Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Phenomenal Artists Create Brilliant New Works Grounded in Beauty

This week, I had the pleasure of watching brilliant new works of art pour into the Thursday Sweet Treat in response to the theme created by the talented Salvaged Expression. Thank you Salavaged, for inspiring each of these artists to create amazing, professional pieces of art. I am truly in awe of the enormous variety here. As I look at each piece, I find myself marveling at the creativity involved in creation. I love the fact that each one excites me to look at the world with new eyes.

Salvaged, I'd like you to know three things. The first is that I loved this theme and was shocked when it caused me to create a deeply moving piece. That piece is far from finished. It needs more love and nurturing so I will be sharing it in the Mini-monthly but I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to create from the center of my heart. The second thing to know is that some folks wrote because they were unable to finish or they simply didn't like what they tried - however they did try so a big applause for them - and all of them are excited to see what will be unveiled today. Finally, I'd like to thank you for inspiring us all.

Now, I proudly present Bones of the Earth ....or your rocks....

Salvaged Expression - creator of this week's theme - created these two magnifient pieces titled, "I'm Lichen It..." and "I love Geology."

"I was actually surprised that I managed to inspire myself," said Salvaged Expression. "Where I was a kid there were motes of rocks around a lot of the buildings as fire protection and I first got into geology just picking through those stones finding the most interesting ones. So when I found myself picking through the drainage feature out in the courtyard here I felt a bit like I'd come full circle. Of course then it started to rain and I found the best colors and patterns. I had to stop myself at 2 because otherwise I would have made about 20 of these! The first one is called "I'm Lichen It..." because I couldnt' resist calling it that! It's fairly simple because I thought the real beauty of this stone was the gorgeous way the lichen was growing on it. The second is just called. "I love Geology." I haven't really done much wire wrapping before so this week really opened up a whole new craft for me that I'm planning on experimenting with for some time."

I love Geology

I'm Lichen It...

Lorrie Veasey, creator of Our Name is Mud, created this awesome frame.

"It is an earthenware frame with attachments. Glazed in oxides and stains," said Lorrie. "Just for Iris O'Connor's pleasure, I added a picture American Wrestler Duane "The Rock" Johnson. I was torn between that and Sylvester Stallone."

Kelly, creator of kpdesigns07, created this stunning 8x10 Original Painting titled, "Pebbles".

"When I first looked at the challenge I immediately thought about this rocky beach we came across when visiting Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay last year," said Kelly. "We came across it only because we didn't have a map and figured most of the roads would lead to the downtown area. Well, the road we were on lead to a rocky beach and an old fortifying wall. Fortunately the we were able make our way down the rocky beach and around the wall into the town. This painting is a representation of the beach, that day, and the trip with family."

Tiffany, creator of Love, Peace and Dye, created this unforgettable "Love your Mother Earth Recycled Skirt."

"This fully recycled and there by sustainable piece of conscious clothing emboddies one of the most amazing rocks - the earth!" said Tiffany. "Without her we could not exist and we need to love and respect her. You are my rock, earth, and I will cherish you."

Kim Smith, creator of Kimm Smith, created this amazing piece.

When Kim submitted this piece it did not yet have a name...any suggestions for her?

Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes, creator of mkc photography, created this fantastic piece titled, "Bones of the Sea."

"This fossilized rock from the sea captured my eye this's been sitting on my shelves for years, and the theme this week challenged me to see it in a new way," said Michelle.

Felicia Kramer, creator of Another Bright Idea, created two stellar pieces titled, "Rock-paper-twigs 1" and "Rock-paper-twigs 2."

"My studio AND my basement storage are full of branches, rocks, dried flowers, sea shells, pressed flowers and leaves, you name it …. I’m always picking up nature’s bounty and bringing it home because “I’m going to do something with it some day.” Here’s some of those bits and pieces along with bits and pieces of my handmade paper and other trinkets," said Felicia.

Janie, creator of Lifeartdesigns, created this exquisite piece.

"I went with both titles of this weeks theme," said Janie. "I mixed the clay I used to signify a stone or granite appearance and made the pendant to go with the bones part of the theme. It is a two sided pendant with fish bones on one side and a fish fossil imprint on the other side. There is a slight texture on the side of the pendant. I made that by impressing my wedding band into the clay before it was cured...because my husband is my rock. The pendant bail and box handle are made from 19 gauge annealed steel wire that I wrapped into coils. This was fun and something different from my usual clay work, which I am very happy about. Thanks Natasha and Salvaged!"

Cindy, creator of Cidtalk, created this beautiful, moving piece.

"The first thing that came to my mind when I read the theme “You Are My Rock” was a young girl worn out by something in life and her cat giving her a moment of comfort," said Cindy. "I don’t have a pet. I’m not an “animal person”. My husband, however had a cat in England who he decided to leave behind because he felt it was cruel to make Leo go through the quarantine. A few years later we got a call from his friend who let us know Leo had passed away. I don’t get the connection to an animal, but I can see it and I think there’s something enchanted about it."

Amanda, creator of Persistent Green, created this phenomenal WildCover collaged journal titled, "Exposed".

"This week's theme struck a particular chord with me, as I'm dealing with family issues.," said Amanda. "I let this journal's stark, vulnerable images speak for themselves. In quiet honesty and humility, possibilities emerge. Sometimes in our lowest moments--when the heart is laid bare--unexpected growth can come."

Giraffelabel created this fabulous piece titled, " “a women’s work…”

"Whenever I hear “bones” I immediately think of this fabric. I have a ton of it…it is one of my favorites! When I first came across it, I thought it was just pretty. Then I noticed the skulls and I loved it even more! So, that is the literal part of this," said Giraffelabel. "Next, I love aprons, and I love the idea of using a man’s tie on an wearing a tie to work. This tie happens to be a vintage one that I found in my father's closet. And, lastly, at the end of the day, aren’t the women of the world the frame that gives the home strength, the foundation of families…the bones of the earth?!"

Theresa, creator of WoodNGoods, created this striking"Gothic Tale".
"Gothic Tale was designed by Chrestensen Burghout Designs. Cut, shaped, sanded, and completed by me - Theresa Ekdom," said Theresa.

Maureen. a talented artist, used acrylics and watercolor inks to decorate a 32lb. rock. 16w x 11h x 4d.

"Sometimes backstories aren't so important. Sometimes they are. I need to tell this one," begins Maureen. "In 1991 my husband's dad died. He was the only father I remember loving. In 1993, my husband, myself, and our three children moved near his mother, into a house she bought. She was also "my" mother, since mine died long long ago. My children all matured here, left home, found mates. My mother-in-law later gave us our house as our inheritance. Then my husband left me, giving me the house as part of the settlement. I live here alone now, struggling to grow joy. The rock is from a creek bed my husband's brother fashioned, then later dismantled. The paints were my father-in-law's. My mother-in-law died a couple weeks ago and her memorial is this coming Sunday. I'm not sure how I'll get through the memorial, among many family members I'm no longer connected to. But I know that early Sunday morning, as near to dawn as I can manage, I will place this Rainbow Rock in my front yard, as my personal remembrance of my "other mother," proclaiming my home's welcome to the world."

Iris, created of Iris Design, created this stunning piece.

"This weeks challenge had me running down to the seafront where I used to collect pebbles for my'Pebblework'.
Example: And I haven't done anything with that gorgeous material for a long long time so I was quite happy to say the least...And I am happiest when it's cold and raining and I am crouching on the beach looking for the perfectly sized pebble," said Iris.

Bird, creator of Kitty Hawke, created eight, incredible works.

"Bones both literal & figurative are in this week's pieces," said Bird. "I used a lot of fossils - fossil-fossils and fossilized bone. Hol(e)y stones decorated a couple of pieces, from the bones of Mother Earth. Bovine bone and ceramic 'bone' comprised two different pieces. Stainless steel, representing the iron that is so prevalent in this planet's structure make up the web of "Dia de los Muertos". So, different degrees of boney literalness for different applications."

Year of the Ox: acrylic yarn, bovine bone, honey quartz, copper.
Pirates of the Carribean Seas: acrylic yarn, soapstone carving, bovine bone, brass, lava, hol(e)y stone

Dia de los Muertos: found ceramic mask, stainless steel, acrylic yarn

Holy Stone, Earthmamma! : hol(e)y stone, brass

Of Shark & Sea: fossilized bone, brass

Pear of the Sea: fossilized bone, copper

If Sharks Could Fly: fossilized bone, brass

The Black & the Gold: fossilized bone, brass

Steph, creator of A Paper Buffet, created this gorgeous card.

"I really loved this week's theme! said Steph. "The theme "You're my Rock" immediately made me think of friendship and the friends I have made throughout my life. The truest friends are with you in times of happiness and in times of sadness, and that is what inspired this card. I found a quote sticker and immediately this card came into mind. The quote reads "We have been friends together in sunshine and in shade"- Caroline Sheridan Norton. I wanted to capture the brightness of the sun and the darkness of the shade, so I used patterened paper which came in yellow and grey/black. I think the contrast suits the quote, but keeps uniformity as it's the same pattern. This is the second card in my Friendship series that will be added to my Etsy store over the next few weeks."

Tell me, did you enjoy all of this beauty?

Please share your thoughts, ask the artists questions, leave a comment and some love here. Then, go visit these artists at their shops and blogs, share some more and tell a friend!

Thanks so much for visiting!!


lifeartdesigns said...

Beautiful art work again everyone! My suggestion for Kim's bracelet would be "rock candy".

Maureen's back story to her piece was so touching...thank you for having the courage to share it with us. Hugs and prayers go out to you as you deal with your grief.

Iris! Very cool piece!

Salvaged - those are incredible and beautiful stones! Thanks for a great theme to you and Natasha this week.

Love it all, just not enough room to comment on each piece!

Crafty Ash said...

some nice works! my fave is definately "Gothic Tale" by woodsngoods though. I could look at it for quite some time!

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


Awesome, awesome pieces!!! :-)

LOVE SalvagedExpressions' simple, elegant wire-wraps. (And the pun doesn't hurt either! :-D) Hoping there will be many more to come. :-)

OurNameIsMud's frame reminds me of an old brick wall, which makes me think of Frederick, MD, a place where we were poor, but very happy. :-) Thnx for the memory on a grey day! :-)

Kelly's painting shows just how much symbolism can be packed into a small space! Wonderfully abstract-yet-not. :-)

Sustainable = YAY!!! What a wonderfully simple way to state your dedication to preserving the planet that we live on. And such wonderful words to describe the piece as well. Gaia is indeed our rock, both literally & figuratively, and we would do well to remember that and act accordingly. :-)

My suggestion for Kim's piece would be "Gaia's Cloak". All those pretty earth colors... just lovely. :-)

I noticed that many of us had the same idea for the 'double bone' of using fossils. Just proving that great minds do indeed think alike! :-D

Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes "Bones of the Sea" is another example of the 'less can be so much more' school. Very elegant. :-)

I really like the combinations in AnotherBrightIdea's "Rock-paper-twigs" series. The materials & shapes come together wonderfully. :-)

I love the symbolism in LifeArtDesign's piece and the use of both the literal & the figurative in that symbolism. :-)

I had a cat like the one Cidtalk used in her piece - her shape was different, as she was a Siamese, but the comfort factor was definitely there. Another warm, fuzzy memory for a cold, grey day.

Sympathy & strength to Amanda & Maureen as you deal w/your respective situations. Brightest Blessings to you both! :-)

One does indeed have to love the symbolism and the hint of snark in Giraffelabel's apron. It makes me think of some of the truths that probably hid behind those perfect 50's-homes' walls. :-D One of my favorite pieces this week. :-)

"Gothic Tale" really caught my eye. It's not normally a subject I'm attracted to, but the composition of this piece just really catches my fancy. :-)

IrisDesign's piece reminds me of hematite - very kyool, in both senses of the world. So, another neat doubling of the theme! :-D Were all those stones really grey to start or were they colored along the way? Love the one golden accent - awesome focal point! :-)

Love Steph's card as well. Having had both kinds of friends in my life - those who stay during the tough times and those who run for the hills, I know how important the ones who stay can be. :-)

Brightest Blessings &
the Very Best of Fortune to us all this week & Always!!! :-)
Happy Creating! :-)

UniqueNurseGranny said...

Wonderful works and well only thought would be to have fewer per post as I fear. I did not give he concentrated attention to those further down that they deserved.
Great idea and great blog.

Felicia Kramer said...

This week's submissions are very funny, deeply touching and bodaciously beautiful, all at once! I'm hard-pressed to pick a single favorite, but a shout-out goes to Salvaged Expression's I love geology and Lifeart Design's lovely piece.

Natasha, I have to thank you for my participation in this weekly challenge. I tend to get "stuck" fairly frequently, but since I have been participating here I have been more consistently productive than I have been in a long time. Focusing on a theme gets me off dead center. Each week I have worked on at least 3-4 different pieces either directly related to the theme or ideas that branched off from the theme. So thank you for the kick in the pants!

mkcphotography said...

What amazes me most is the span of creativity here - not a single one of us created anything remotely similar...and I love that! Giraffelabel's apron is such a unique, wonderful representation of the theme - and so true!

lifeartdesigns said...

I agree with mkcphotography. It's so much fun to see all the different ways we each interpret or represent the same theme. It's fun to watch it all evolve from different mediums.

sleeplessimagination said...

Great job everyone! The topic was really good and I love how each person interpreted it.

Natasha said...

lifeartdesigns - once again you created magic. I am in awe of the fact that week after week your work contiues to blossom and inspire.

Crafty Ash - Woodngoods work is incredible...I agree it is something to be looked at..really looked at for a long time...and savored.

Phoenyx Ravenswing - your pieces were so breathtaking ..they are delicious creative morsels to be devoured...slowly

UniqueNurseGranny - welcome and thank you for cheering! Yes, it's a long way to scroll now but that will be changing within the next two weeks to a new format with more of a gallery you can stroll instead of scroll...I'm excited!

Felicia Kramer - I love the way everything came together's just lovely ...both pieces make me long for Spring!

mkcphotography - I'm with you...I marvel at the fact that everything is so unique but all born from one idea...amazing...your piece was exquisite...another feast for the eyes...

sleeplessimagination- we missed you but I'm so happy to see you here cheering...

Thank you to everyone for all that you contribute each make my life so rich!

SalvagedExpression said...

There are so many wonderful pieces here that I can't even list them all.
I loved so many of them and how some were clearly thinking the same things (but executed in different and exciting ways) while others were totally unique. I love this blog! :)

Natasha said...

Salvaged - I loved your pieces for two reasons...1. they are beautiful and 2. because you took a risk, challenged yourself and created something amazing...congrats to you! Look what you inspired people to create....this blog loves you too :)

Marja said...

Another beautiful week of creativity!! Everyone did such an amazing job with the inspiration from SalvagedExpression - and created such unique pieces that in themselves are inspiring.

Natasha, really, girl, thanks again and again for being the inspiration behind all the inspiration. :) YOU ROCK! (and that works so well w/this week's theme!)

giraffelabel said...

i am so happy to be able to take part in something so imaginative and challenging. i hope that i will be able to keep up each week. this was a great theme! i had so much fun working on this. and, i absolutely love seeing what each person comes up with each week. i can't wait to find out the next theme!

Cidtalk said...

So many amazing thoughts and so much effort, so many stories. I am hypnotized by it all.

I want to comment on each one, but I'm doling out time before going to work this evening. If I get a chance to sneak on tonight I'll pop a note up for everyone:)

Thanks for the kind words and comments to anyone who likes my little cat/girl sketch:) I should draw them having a good day so their story goes on.

Ceridwen said...

As always, I love all the items people create for this. I am bummed I was unable to participate - I've been sick all week, but I'm ready for next week!

Natasha said...

Marja - missing you tons!! So great to see you and I agree it's amazing...thanks again Salvaged!! And thank you Marja...I happen to think YOU rock :)

giraffelabel - your apron was absolutely fantastic. I LOVED the imagination that went into that was such a unique entry among many unique entries...great work and I truly hope you will continue to participate!

Cidtalk - I'm SO happy that you got the chance to participate this week! Your piece was sensational...truly and I love your idea for keeping their story going...great work...I hope you will play again next week!

Natasha said...

Ceridwen - you were missed this week! I'm so sorry you were sick..I'm sending HUGE well wishes and looking forward to your creation next week!

Steph said...

I know it's been said before, but it really IS amazing to see all the different interpretations and manifestations of just a few simple words that we get every Friday!

I couldn't even begin to describe the talent here, it's beyond words. And a big thank you again Natasha for being the one to pull it all together!

Steph @ A Paper Buffet

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli said...

Another week of WOWZA! Can these folks create or what. lovely pieces.

IrisDesign- I really enjoyed your composition - the texture, the colors, everything!

CidTalk - what a lovely moment you captured. it is so fluid and moving.

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...


Cidtalk, it would so very kyool if you chose to continue their story. :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Natasha! Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog!

I'm known on Etsy as SamAndrea.

ceejay said...

beautiful work, all. I've been inspired too, Salvaged, and will continue to work on my fiber art piece even though I didn't finish for this week's challenge. ROCK.
♥ ceejay

Wood N Goods said...

I just love seeing everyones creations - Natasha Thank you for putting this idea and blog together. I am honored to be a part of it.

Salvaged - thank you for the subject this week! I had been working on this piece for months and was not enjoying it any more. This was the push I needed to get it finished!

And everyone who commented on my piece - Thank you!

Theresa - woodngoods

Natasha said...

Steph - I LOVED your's just perfect and what a wonderful addition to the Thursday Sweet Treat ...thank you for cheering, sharing some kind words and being a part of this..hope you will play this week...

Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli - WOWZA ..that might be my favorite word ever! You are right Iris' piece is incredible and Cidtalk's ..well I'm TOTALLY into her continuing the piece..I just love it

Phoenyx Ravenswing - I agree!!!!!

Cycle Girl - YAY!!! I'm so glad you are here!! I hope the new theme inspires you :)

ceejay - HUGE hugs!! I love that you are going to continue your piece..will you submit it to the Mini-monthly?

Wood N Goods - thank YOU for participating and submitting such a fantastic piece!! I hope this week inspires you as well YAY!!