A Springtime Challenge

The inspiration painting this month over at Art Bead Scene is this piece by Marianne North entitled ‘Armed Bird’s Nest in Acacia Bush, Chile’ 1870.

Marianne North was a remarkable Victorian artist who, at the age of 40, began travelling the world with her paintbrush recording the flora and fauna she discovered along the way…and 13 years of journeying resulted in 832 brightly coloured paintings of flowers, landscapes, animals and birds.  She travelled unaccompanied and visited areas which were, at that time, virtually unknown to many Europeans.  Wow, what an adventure that must have been!

And what a lovely theme for the beginning of Spring!

I love making bird beads and nests, so when I first saw the painting I pretty much knew straight away what I wanted to make.  The only hurdle for me was the colour scheme…I adore the soft blues, browns and greys and I think they work beautifully together, but it’s no secret that yellow is a colour that I rarely work with.  I’m not too sure why?!  But the yellow flowers are such a big part of the painting that I couldn’t really ignore them or their colour, so it took a while to play around with everything before I was finally happy with the result.  And here’s what I made…

I started off making a bird bead in a soft brown colour, which I then highlighted with some pale grey paint.  Then I made some eggs in pale blue and used copper wire to make a nest.  I raided my stash and found some seed beads in a soft and subtle yellow hue (when and why did I ever buy yellow beads??!) which I used to make a seed bead pom pom to resemble the yellow flower clusters in the painting.  And finally I made a couple of plain beaded beads in a very pale yellow colour.  I teamed all of these with some gorgeous brown/grey wooden beads and threaded it all on some lovely Irish waxed linen cord for a relaxed feel.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and happy that I was able to bring all those colours together…maybe I need to start facing up to my fear of yellow a bit more now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *