Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inspired by Picasso

Picasso’s surrealist period is one of my favorites, especially for his use of faces, mirrored images and circles.  The repeats of colors form unexpected patterns that create a complex but almost neutral background.  Picasso’s artwork has a sense of fun, even in the darker pieces.  Picasso saw himself as a medium for the patterns and symbolism in his work.  Rather than create direct conscious representations, Picasso sought to reveal the unconscious.  The man-made object becomes abstract.

This necklace, an entrant in the October Etsy Beadweavers challenge “Inspired by Picasso”, is loosely based on Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” (, one of my favorite paintings.  I chose to highlight the circles and primary colors in the painting, using bright cabs of orange and green mixed with spiral patterned buttons.  I kept the bead embroidery consistent throughout the piece, creating the illusion of consistency.  The cabochons mirror each other, but just like in Picasso’s work the pattern isn’t an exact replica.  To illustrate the stripes and boxes of color, I finished the piece in a strongly patterned edging, with pops of peacock daggers for a bit of unexpected play.  The center piece, a fabulously expressive focal (from Yvonne Irwin of My Elements) grounds the necklace and adds a touch of familiarity, much like the faces in Picasso’s work.  I love to add faces to my work as they are so open to interpretation.  Is this face happy or sad?  Contemplative or goofy?  To add a sense of movement, I added a vibrant swirled lampwork bead to the neckpiece, accented by cobalt blue Czech glass and orange mother of pearl beads.  I also backed the necklace with a funky animal print ultra suede, in honor of Picasso’s enjoyment of the unexpected.  Necklace is 17” in length, 7 inches across.

You can see more pictures of this piece on Etsy.  Just type in justbrez or EBWC.  or the address is:

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