>Our Compliments to Complementary Colors

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Contrasting complementary colors are what liven up our work.  It’s elementary to Club Creative Studio.   It’s natural and second nature to mix our art clays in contrasting colors within our hand-rolled clay beads and within our hand-torched glass beads.   Complementary colors are what brings the eye forward to reveal the “pop” of brilliance when presented together.  Complementary colors are the colors that appear directly opposite one another on the color wheel.  It is found in the dynamic contrast in hues within our art clay color mixing sessions, and glass application choices in our glass beads.

I have taken this visual test and recall sharing this art test of sorts to my art students and it works: stare at a single color for a few minutes and then close your eyes, its complement may appear in your mind as an after image.  It is because the human mind craves the balance that the complementary color provides.  When our art clay colors are being mixed, it is never from a “recipe” of adding  a specific measurement of this color and a specific measurement of this color to end up with said color.  I guess that is where the word natural comes into play to describe my color mixing technique.  I feel that I must have a natural skill to combine colors together in correct proportions to be able to come out with strong color schemes, usually on the first try.  After mixing the color combinations I then begin with the layering of the clays into my workable canes of colors and designs.  The color wheel reference is used from time to time to try different combinations.

Mixing colors with my art clay is a balance of using contrasting colors, determining the amount of each color I want to use and considerations of the values and intensity of each color I want to use in the entire bead design. If I am satisfied with one batch or swatch, I can set it aside to use a pinch of it in other combinations.  By mixing a lighter or darker version I can change the complements.  I am also able to enjoy experimenting with different saturation for intensity changes.

The colors of choice for my hand-torched glass beads are a bit more straight forward since I rely on the initial glass rod color interactions and some of the combinations are beyond my control.  I am in control however, of the color combinations to use together.  When I begin, I keep in mind contrasting color areas for the contrasts I desire by partnering vivid colors with low-intensity tones of their complement.  It is a carefully planned yet  and instinctual calculation of proportioned color schemes combined to liven up and reflect on the color wheel.

If you are stuck for finding inspiration with complementary colors…look toward nature and the colors you will enjoy there in a flower garden.  Notice purple flowers with yellow centers, reds and pink hues against green foliage, and a backdrop of blue sky behind brown and orange tinted rocks or pebbles.

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>Tame Talisman

>A new  year beginning is almost always full of hopes, resolutions, goals and over-all growth.  In line with a new age of self-discovery, finding the powers within ourselves, proclaiming our beliefs, our religion and the growing awareness of the many energies that can be both generated and found in our life and around us- we can all now know that it can  be expressed in an artistic manner.

Adding/owning/giving/wearing something special to your everyday life that is also artistic in nature as well as meaningful to you can become a gift of luck, happiness, wealth, love, prosperity, and protection.  These spiritual elements can be categorized as mysterious symbols in Christian, evil eye, feng shui, gemstone, Hamsa, hearts, horseshoe, Jewish, Kabbalah, peace sign, other religions, zodiac signs, and Solomon seal charms.  Objects are thought of as a charm of sorts.

The word Talisman is a Greek word that means “to initiate into the mysteries”.  The amulet creation or other object is considered to possess supernatural or magical powers.  Whether it is thought of as spiritual, superstitious or simply a creative use of charms is of personal interpretation.   I have photographed and provided two rather tame creations on the variation of the talisman theme.  A random charm necklace with mixed metal loops and hoops made to maybe convey the power of nature.  And the green hand-linked Catholic rosary with a focal hand-rolled clay bead, used for the power of prayer.  Good luck with your creations of gifts that add something special to everyday life with special meanings attached.

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>Remember To Breathe

>It has been a great year of creative growth and there are new ideas in store for the upcoming year.  Creating Art That Sets You Apart continues to be the main focus of Club Creative Studio art.  What is your mantra for the new creative year?

As the creative year of 2010 ends, remember to breathe a sigh of relief.  Do you remember the relief  you felt as you made it through creative road blocks?  Recall the relief you felt when you worked through a specific creative problem. 

                                   Just breathe!

For me, whenever a creative problem arises, my first gut reaction is fear.  I am afraid that the problem may not be able to be solved.  Then, the tables quickly turn to the natural reaction of thinking of the problem as a challenge.  Steps in solving the problem become the next chain of event process.  The problems may be due to technique or individual circumstances dealing with your art.  For example, there may have had a communication breakdown with a customer, or a missed  deadline.  Perhaps you promised too much in producing a custom piece of art or you made a costly miscalculation in material needs.  Have you ever tried a new product or technique and failed at the first attempt to gain the level of success you expected?  Whatever  road block you encountered in your creative endeavor, the adrenaline rush of fear may have halted your speed reaction to solve that problem.  What can you get in the habit of doing to make the alarm sound less blarring? Answer:  Breathe!

You may have heard that “counting to ten” when angry gives you the needed time to refocus your thoughts and actions.  The same can be said of stopping to take a deep breath.  This method can be a useful ( FREE) tool in your creative toolbox.  The shift will guide you from the threat and into the new focus challenge.  Just five to six deep breaths should make a difference.  You will find yourself becoming more creative and more effective.  You will find that your focus will change over from fear and threat of failure to the rush of excitement of getting back in charge of your creative situation.

Remember to breathe…
                                                     
Thich Nhat Hanh has a lovely meditation to use while concentrating on your breathing:  ”Breathing in, I dwell deeply in the present moment; Breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment.”

Make a promise to yourself in this new creative year to see your problems and take the needed pause.  Figure out how to solve or work around your creative road blocking circumstances.  Vow to not get too overwhelmed.  In 2011, I have decided to find other ways to move toward the goals that have intimidating solutions.  I will remember to breathe.  Will you join me?

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>My Most Important Tools Aren’t In A Box

>My most important tools aren’t in a box.  An artist’s toolbox can consist of state-of-the-art equipment but, when the day is done, the reality is that the tools on the workbench need to be time-tested, efficient, and ready to use at any second for any stage of your creative project.

An artist relies on imagination and creativity in the production of their art but, they also need to have a system that is productive to their method and incorporates their skills and special techniques. They have to have the right tools available for a given task.  They don’t have to be high-tech.  They do have to be useful.  They should be proven by you that they have stood the test of time and will always work for you in your situation.

As an artist, you take yourself from idea to reality on a daily basis.  To travel from creative points “A” to “Z” which means that you are aware that many steps are involved in your entire production process.  The steps may include trial and error situations as well.  The important tools that you have to use to make it through your process are the stepping stones to the manufacturing of your artful item.  These tools have to be effective to you or they are rendered useless.  They need to be efficient tools.  They need to be safe, sharp, and they need to do the job easily that you intend for them to do- always.

I don’t have a “tool box” full of equipment accumulated that is kept out of sight in storage.  I do however, have tools “on display” of sorts, that are in immediate sight for me to use.  My most important tools aren’t stuck in a box waiting for me to pull them out for use.  They are readily available on my design tables.  All of the main tools that I need are placed close at hand for use.  I have cute mugs with inspirational quotes on them holding various paint brushes.  I have a few beaded decorated jars that hold items like small clay tools.  I have rotating shelves and containers of items that I need for almost every task.  I also have a few zipper shut travel size tool pouches that hold and organize my hand tools that I need.  Most items in use also have identical “back-ups” for the times when one is misplaced or needs to be replaced due to over-use.  It is always good to keep tabs on the tools that you have and replace them as needed.

Remember, vital instruments need to be close at hand so that they are utilized and found quickly.  Evaluate your tools often for wear and tear for better efficient use of them.  Make sure that you have plenty of tools so that you are never without and have to compromise for the tools that you heavily rely on as “must haves”.  Lastly, don’t just collect tools in a tool box.  Use your most important tools for your most important projects- your daily creative outlets!

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>Terms In My Trade

>I use techniques in my art that are included in a wide range of traditional and contemporary methods, with varying degrees of skill level difficulty.  When I create, I am not tied to a certain method but, I do demonstrate what works best for me during a process.  The most important ingredient needed for any project you do is enthusiasm and patience.  Skill is also essential but, that can be learned. 

A general rule for being dedicated to a project from start to finish would be to first take time to visualize the steps you need to take in order to get to an outcome in the end.  Once you have visualized your goal, you can prepare with research, and then experiment.  I experiment daily especially with design concepts and hand color mixing of my clays. Sometimes the simplest color combinations convey the most complex contrasts, it does not always happen automatically or naturally.

I have many samples, drawings, design boards and memo boards that serve as part of my planning stage.  I feel that I have learned to work confidently because of my past experiences and my own intuitive love and application of color and self assurance of my talents and skills. 

Another aspect of great importance are environmental issues.  How do you tackle concerns and bi-products of making your artful item or incorporating it into your method of creation? Are you able to find products and materials that are biodegradable, or low-waste items?  Some of my freely available tools are multipurpose.  Reusing old spray bottles for spritzing water, recycled spice containers for storage, a few thrift store knitting needles or other unique items for clay working tools,  broken common household kitchen items for textured effects are just a few that I have to mention in my studio.

Realize that everyone has a different style in taste and a different creative style.  Allow yourself to appreciate the basic concept of imagination. Your personal interpretation will flow in as part of that creative process. Have fun creating!

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