"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wearable Art


I found a few of my necklaces.  For scale, the larger paintings are about an inch and the smaller ones about a half inch.  I just finished vacuuming the house and mopping the floors and don't feel like running errands yet.  So I dug around in my old jewelry box supplies.  I haven't made any in years.


This lone tree is painted in gouache and I can't remember what the beads were.  The prices depended on the frames, whether or not the materials were in gold or silver and the cost of the beads and pearls and/or semi-precious stones.  The larger the silver chain links, for instance, the more it costs, etc.  I do have one in jade that turned out pretty, but it must be at the farm.  


This still life of white hydrangeas is made with tiger eye beads, but this isn't in real gold.  I only did some earrings in 14k gold as they were pricey, even before the price of gold went up.

Some were even more detailed than these, so you can imagine how one stroke can change the entire painting.  I did enjoy it, but didn't have the right market to sell them.  That, and back then, it was very hard to find frames that weren't outrageous.  I wanted to make some wooden ones, like tiny framed oil paintings, then gild them, but they were much too intensive and the price would have gone up considerably. Today, there are tons of frames to choose from.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

31 comments:

  1. Awe and wonder.
    Love it. Thank you for finding some of your art to share with us.

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    1. So sweet of you Child. I was trying to remember how long ago I did these and it has to be 15 or 20 years ago.

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  2. A nice idea, it is hard to figure what people are looking for in jewelry.

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    1. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE these ! The lone tree is so beautiful.
    Enjoyed reading your thoughts behind these lockets.
    I bought the clear glass lockets and took photos of family and friend dogs and cats and made them as gifts.
    Yours are more labor intensive. People who buy these items don't know how much we as artist put into our work.
    Thank you for posting these, I was hoping you would.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You're welcome Parsnip. I was shocked to remember how long ago I had done them. And, thank you.

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  4. Back in my show days, I knew an artist who painted on porcelain and set the pieces as jewelry. Exquisite.I cannot imagine the motor control required to paint as you did. My artist friend was from my home town and exhibited along the east coast, from Maryland to Florida. I generally saw her in Maryland, New Jersey, the Carolinas. It was an interesting life, different. We made a living, but I couldn't imagine the life with small children.

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    1. That was my dilemma too Joanne. I had my children so spaced out, I had at least one living at home for 32 years. Can't do many shows out in the boon docks running kids here and there. I have seen pretty porcelain necklaces made from old broken transfer ware.

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    2. I've seen those, too. They were OK, but the painted pieces interested me more.

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  5. These are wonderful. I can't imagine painting anything that tiny and detailed. I particularly like the hydrangeas.
    Have a great Sunday, Donna.

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    1. Thank you Sandra. I really needed a magnifier, and in fact, I'm going to get new glasses next Friday. Hope your weekend has been a good one too.

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    2. Even with a magnifier that would be a tough job. You must have had to use thin brushes.
      We'd love to see more of your paintings.
      The weekend was good. Hope yours was.

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  6. Oh, these are simply charming! I'm throwing on my magical Mary Jane sand and trying to shrink to the size of Sniffles to look at them. It's like if Versailles were a dollhouse---these would line the walls.

    I cannot get my brain into such wee mode to see how you even THINK such small images, let alone draw a line around them---and such delicate strokes. I imagine brushes twined of mouse-fur and a toothpick mahl.

    My goodness---I'm so shrunken wee I won't be able to reach the counter to make lunch!! These are absolutely exquisite, and my admiration for your talents grows---leaps and bounds and bushels. You don't seem a quiet person, but until you're practically extorted, you're certainly modest about your gifts.

    Now, for the next few months of posts---MORE, MORE of your lovely handiwork to last til your garden grows.
    r

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    1. Oh Rachel, you are a trooper. Thank you. Each painting was different; tiny birds nests with eggs, a candlelit tableau, tiny cowboy boots with turquoise. I wish I could remember all the beads I used. At one time, I had it written down somewhere.

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  7. I love the bouquet in the vase..:) they are all nice..but even the beads I love..how long is it?Did you paint it?
    I would love to see more of your things..lol Max is IN love w/ OJ Beckham JR..(football) and now headphones..so his mom sent me an IG photo and said can you copy this? LOL..LOLOLOL..I have tried..I hope Max doesn't see ALL the errors..he's a bit of a perfectionist so maybe..I will try and try again.

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    1. I loved the beads and pearls too. Though the tiger eye beads don't show up, they are beautiful. Yes, I painted each picture. I think the tourmaline beads were pretty. I made them pretty long as the older one gets, the less you want the focus on the neck area. It is really easier to paint from a photo then real life and the instructors caution against using photos; consider it a bad habit. They should tell Vermeer that and the other great painters whom used camera obscura to paint their masterpieces. Kind of the same thing.

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  8. Oh my Donna these are just incredible...such tiny work and so beautiful. Just can't believe there was no market for these treasures. Maybe you need to give them another try. They are just too lovely to stay hidden away. Take care and have a great day. Hugs!

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    1. Sweet Deb, so kind of you to say. I did sell some, but out here on the farm there wasn't a very big market. I do have more I'll show you. I came home to the farm for a few days, so I'll find them.

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  9. Those are super cool. I'm getting a Magritte vibe a bit looking at them. (And I love Magritte, btw.) Thank you for posting.

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  10. Wow - those are beautiful!! I would think that doing a painting that small would be much more difficult than a larger painting.

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    1. It is true. Large paintings are easier to do than small ones, though they do take longer. Thank you dear Ry.

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  11. These are beautiful and very artistic.

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    1. I had fun doing them Michelle. Thank you.

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  12. Donna, So glad you found them, they are really great! I knew they would be. I like the tree the best, but all are lovely.

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    1. Thank you Jeri. Found a few more at the farm to show.

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  13. These are amazing! Thank you for sharing. Would love to see more! Now that frames are plentiful, might you be starting up again??! Happy week to you!

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    1. I'd love to Kirsten, but as each was different and can't be reproduced, I just don't know where I'd sell them. I've sold at shows, wholesale to stores and in a museum gift shop. That would probably be a good place, but it galls me to sell wholesale. Thank you Kirsten and hope your weekend was good. Love to hear from you.

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