Jul 18, 2013

Art Bead Scene July Color Challenge

"Portrait of Olga in an Armchair" Pablo Picasso, 1917. 

Art Bead Scene is one of my favorite blogs! It is full of beautiful art beads, inspirations, treasuries, resources, challenges, jewelry, and techniques. ABS is a collaborative work written by a creative group of editors/artists. With so much to offer, ABS is a blog you'll want to subscribe to by email so as not to miss any posts. 

One feature especially fun at ABS is the monthly jewelry making challenge based on a color palette.The July Challenge is based on Pablo Picasso's "Portrait of Olga in an Armchair" for inspiration.  Below is The July Monthly Challenge Color Palette created by color expert Brandi Hussey. Using Picasso's painting for inspiration, create jewelry including one or more art beads (and identify the artist) in a colorway or design inspired by this work. Post a photo of your design to the ABS group pool on Flickr with the the words"JULY ABS" in a tag or your title. 

Portrait of Olga in an Armchair by Pablo Picasso. Color Palette by Brandi Hussey.

Based on Brandi Hussey's beautiful colorway for Picasso's oil painting, the azurite cabochon, rich Humblebeads rondelles, Beadcomber flower, silk sari and suede all sing Olga's essence in Picasso's tranquil portrait. I also like how the Picasso Czech rondelles add layers of meaning, adding more touches of olive accents. The brass wire wrapping and brick beadwork, the florals, the Vintaj leaves, the copper triple balled findings, the antique brass ornate bead-caps celebrate the botanicals in the painting, Olga's fan, cascades within her silk dress.

The earrings are made with Amazing Designs by Marlene elegant clay leaves. I love the colors of the beads, the gorgeous leaf shape and beauty of Marlene's work. With the Swarovski crystals, the earrings are simple and elegant.

With almost two weeks of July still to go, will you jump in and take the Art Bead Scene challenge? What will you create? How are you inspired by Picasso's work? What elements of the painting spark your imagination and give you ideas for jewelry design? 

Sponsors for the July challenge are Humblebeads and Ema K Designs. Two lucky winners will be chosen at random to receive a $50 gift certificate to each artist's shop on August 1st. A designer of the week will be chosen by the editors of ABS and featured on the blog. 

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for fundraising for Beads of Courage, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!


  1. As soon as this painting was posted, I printed a copy and picked some beads to get started (the greens and browns used to be my faves so I still have a ton). Unfortunately, I didn't get past that stage yet LOL. I am drawn to the stylized flower and leaf motifs and also the fan, but Olga's skin tone and shadow are compelling as well. So much inspiration! Once I get this weekend's last blog hop finished, I hope to take charge of Ms. Olga!

  2. This has such a fresh look and reminds me of the soft fabric Olga's dress is made from. A beautiful focal too!


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