Ordinarily Wonderful

creasanscess green shapeletI very much enjoyed the comments and the interaction of last week. Maybe we’ll do that once a week or every other. Getting you to think about art is definitely one of my high goals!

So let’s ponder a few together this week. I find it curious that some pieces, even though very much like other pieces we see, will just strike you as working so much better than similar work. Like this set by Cécile Bouesnard. It is quietly striking although the shape is a common one these days and the composition of shape and focal point is what one might expect.  But the coloring and the marks keep it from becoming just ordinary. So why is that?

Success is not always easy to define, primarily because the success of a piece is really due to the sum of its parts. Key elements will often shine but if everything else didn’t work with it or support it as needed, those key elements would not have the same impact. So what is it here that is working? I think everything supports the overall feel. The soft shift of a rich green to that mellow yellow and the lime green snuck into the middle of it (did you even notice it was there?) gives the surface a glowing effect. The softness of the coloring contrasts with the perfectly trimmed shapes but those black marks, like the careless placement of a messy bottle contrasts with both the soft coloring and the clean shapes. These subtle but consistent contrasts make for an interesting and fulfilling piece to look upon.

That is my take on why this works. If you have other ideas, please add them to the comment section at the end of this post. In the meantime, you can see what else Cécile created with a similar combination of elements in varied compositions and colors on this post of her blog.



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Something to Hold Onto

Cecilia Botton toggleIt’s official. I’ve decided that holes are not something to be filled but rather, they are for holding things or for us to hold onto. We make quite a few holes in our craft work but when we have a hole in our lives, we try to fill it up. Why? Why can they not be something that we utilize and gain from?

For today’s metaphor on loss, I give you the work of Cecilia Botton, who simply and beautifully, shows us the usefulness of a hole.  The empty space gives us a place through which we can hold things, like this lovely textured toggle pendant does, as well as being a serene and steady focal point. The rough texture and scattered color in this brilliant turquoise to cobalt blue  is enough to carry the simple design and bring our attention to center.

Cecilia uses holes for both design and function in quite a bit of her work. She what she has been up to lately on her Flickr photostream.


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The Spark in a Heart

elein ombre heartA focal point can pop without a lot of shimmer or shine. This poor, but beautiful, little heart looks like it’s been through a rough time or two or ten. But, it has this one bright spot on its battered surface–an off-white accent that almost glows against the deep, dark colors of the rest of the heart.

This kind of real world heart is the creation of Greece’s Helen P. of Eleins Kingdom on Etsy. It’s kind of difficult to pull our glance from the one light colored spot here, but there is also a bit of lovely filigree work to pull you to the left side with a network that includes some lighter showings within some canes. But still, that one spot, out in the open landscape of this heart, draws the eye back. Here it is the contrast in color and value situated in a relatively open space that makes this focal jump out. A simple technique, but a very effective one.

Helen has many more of these kinds of hearts, as well as other charming pieces to catch your eye in her Etsy shop.


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Letting it All Stand Out

Céline Charuau’s work absolutely fascinates me.  Her forms are obviously inspired by the shapes and patterns in nature but she chooses to exaggerate or focus on one aspect and push it until it no longer resembles anything we are familiar with but does emphasis the beauty of that one characteristic.


CCelineStarSideCéline’s work has been in the magazine as an example of how to creatively copy from nature (you may have seen her beautiful feather inspired necklace in Christi Friesen’s “Filling Your Well of Creativity” article in the Winter 2011 issue of The Polymer Arts magazine).


Here is another example in this pointy petaled flower where the extensions of the flow stand so far out from the base that they almost seem menacing. Building a piece into the available space rather than letting it just sit calmly back makes the form a forceful and undeniably attention grabbing piece. If the coloring and shapes were softer, this might not feel appropriate but with the slim, pointed petals and fiery tips, the dynamic use of space works wonderfully.


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