Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Magnificent Group of Artists Ignite the Fires of Imagination as They Paint the World a Fiery Red

The works this week are visually and creatively powerful. They invite you to unleash your imagination, spend time enjoying adventures in your own backyard, break the rules, turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and trust the magic inside of you. When I read the stories and look at the works of these spectacularly talented artists, I get lost in the beauty of their work. The passion, heart and willingness to take risks with art are what inspire me most about these professional artists.

Please join me on this exploration of red.....

Kittydesigns created this awe-inspiring piece.

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?''That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.'I don't much care where --' said Alice.'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.'--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.~Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland~

Ruthie, creator of Rose Works Jewelry, created this beautiful "Rocking Red Bead Woven Bracelet".

"I fell in love with this stitch recently," said Ruthie, "and so I knew exactly what I wanted to make as soon as I saw the challenge! Thanks for giving me the idea for the color!"

Susan, creator of Yaffa Dreams, created these stellar "Opposite of Ordinary Guitar Pick Earrings."

"Trust me just this once — you are the opposite of ordinary."~~~ Edward Cullen

"Beautiful, unique and definitely NOT ordinary, dangle earrings with red and black glass beads and red pearloid guitar picks," said Susan. "The guitar picks look like mother of pearl. The earrings are about 2 7/8" long."

Janie, creator of lifeartdesigns and mypolymerclaycanes, created this simply phenomenal piece.

"Here's what happened...I got some time to myself and was able to totally relax because I knew all I had to work with was scrap clay," begins Janie. "It wasn't for anybody or anything else, so if I didn't like it, all I had to do was smoosh it all back up and put it back in the box. I didn't even have to finish anything if I didn't feel like it.

I opened up my plastic bin of solid clay scraps I keep that has left over clay from previous work...and I saw red, a lot of red! So I knew whatever kind of cane I made, it had to have a lot of red. So, I had a good chuckle when you announced the theme on Friday! First, I took some green and some light yellow and made a leaf cane. Then, I grabbed the red, a little purple, some gold, and a smidgeon of yellow. It became a mindless pursuit after that in shaping and combining it all. Although, I did have a specific intention of making a paisley cane before I ever began.

When I was all done, I was satisfied with how the design turned out, but thought it would not reduce well because of the clays I used to construct it. I had intentionally done everything "wrong" that you are not supposed to do with making canes. I used soft clay with hard clay, old clay with new clay, and so on. I found it very liberating being restrained to work with only the colors and clay I had on hand. However, given all the "rules" I broke, theoretically, the cane should have turned to mud and mush when I reduced it. So, I let it sit for a day by itself and rest. The next day, I took my time and lots of care and reduced it, stopping occasionally to let it rest and refirm up again. And lo and behold...I actually had a decent paisley in the end! What a happy camper I was. And a cool thing about it is, it's all recycled clay. I never opened a new package of clay for this.

The pictures show the completed construction before reduction, the reduction, and finally the cane all cut up into sections.


Kelly, creator of Backward Glances, created these stunning pieces.

"When I first read this week's challenge, I thought it would be a breeze - I love color! But inspiration was elusive, so I decided to spend a day taking photos of all the red in my life... and it was great fun!

I'm submitting two photos from that day, both representing iconic objects for Mackinac. The first is Round Island Lighthouse, the subject of a photo for every visitor to the Island. The second is a true "front porch" favorite, ever since Grand Hotel choose red geraniums as a symbol back in the 1980's. Red geraniums are found everywhere on the Island.

I ended up with a number of other photos I was pleased with, I'll be posting more of my "Red Day" photos on my blog."

Kris, creator of Lisianblue, created this gorgeous "Wild Red Roses Ornament".

"Red. Although red is not one of my favorite colors, some of my best paintings have been done in red," said Kris. "It was funny, I had just bought some red glass without even reading the theme for this week. I sat down and did a drawing of the Sandia Mountains, and blocked in a red, yellow, and purple sky for a stained glass piece. By the time, I had finished this, it was time to go to sleep. Now it's Sunday morning. I was a bit hesitant about starting a stained glass piece with 42 pieces to it to be done by Wed. afternoon. So, I thought, maybe an ornament. I started going through some of my drawings that I keep on hand to use for my ornaments and came across a wild rose drawing. Perfect. And so, the wild red roses started growing on a 2" clear glass ornament. I'm not real happy about the way the pictures came out, it's a little hard to see the details. In the center of each rose, there are iridescent yellow dots, and each petal is a combination of translucent red and a pink frost (my own mix), the background is a light blue frost. I'm pretty happy with the way the ornament came out, just not the pictures of the 7 wild red roses. "

Amanda, creator of Persistent Green, created this truly gorgeous 8x8 mixed media piece using watercolor and ink titled "Begin with Joy".

"My first impulse when I found this theme was "Passion." I wanted to convey that through warm color, contrast, pattern, and a bold thought to enjoy. No matter what I'm working on these days, my goal is to take a deep breath and begin with joy. And yes, I know there actually isn't much red here! The colors were deeper when wet, but dried to a softer pinkish hue--but hopefully the passion of red remains."

Jenjen Furer, creator of Gotta Love Mom, created this exceptional piece.

I love red. It symbolizes so many things big and small.
It’s everywhere in my life.
It surrounds me.

The first color I see when I wake up is the color red – the color of my bedroom!
Oh, you should have seen the different shades of red that we painted on our walls to determine which red is better than the other red. At one point, it looked kind of scary and cheesy!

Red can mean love and at the same time it can mean rage!
Red reminds me of beauty of nature and at the same time red can be symbol of a busy metropolitan.
Red is such an intense emotion of passion.
Red can be so powerful.

I live in a suburb of New Jersey. My husband and I love to zen-walk around the park or the reservation.
I love the little touches of red in the vast greenery.
I smile seeing the bumble bees kissing the red buds.
(My husband, Brooklyn born and raised, can’t get far enough from the bugs!)

Have you ever been to New York?
Have you seen Times Square lately?
I love being in Manhattan. Red is just everywhere – the clothes, the signs, the buildings!
My 8yo and I visit the city every time he has to go for an audition.
I just love the colors of the city – and red is just so striking in New York!
Any time spent with my kid is just full of giggles, skittles and tickles!

And lastly I want you to look at this picture. What do you see?
Can you see the red dot? Was that the first thing that you noticed?
Can you see the olive green border? Was that the second thing that you noticed?
Did you think of the white background at all?

Don’t people do the same thing in looking at their lives?
Sometimes people focus on that one spot – that one flaw in their lives that they forget to see the whole picture.
As I’m currently going through some tough times, I have to remind myself that my life is one big white canvas. Sometimes there is that one thing that might get me out of focused or out of “zen”. I just have to remember that as a whole, I am still blessed and fortunate.
The olive border represents my faith and the love of families and friends that keep me together intact and help contain that one red spot!

Hi there, I am the creator behind Doodlestar, a shop that's now going through a transition.

This week, I spent time thinking about red which led to thoughts about passion, heart, and following one's dreams. I have been on the most amazing journey however, I realized that I have not been fully following my dreams. I love journals. At last count, I had 22 completed ones. In my travels and explorations this week, it dawned on me that I want to make more journals for folks and thus, this was born. I had made one early on in the TST and then got sidetracked. Thankfully, I've found my way back :)

This journal is meant to inspire creation. The words on the front are a reminder that we are creative beings that need to play. Whatever it is that you want to create, be true to your heart and do it. Without you and your creations, the world is not half as bright as it could be.

Inside the journal there are writing prompts such as, "When was the last time you took a step toward your dream? What step do you want to take right now?" as well as a special little surprise.

Here are the words on the cover:

Write It
Paint It
Bead It
Sew It
Sing It
Dance It
Compose It
Mold It
Take a Photo of It

Be True to Your Heart
Be True to Your Art

The World Needs More of You
Create, Create, Create!

Are you filled with a fiery passion to create?? Me too!

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


TheClayMuse said...

Love love love all the red!
I saw the theme for this week just the other day when I was thinking of how I hadn't clayed in a while (knitting up a storm) so i looked in my scrap clay basket and there was red, I made two lil cuties but didn't get to photograph them till this morning I did upload the pics to flickr if anyone wants to peak!

Thanks to everyone who keeps the sweet treat going, Natasha and all the other artists who play here, thanks you from the bottom of my artsy heart! You all inspire me!

K said...

Wow! Everything is so awesome =D It was really interesting to see the reduction process of the cane that Janie created - I've been wondering how they do it and had to laugh at the simplicity! I'm so ticked at my camera right now that I was definitely needing a good laugh at myself to break up the ice, so thanks! :)

lifeartdesigns said...

I love the theme this week. What wonderful eye candy! Natasha, love the journal. Have you thought of making some sketch book journals for artists?

Kittydesigns, what an intriging picture. I couldn't stop looking at it and I could feel movement and hesitation.

Ruthie, that's a wonderful bracelet!

Susan, very pretty earrings with a happy bold design. Love how you photographed them on the guitar background!

Kelly, what beautiful photographs you take! I envy your day of going around finding red. You captured it beautifully.

Kris, beautiful ornament. And I love that you made an ornament in June! Yikes, 42 pieces of stained glass by Wednesday???

Amanda, love the watercolor. The colors are very calming to me and scrumptous...and i love what it says!

Jenjen, awesome work. That is the most intense Pansy I have ever seen. Love the photographs you captured. Very good point at the last picture!

Hugs all,

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Gorgeous! I love how different our entries always are, even with a specific theme such as color. It's so fun to see how our individual personalities always end up in our pieces.

Natasha, I'm thrilled that you're creating journals again. Your brand of encouragement and creative cheerleading translates perfectly to journals.

Natasha said...

TheClayMuse - First and foremost, thank you for being here...this comment made my day...I checked out your pieces on Flickr and they are awesome. The dragon and the lil devil are WAY too cute as is that little nest..oh I loved these...loved them! I also loved your first knit hat...that's that you peeking out at us?? That knit bag is way too cute...these are ALL great I'm SOOO glad you shared your have a wonderful artsy heart that I just adore thanks for always being such a positive force here :)

K! How are ya?? Why were you ticked at your camera? I'm so glad you were here to cheer and share...I agree about the reduction process...I had no's awesome as is Lifearts work!

Natasha said...

lifeartdesigns - I LOVED your piece this about eye candy!! It was gorgeous. I actually looked at it before I read what you wrote and I fell in love...the colors and patterd are striking but then to read about the blending of the old and the new and all these bits - well, it made me love it even more...truly great work as always and thank you for showing that reduction process..I was clueless...your always inspires and teaches me...thank you for that

It's really funny you should ask about journal sketch books for artists ...I laid out a plan for one two days ago and started to play late last you think a few prompts in a sketchbook are ok like the writer's one?

Natasha said...

Amanda - your piece brought me tremendous JOY...they always do but this week the colors reminded me of the perfect, warm sunset know those ones where you find you have time to watch the setting sun, you let out a contented sigh and recount all the good things in your day and life? I love the piece...and I like the way it dried I think these colors with the hint of red add the perfect amount of passion...the movement within the piece reminds me of dancing, the passion within dancing...Amanda it's just brilliant work

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

I can't wait for the next challenge, it was so much fun doing this one, and people created such wonderful things.
Now I know why you asked 2 pic- doh' lol ;)
These creations just make me sigh.

Jenjen @GottaLoveMom said...

Kitty, I was admiring your fireworks but then I blinked and saw Alice in Wonderland, striking!

Ruthie, that’s a very “neat” bracelet! I can see teenagers wearing them this summer! Some might want to use them as anklet, too.

Susan, absolutely Bella! (Sookie from Trueblood might want to get one of those earrings, too 

Janie, what a marvelous creation! Recycled clay never looked so yummy! (Licorice candy, anyone?)

Kelly, lovely photos! I just checked the rest of the photos that you posted in your blog and they’re amazing!

Lisianblue, hey!! First of all, it was nice hearing your soothing voice : .. The ornaments are just so heavenly. I feel Christmas will be truly merry this year.

Amanda, such inspiring words. It’s so true that we should always begin with joy.

Natasha, I’m so lucky to have found you! Guess what I’m doing – following my dreams! As I said before, thank you for everything that you are! You truly are a gift!

It'll be a very busy few weeks- kids' graduation, birthdays, anniversary and Williamsburg...

Have a great week, everyone =)

lifeartdesigns said...

Glad y'all liked seeing the reduction process. I always think that if those who don't know about it could see that long skinny snake, it would give them a chuckle.

Natasha, oh yes, I think prompts or even comfort statements would be great!

meherio68 said...

I love red and you, fiery lot are awesome.
So much red!
So many different reds.
So intensely enlightening, again!
Thank you so much for sharing these.

K said...

Natasha - The memory card died. Plus, the photo quality has been getting worse to the point that it's not worth it to just get a new card when I really need a new camera.

lisianblue said...

lololo and for someone who isn't wild about red - I am wild about all these wonderful creations!
Kittiedesigns - What an unusual way of illustrating Alice! I think it's wonderful!!!
Ruthie - that is a neat stitch - great combination!
Susan - it's just amazing what you do with guitar picks!!!
Janie - the cane is wonderful! I've played around with clay - so I really appreciate the work that went into this.
Kelly - flowers - I love flowers! But, I really love the lighthouse - those are something I don't get to see living in the middle of the desert.
Amanda - I think the passion of red remained - I really like the way this turned out and the Begin with Joy message!
Jenjen - it was so nice to talk to you - even tho we spent the whole conversation trying to hear each other! lo
A red pansy! wow - did you alter that or is there really a red pansy?? Only time I've been to NY was when I was child - your wonderful collage of photos makes me want to visit - I will know who to call to show me around if I go! You and Natasha!
and speaking of - Miss Doodlestar - I think creating journals with little sayings and prompts along the way would be a wonderful thing. I really like the saying on here and the candle shape! Super Neat idea!

I still have the drawing for the stained glass piece, with all it's 42 little pieces of glass in it - it may come into creation at some point - when it doesn't have a time limit on it!
Wonderful Creations!!!!

FunkyMonkey Girls said...


Funky Monkey Girl,

Natasha said...

AlpHa Buttonpusher - It is so wonderful to have you here and your creation was simply sensational! I absolutely love the way Alice all of a sudden jumps out at's truly great work. I cannot wait to see what you come up with next!!

Jenjen @GottaLoveMom - loved this piece...the images were was like the greatest commercial for NJ and NY! seriously ALL of the images were alive with color and the last one, the thought you shared was brilliant stayed with the entire piece

lifeartdesigns - ahh comfort statements make me happy...I will show you when I finish this one to see what you think....I like to be positive without being nauseating...I always worry I say too much to feedback is really great

meherio68, meherio68, meherio68 - how are you?? You are deeply missed! What's new? Did you get my email about your award - scroll thruogh the previous posts to see it!! Thanks for sharing and always share such goodness :) Come play whenever you can

K - OH K those are those moments that make me want to slam my head against the wall! I'm so sorry.. our camera died awhile ago and we were going to get it fixed till the told us it would be cheaper to buy a new one! I'm sorry - are there any places around you having sales on cameras? Can you get the memory card out and take it somewhere to get the images off it?

lisianblue - how are you?? I owe you an email...its coming soon my friend! And you better call me and Jenjen when you come to town...oh please come visit soon hehehe your piece was gorgeous ...I love the 7 wild roses and I agree the pics do not do this justice but that first photo captures some of the true beauty quite nicely...and I REALLY want to see that 42 piece creation come to all the time it needs....YAY! Great work

FunkyMonkey Girls - thank you for cheering and celebrating...that was awesome as was the piece you shared with me...I wish everyone could see it!

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

You can post that piece if you would like. I also forget or brainfart so I never get stuff made the in time period or I had already made it. I try not to lie cause it always come back to bite you in your tushie:)

Funky Monkey Girl,

lisianblue said...

lolo Yes Mamm! Not sure that the east coast is on any kind of a travel excursion - heck I have a hard enough time getting out of a 3 mile radius from where I live! But, if I ever do get that way - You will be one of the 1st to know!
Don't worry too much about the e-mail - I just sort of wanted to let you know I'm not just skipping "class"- if I don't make it to the most wonderful blog on the www!
I really like the idea of your journals - shall we see more of them?

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I had a lot of fun looking through and reading all of these! I loved everything, especially the photos, but the Alice in Wonderland piece caught my heart :)

Thank you to everyone who commented on my bracelet :)

Mackin-Art said...

Oh, lovely beautiful RED in so many differnet forms!

My favorites this week are the earrings and the red dot.

Thanks so much to those who commented on my work - it's tough when inspiration won't come.

SalvagedExpression said...

Wonderful creations this week! I've been packing for the move so I wasn't able to finish my creation but I'll be back in a week or so.

K said...

Natasha - I did start out by smacking my head on the wall, but have since resorted to rolling my eyes to avoid severe brain injury ;D I salvaged what I could off it but must have lost nearly 100 pictures since April. Oh well...

Natasha said...

FunkyMonkey Girls - you are awesome for being honest about your submission...I'd love to post a link here do you have that image on Flickr or any photo sharing place?

lisianblue - we will find away to play together someday...that would be great fun to have a giant TST class somewhere....preferably on a beach are so funny about "skippin' class" it and thank give me courage...yes more jounals to come!!!

Rose Works Jewelry - I loved your bracelet...the stitch was phenomenal nd the color was gorgeous...terrific work!!!! So glad you are playing again ;)

Mackin-Art - ok so I wanted to visit your island before but NOW...forget it...I'm there. These photos are stunning you captured such vibrant colors and the lighthouse is magical...for anyone who hasn't seen the photos on Kelly's blog please visit - they are all sensational!

SalvagedExpression - I was going to write to you last night but the little one wasn't having that so I was going to write today...I'm SOO glad you wrote...Salvaged you were deeply missed!!!!! Good luck with packing and moving?? When are you moving?? Sending hugs and luck with the move...can't wait to see you here again! Miss ya - wish we could all help you

K - LOL you just made me laugh so hard....I am an "eye roller" when I get annoyed and my 2 year old just did it this morning's was so bad I could not stop laughing...eye rolling is the way to go

Felicia Kramer said...

Woo-hoo - I just discovered that my sister's city has internet wireless for the mere price of $19.95/mo. I'm so addicted that I happily spent the money just to get access for three days!
I love all the reds this week - they're gorgeous - and I'm sorry I missed contributing to the challenge. See you when I get back home next week.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Hmmm, It is listed in my Esty shop let me see if mom can send it...I can't get into flicker at the day job but I can get into here and Etsy so that is a good thing:) I could post it in my blog on here?

I also painted my kitchen red/yellow in new new house so it is so bright and cheerful:)

Funky Monkey Girl,