Monday, July 4, 2011

Art Spark for July...

My husband and I are currently building a deck (a massive deck – a never ending deck).  Trust me when I say building a deck is a rough sport and building it in North Carolina’s, summer heat and humidity is sheer torture.  Fortunately, we have a Water Oak a few feet from the back corner of the new deck extension.  I’ve made mental note of this tree, but never realized how grateful I am that this tree exists until now.  It is the only source of shade on the deck during the hottest hours of the day.  For all the many days we’ve spent measuring, cutting and building in the sun’s rays, this tree has provided relief.  We’ve taken numerous breaks in the shade of this amazing tree and every time we are out there working we thank the Oak.  I even occasionally walk over and touch the trunk, just so it knows I seriously appreciate its presence.
That little tree not only provided me with shade but a renewed sense of nature.  It has reminded me to wake up to my surroundings.  To love and appreciate all that Mother Nature has put before me.  I’ve recently added a new section to my Etsy shop called “for the love of nature”.  Here I’ve put special pieces that have sprouted directly from earth’s soul.  Straight inspiration from that little tree.

And the inspiration continues.  It has flowed directly into this month’s Art Spark challenge.  And this is what I want you to do.  Put down the laptop, phone, turn off the tv or whatever is holding your attention at this very moment.  Well, I guess you have to read the rest before you do that, huh?  Okay, after you’ve finished reading this, do all that, then go outside, stop and take a good look around.  Breathe in the warm air, adjust to the sun’s light and be aware.  Feel the breeze, smell the all the scents radiating from your garden, hear the birds.  Now, take in all those little creations of nature that you normally pass by.  Pick something that makes you say “wow, that’s beautiful, why have I never noticed it?”  In fact, choose several things.  Reach beyond the typically admired items such as butterflies and dragonflies and lilies.  Notice the fly buzzing around your head and thank that fly for reminding you that unlike some, you can hear his buzzing.  Notice those little purple weeds that glisten in the sun.  Notice the un-mowed grass that is tickling your ankles.  Now that you’ve soaked it all in hurry back to your work bench.  Take a second and jot down any ideas, thoughts and images from your journey.  And now – create.  Make a fly bead, create grass from metal, grow a purple weed from resin, or whatever item(s) you brought into your awareness.  This is the challenge – creations inspired by nature.
Here’s the deal.  This blog has 304 followers.  I expect to see 304 plus entries in Flickr.  Okay, so I’m dreaming, but I want everyone to participate.  I know its summertime and everyone’s busy, but you MUST make time for your art and what better time than now.  Spark your Art with some nature inspired loveliness!!  Come on!  Run outside, roll around in the grass, scream a little “woo hoo” and let’s do this thing!
And for all my LMAJ peeps, this challenge is for you too!  I know we can’t win the fun prizes, but if you participate I’ll send you a… uhm…, what would be a great summery prize?  OH!  How about a yummy ice cream sandwich?  I can’t promise its condition once it reaches your doorstep, but I’ll happily send you one.  =) 
You know the rules, but just in case you forgot, let’s do a recap.
1. Take pictures of your creation and upload it to our Flickr account.
 2. Leave a description of your thought process while creating your jewelry or beads/components. We really want everyone to share their creative thinking related to the theme so please make sure that you description is thorough.  It does not necessarily have to be in paragraph form.  Be creative.
 3. Since we are a group promoting “creating handmade with handmade”, your jewelry must consist of at least 75% handmade. This doesn't mean that you have to create everything that goes into your piece. You could use beads/components created by other artists. Please give credit to that artist in your description.
 4. If your submission will be loose beads/components created by you, it may include any medium that you prefer to make those in. These submissions would also require a description of your creative thought process. 
 5. Please only one submission piece per artist. Up to three views of the work are allowed and encouraged.
 6. Have fun and come back often to check out the entries!
 7. Links to our Flickr site can be found on the blog sidebar.
Oh, yeah, I reckon you guys want to know about the prizes.  Well…

Geez, it looks like there is a plethora of goodies.  All the more reason to participate.

Our own beautiful Maryann is throwing in these BEAUTIFUL beads as a prize...  Seriously, that should be incentive enough.
Oh, but there's more.  

These are kindly donated by Melissa at Chinook Jewelry.  They are lovely.
Think that's it?  NO!  You will also win this book.
Are you kidding me???  That's a treasure chest of prizes.  
So...  let me see what you've got.  
Winners announced the last Monday of July.


Alice said...

What a great topic for inspiration!

In my yard most of my flowers have faded away in the heat due to neglect. There are bag worms doing a number on a few of the trees, and horseflies the size of a small car buzzing around my head. The grass is brown and crunchy, and the greenest things seem to be weeds. Across the road the wheat field has already been harvested, leaving the golden stubble.

Hmmmm, now how to get all that into a piece???? I'm gonna give it a whirl!

DArsie Manzella said...

Awesome! Can't wait to get started. Nature is the major spark of my art. I can't wait to see what EVERRYONE contributes! lol. Hooray ART SPARK!

mairedodd said...

one of my favorite places for inspiration - this is perfect... and in my new digs, it abounds... of course, nature is present in any environment, one just has to slow down and pay attention... which is a wonderful secondary benefit of this challenge (perhaps longer lasting even)...

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I've already got my idea ready to go! Great Art Spark Challenge! How fun :o)


stacilouise said...

OK- most of my pieces ARE based on nature somehow or another- but I won't be lazy and post an already made project. I will make something new for this. I can't wait!!!

Kelli said...

YES!!!! "Nature" has been the focus of my jewelry this year. Let the creative juices flow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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