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kejka sperky SadaI know it will be hard to top Monday’s piece. The energy in that sculpture was unreal. But intensity of that kind is not the only thing that visually defines passion. How about that low but long burning fire many of us have? It may be a passion for art or for our family or friends. It might be how we feel getting out in nature or the desire for adventure. It is not crazy but it is always there and that kind of passion, that persistent, ever present emotion, is sustaining and keeps us focused on the things that are good in our lives and good for ourselves.

So, to represent that slow burning passion, I picked this mellow yet fiery caned earring and pendant set. There is not the chaos of movement we saw Monday but you can still feel the energy. The Czech Republic’s Kejka creates the energy through both the purely warm color palette and the tapered but parallel and highly directional lines. The gradation from dark on the outside to light in the middle on the pendant also gives it a glow.

Kejka made a series of these flame-like canes in various colors. Take a look at the purple and blue one as well on her Facebook page.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Create or sketch in a completely warm color palette. That means from reds to oranges to yellows. Try either creating a subdued feel with your design for these highly energetic colors or see how insanely energetic you can make it.

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forest rogersI only now realized that this week ends with Valentine’s day and I had to stop and contemplate whether I should do a theme.  Last year’s personal love stories just can’t be topped, though, so let’s dial it back to the essence of what Valentine’s day represents. Or try. What it represents is rather personal though, isn’t it? I know for most people it represents romantic love, but I like to think of it as being about passion. And that passion can be towards anyone or anything that you feel intensely about. It’s definitely a more all-inclusive day if it is a holiday in which we can celebrate all the things we love so dearly as we all have someone or something that is lucky enough to get so much of our passion.

It is hard to say what passion looks like in art, but I think we all know it when we see it. High energy and maybe even a little tension works. A dash of red doesn’t hurt either. So, today I am sharing something I shared a while back on my personal Facebook page because it is so amazing and embodies what I see as a multi-faceted sense of passion.

This polymer and mixed media sculptural work is by the amazing Forest Rogers.  The energy in this piece is so intense, it’s rather mesmerizing. The energy is in the heavy directional lines of the torn fabric, the horizontal arms, the flung back wings of the crow, and the slant of the weaponry on the ground. To really bring it home, there is that streak of blood-red streaming behind the figure whose implacable sense of forward motion seems to be leaving everything behind. Forest did not leave a lot of breathing room here, but we aren’t distressed by it because we recognize the emotion. It’s a full and intense passion, maybe sheathed in fury or defiance, but passion nonetheless for whatever cause this creature is flinging herself into.

I think this also embodies Forest’s passion for her work. All of her pieces have an unearthly energy to them, an energy that comes not just from her skill as an artist, but from a real sense of how fully invested she is in her craft and her vision. I feel this in that spot right below the ribcage when I get lost in my work, when the art just seems to spill from my fingertips. It seems most present when I am just creating without purpose or caring what anyone else will think of it. A passion for one’s art comes from simply needing to do it, from letting it become instead of struggling to create. I don’t know if that makes sense to all of you, but this piece very much calls to mind that truly intense passion for creating. If you have had that feeling for your creative work, then I feel sure you can see it too.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Use high energy directional lines to design or create an energetic or passionate piece. You can use Forest’s example to inspire your energetic lines or look to other work that you think is particularly energetic and passionate. See if you can discern the lines in the work that help relay this and try to recreate that energy in an original design of your own.

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40-polymer-clay-tutorial-mixed-mediaIf you read Wednesday’s post, and especially if you took on the challenge, you might very easily find the connection between what you see here and what I talked about then. This is a great example of a repeated shape creating complexity. In this case, the repeated shape is actually a circle and most of the circles here are created with jump rings. As a way to create complex faux enamel with the wire boundary lines, this use of jump rings is pretty darn clever.

The piece and short tutorial are by Muchi at Muchi Creaciones.  Something like this would have been a perfect exercise for Wednesday’s challenge. No, it looks nothing like Bettina’s stacked shapes, but it is built on that same set of ‘rules’, and in these challenges I really hope you will use the rules as the most skeletal frame to build off.

Here the repeated shape has a fair amount of variation to it which creates a cohesive as well as interesting piece. There are three types of circles (the pendant shape itself, the jump rings, and the crystals) but in different sizes and colors and yet they all look like they belong together. See, using the same shape over and over could get a little mundane, but on the other hand changing up every element in a piece makes it feel chaotic. If you have one strong, repeated element, it won’t matter how much variation there is between them as there is a common characteristic and therefore we see them as related. As long as we find a relationship between elements, we feel there is some level of order and intention. Intention-less art is simply not interesting. And although you can make something chaotic, it should be obviously intentional if you want people to have an interest in it

If you want to check out the brief instructions to making this type of faux enamel, hop on over to Muchi’s blog post here then stay to check out her other clever little tutorials and creations.

 

Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Take a single, simple shape or form and create at least 10 different variations, making them as different from one another as you can imagine. Don’t think about what you will make from them, just create the elements. Once you have your 10 or more pieces complete, put them together in one piece or create a series from them. Don’t forget, you can share what you come up with while participating in these challenges on the Flickr page!

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You do not need a wide variety of elements, shapes, textures, or other complexities to create an intriguing piece. As I mention quite a bit, keeping it simple is often the most impressive and eye-catching approach. The trick is in developing or arranging the design in an unusual or energetic fashion. With these beautiful brooches […]

… not that you can tell by the weather! But we are doing our best to get you a bit of Spring by the end of February. Here is your first peek at the next issue of The Polymer Arts, Spring 2016 – Convergence. The issue is set to come out around March 1st. Gracing […]

It’s been a week of seeing something new in something you already have in front of you, and I have been having a lot of fun with the ideas while readers have been getting quite a kick out of what we’ve been sharing. So, let’s do this one more time, but with a twist. Let’s try […]

Before I get into my little thoughts about today’s intriguing piece, I wanted to put out a couple of thoughts for all of you who are attempting to do the challenges. I’ve had some questions and concerns about getting them done. First of all, you don’t need to do all the challenges presented to gain insight […]

If you read Friday’s post about the fashion illustrators who used what we see around us every day to design their images of women’s clothing, then you might see the connecting thread to this week’s theme. I thought we’d explore the idea of the outcome of a technique suggesting the form and imagery of art work. […]

These little unexpected beauties are brought to us by Debbie Crothers who just dropped them onto my Facebook page last week. These were created by Armenian fashion illustrator Edgar Artis who uses common objects and scenes to take some basic fashion concepts beyond the ordinary. The matches dress illustration is so simple, but between the heavily directional lines and the […]

As artists, we think of our imagination as a major muscle, if not the primary one used when we’re creating. But how much do you stretch that muscle? In craft art, because we also have to create steps, a process, and consider function and durability, our minds spend a lot of time in the purely logical, problems […]

This week, I have pieces to share with you that have unexpected additions or changes. I think it is fantastic to mix things up, not only in our own world and work, but to step outside the expectations of what we think certain types of pieces should be. For instance, does a bead really have […]

Sometimes the thing that binds a varied set of art or craft work is not visual elements but the concept they encompass. The spoons here, created by Jacques Vesery, are bound by the fact that they are spoons, naturally, but every detail beyond that makes them look so different, including the fact that it appears each spoon […]

In Monday’s blog post, we looked at how changing up a few elements in a design can change the entire feel of a piece. Variation from one similar piece to the next can push your creativity, but if you want something that challenges you even more, try variation in every element of a single piece of art […]

So, how has everyone been doing on New Year’s resolutions and new challenges? I have been keeping up with my sleep and exercise (but just barely), however, I only managed to do 2 of the 3 challenges that were posted last week. I have to admit that it makes me feel like this is just too […]

Speaking of found objects and nostalgia (we did a bit of that on Wednesday if you missed it), here is a piece I’ve had in my folder to share for quite some time. It’s an older piece by Chris Kapono and, no, the fish is not made of polymer but rather is cloisonné while the other […]

Since we are, so many of us, in the mode of changing habits right now, I thought I’d post a quick note on posting your art and some things you may want to weigh in terms of how you restrict or allow access to what you post. To get your work on a blog or to […]