmmmmm……..?”

Because invariably you get to meet the “artist”, or get shown their work.

And it’s excruciating.

I try and find something nice to say amid the horror. Sometimes it’s very difficult.

So when my friend told me – “Oh, my husband paints watercolours”, I immediately went into grisly mode.

Then I looked at his work.

And changed my mind.

Here are a few of his pieces:

Toy War 4 - watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin
Toy War 4 – watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin. 40cm x 30cm

Tanya Dreams of Lowry World - watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin
Tanya Dreams of Lowry World – watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin. 20cm x 29cm (This is my favourite).

Flowers, Fruit and Cheese - watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin
Flowers, Fruit and Cheese – watercolour by British artist Richard Harpin. 40cm x 30cm

Personally, I think you should go and see the rest of his work – Richard Harpin.

He paints in series, he has no formal training, he has a lovely eye for colour and story telling. He doesn’t agree with me when I tell him he works in collage. And in fact, he is right, as collage is a primarily a technique where the whole artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms. In the art world this sometimes includes magazine and newspaper clippings, ribbons, paint, bits of colored or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas.

However, he gets an idea or concept, then searches out the components and puts them together to make a whole. His work is illustrative and sharp edged with humorous elements. His subject matter vacillates from cutesy cats to flying middle aged ladies – and everything in between. He makes his own personal comment on what he sees and often with a dry sense of British humour.

I like his style.