Thursday, July 27, 2006

color palette based on Kandinsky painting in new book by Margie Deeb More Building Blocks ~
Color Theory
For Bead & Other Artists

If you are feeling stuck in a rut with your art, there's nothing like experimenting with colors to make it fun again. Even if you're not feeling stuck, playing with color, challenging yourself with color, can be exhilarating!

Such was the case for me 6 months ago when Margie Deeb asked me if I was interested in contributing any of my beadwork to her new book about color. Would I? You're darn tootin' I would!

One of Margie's ideas for the book is to take various famous paintings, abstract from them a proportional palette of colors (or hues) used by the artist, and create something new using the palette. My first assignment was a painting by Kandinsky (check out this or this). The palette is shown above, but because of copyright arrangements, I'm not allowed to show you the painting (although it will be in Margie's book). It's a little like this one.

Immediately, looking at a picture of Kandinsky's painting, I thought of JAZZ music, especially bluesy jazz. The notion came into my mind to make a bead embroidered pin about how much I love this type of music.

The first step was to gather beads which matched the palette. Kandinsky used a lot of colors, as you can see above ~ probably more than I could work into a "canvas" that would be less than 2 inches square. But it was really fun to go through my stash of seed and accent beads, selecting everything that closely matched the palette.

Once I was ready to start beading, I studied Kandinsky's work one more time, then put it away for the duration of the project. I didn't want to copy Kandinsky. Rather, I set as my goal: to capture the "feeling" of Kandinsky.

What made it most exciting was to work with an assortment of beads that I would not ordinarily choose on my own, and in a broader color range. What made it most challenging was the attempt to "say" something about both Kandinsky and my love of jazz in one tiny creation. Here is the finished work:

I call it All That Jazz, because it reminds me of both the movie and the song. Isn't it lucky that I happened to have these three blown glass jazz instruments? They've been in my stash for about 15 years, and I don't even remember where I got them. All in all, it was a most satisfying experience. So I invited Margie to give me another "assignment," which happily for me, she did. Please come back tomorrow for more.

The working title for Margie's new book is The Beader's Color Palette Book, but that could change as it goes into its final production stages. From what I have seen, it will offer many inspirational color palette ideas, each illustrated with examples made with different beading techniques and varying in complexity. Some of the palette ideas will also include step-by-step instructions for a project, one of which I'll show you in the next post. To get an idea of how Margie writes about color check this out, and be sure to scroll down far enough to get to the colors!


  1. I am SO looking forward to more of this! That last link is broken, though.

    I eventually plan on getting into bead embroidery, but I think these would be inspiring pallettes for bead-weaving, stringing, and stringing that goes beyond just stringing (you know, incorporates other techniquey stuff).

  2. What a FUN piece! The Jazz beads are great!

  3. Those little instruments are perfect. Isn't it wonderful when we suddenly realize why we've been saving something for all those years?

  4. What a great way to explore color! I love your interpretation of the painting... can't wait to see the next installment!

  5. Wow I'm always impressed with how creative people can be. I've seen songs and paintings turned into the most amazing beadwork. I wonder if anyone has done a book? I have an idea for Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway...

  6. The jazz and the beading both come from the heart...and that's what your exquisite little piece looks like to me....
    Thanks so much for sharing this, Robin!

  7. To all ~ This is sooooo much fun! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    To Sarebear ~ Sorry about that last link... I fixed it and it works now.

    To Deb & Barbara ~ Yup! They were perfect. And, not only is it great to realize why we've been saving something, but also to give ourselves a pat on the back for being able to FIND it!

    To Marty ~ Thanks... I hope I'll have time to do another one this evening... if not, check back the next day.

    To Mandy ~ What a fabulous idea!!!! Do it!!!! I challenge you to start right now... and when you're finished, I'd love to post the story and picture on my blog.

    To Alison ~ Thanks, dear heart!

  8. I just noticed those little musical instruments. I could use some like that in my bead stash:)


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!