Thursday, March 13, 2014

Art Bead Scene Blog: March Monthly Challenge

Art Bead Scene Blog: March Monthly Challenge

The Art Bead Scene Blog  writers have chosen for
their challenge the work of a “naïve artist” from Switzerland, Adolf Dietrich. Do
you already know about primitive and naïve art?

I have been a fan of Henri Rousseau, whom I had always considered a primitive
artist, but I had not heard of the naïve art movement.
   Now I
have also met Dietrich who was sometimes called the German Rousseau?
I learn so much from reading the Art Bead Scene’s articles. What
fun it is for me to ponder and hopefully create something inspired by a
particular piece of art each month. Even when I cannot possibly find time to
meet a particular challenge, viewing the other entrants’ pieces is a source of
wonder for me. 
This month the ABS
writers chose Dietrich’s painting titled “Birds on Riser” (paint
on wood).
Initially his painting felt
unbalanced to me, which bothered me a bit.
Naïve art often has this effect on viewers since the artists choose to
ignore “rules” of perspective (reducing details, reducing size, and reducing
the vibrancy of colors to give the illusion of distance on a two-dimensional
I loved the subject of a bird feeder and the birds with detailed
plumes of many colors.  I could
appreciate how his painting seemed to be a visual haiku – a candid snapshot of
a moment in time.  Unfortunately I
continued to be bothered by the lack of perspective and the 
over stimulation of
details in the work.  Even the top seemed
inadvertently or mistakenly cut off like the heads of people in too many family
Finally I came up with a strategy for my own appreciation of the
piece when I decided to focus on the scene inside each pane of glass, one by
one, each as a separate painting.  That
was my breakthrough to know how I would make art beads for a necklace inspired
by Dietrich’s painting. 
 I did some searching online
to learn more about Dietrich, and found that the little garden in this piece actually
existed and exists still.  People
visiting his home town of Berlingen can still enjoy it.
I also found that the little blue gazebo was prominently figured in
several other of this artist’s paintings.

My piece is all about the main ideas I see in Dietrich’s
painting.  I focused on his birds, on the
garden and on the gazebo.  I structured
it with strong themes of squares and frames.
See how I repeated the squares in the choice of chain and dangle at the
closure as well? 
To make the faux cloisonné effect in clay, I used Sage Bray’s method of carving in
wax to make a mold.  After texturing the clay in the wax, I painted and dyed the surface until I was pleased with the colors.
 If you would like to learn how to do this sort of texturing, you can.  The well-written tutorial is in the Winter 2011 issue of  The Polymer Arts Magazine.   Sage Bray's article explains each step involved in her wax-impression technique.  I highly recommend it, and back issues are so reasonably priced.  I feel the need to warn you; I am fairly certain that you will be addicted once you read your first issue.  Even if you are not into polymer, the marketing ideas (how to photograph jewelry, ideas for packaging products, and more) are worth the cost of a subscription.  
After texturing my pieces I like to use metallic paints and guilders paste sometimes before and sometimes after curing.  When I’m finished I seal my creations with Renaissance Wax to keep it shining and colorful for years to come.    


  1. Wow, this in an impressive study of the artist and an unexpected approach to the jewelry piece for the challenge! I learn a lot from these challenges and also try to find out more about the artist but I learned a lot form your post, too. The necklace is gorgeous, the colors are beautiful and the matching chain is a real find!

  2. Поздрави от Индиана Bairozan.
    Благодаря ви за милите думи. I so appreciate your comment. Nice to meet you here on line.