This week Sally's prompt has a seasonal twist to it. She asked us to focus on: saints, souls, skulls or scares. And while sugar skulls are most popular this time of year, I've been playing around with another type of skull: Southwestern style. In my opinion, no one does it quite like Georgia O'Keeffe.
Georgia traveled from NY to northern New Mexico in 1929, and she talked about her love of the area saying “When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.”
Georgia was a photographer and a painter and you can see the influence of advanced photography (of the time) in her paintings. Her imagery is both crisp and surreal. She painted the subtle nuances of color, shape and light on her subject, in more than 900 paintings during her lifetime.
I'm showing several images of my necklace to explain some of the things I'm learning as I use my new camera. The main reason I wanted the camera was to be able to get better close ups of my jewelry, and I also wanted to play with the focus so I could blur out the background as you see in this picture (left). I hung the necklace in a tree to create the green background. I have been trying all kinds of surfaces to get a completely white background. This is so that you can take the background out of the picture and have only the image of the jewelry. We typically use a white background for Bead Chat Magazine. I tried a blank white canvas, cotton, cheesecloth, even fresh white sand ... and most of these surfaces produce a bluish hue? You see this in the first picture (top left). For some reason the watercolor paper absorbs the light instead of deflecting it and gives the warm hue you see in the second picture (top right).
As for my necklace, Georgia was my inspiration. I wanted to get that stark Southwestern feel in my focal. I used a custom cut wood focal made by Edi Royer of Memories for Life along with some small wood feathers that I've had her make me before. A bit of simple tone on tone beading (the large rounds are howlite) to create the headdress on my skull. You'll see this featured next week in the November issue of Bead Chat Magazine. I'm just giving you a sneak preview and some learnings on photographing. There is a big announcement next week, so be sure to look for it over at Creative Bead Chat!