The Wood Duck Project.
I literally just got done with the Wood Duck about 15 minutes ago. I am so excited to share this with you all. I dont have alot to say today. I have been up beading since 5:00 am this morning and I just got done aroun 4:30 pm.
I am very pleased and honored to present the Wood Duck.
(I still have the water to finish and his moon crown, but the lovely Wood Duck is actually finished.)
Beads and Time
This week I totally hit my personal deadlines for this piece!!! It has been some long hours, 4 seasons of the show Bones watched, almost a whole box of tea gone and a very sore back.
I have the whole house to myself for a few weeks and decided to buckle down and really take advantage of my time with this piece. I put in so many hours this week and decided to work through the weekend. I am very happy with the progress so far. The beginning of the week is was a bit slow going. This piece is so large and each section seems like such a huge undertaking when I begin. Especially this week. All the layer and color changes with the back feathers was very challenging. Because of how large this piece is, sometimes its difficult to maneuver while beading. My piece is currently on a large frame that's about 26 inches by 24 inches. Its a big fella, and I don't have very long arms. So to be able to reach the back section, beading is sometimes a challenge and can get very awkward. Which is why my back hurts this week (honestly it hurts every week but this week just hurts in different spots because of how I was holding my piece all week).
This week also provided me with a bit more color to work with which always makes things more interesting. Instead of working on the bottom section which was only working with a few colors, I got to work with about 10+ different shades of blues and greens, which is so beautiful to me.
If you were to ever ask me what my favorite color is I wouldn't be able to honestly answer that question. I love all colors, every single color holds beauty to me. For example, I walked by a beautiful tree last weekend, the leaves were a vibrant lime green with hints of yellow throughout. At that moment in time, staring at those beautiful leaves, that color was my favorite color. I truly believe artists see the world from a completely different perspective than non-artists. I sometimes wish others can see the world as I do. It so hard to describe.... I have heard the saying "that artists live in their world", and yes that is somewhat true. I can stare at a leaf for long time. I am studying the veins and how they run throughout the leaf. The shape, the color palette, how the light reflects off it, how it smells and feels. I will literally study the leaf and be amazed how nature can create such a beautiful thing. This is how I view the world. So much color and beauty. It can be truly amazing.
Enough about me, lets look at my progress for the week!!! I am pleased to present the Progression of The Wood Duck Project.
Hard at Work.
I am very proud to present the updated progress on the Wood Duck Project. To be completely honest, I averaged about 9 hours a day of beadwork on this piece. Lets just say my back is killing me!! It has been well worth it. From the previous post I have had to work on different sections not completely in order. I have had to lay foundation lines/outlines for some sections to be able to start another. Due to the many layers, depth, and color palette of this project this piece is really testing my skill and patience. There were a couple sections of difficulty with this project. I had to tear apart the black and white section of the piece twice already, but endured on and I am very pleased with the direction this project is going.
On a personal note, I was struggling with the wing feather color scheme last week. It was hindering my ability to concentrate on my work fully. I was getting very distracted because I couldn't finalize the exact colors I wanted to use for the section. I tend to get fixated on issues with my projects especially if I haven't cemented down the exacted color scheme. Anyways, my husband called me out of my studio one evening last week to show me a YouTube video he found. The video was of local birds, including a wood duck. And just like that everything fell into place with my project, it was like a light just clicked on in my mind. My husband helped me with my artist block by showing me the video of the wood duck. The universe works in mysterious ways...
Well lets get to it, I am very pleased present the updated progress on the Wood Duck Project. Enjoy and make sure to check back next week for more exclusive photos.
A lot of beads and some time.
The week was very demanding and tedious in regards to The Wood Duck Project. Like I have mentioned before I am using size 13/0 czech seed beads which are very small. The section I was working on was a pretty large section of the chest and and neck of the Wood Duck. I have again studied a lot of images of wood ducks to be able to capture the color gradience in this section. Also because there are many "layers" to my project I had to lay some foundation lines down in order to begin the chest area.
This coming week I will be starting behind schedule because of the Holiday weekend and my son's birthday. I will share the week's progress next weekend, don't worry!
May 22nd, 2021
I wanted to take the time a share some news. When this site launched we made a sale of The Loved One within a couple days. I am please to share that The Loved One is back from the Framer and traveling to its new home! I want to thank you to this special person for their purchase and support.
Check out The Lake Keeper which is available for purchase through this site also. Any inquires please refer to the Contact Page of the site.
Duck Over the Rainbow
Good morning, it's Friday morning and I have finished the first official week of the Wood Duck Project. It has been a heck of a week. I have made some great progress and had to make two more orders for beads.
It's sometimes difficult to judge the amount of beads needed for such a large scale project, especially since the beads I am using on this little fella are so small. I usually use size 11/0 and 12/0 vintage and Czech beads. Recently, due to the amount of details in my previous projects I have had to adapt with smaller beads to be able to show details you cant achieve with the bigger size 11/0 beads.
I have mentioned before that I do a lot of photo studies of the subjects I am beading. This project is a little bit different. Yes, I did do a lot of photo studies to be able to create my Wood Duck Project foundation pattern, but I do about 1 hour a day photo study of wood ducks during this whole week. Why you ask, well wood ducks are incredibly colorful creatures and to bead something so colorful and make it look seamless is somewhat difficult. It's a fine balance of technical skill and artistic interpretation of the subject. The photos I study are of different perspectives of view of the wood duck. I have already laid the foundation pattern for my Woody, but now I am studying the fine details of colors in the wood duck itself. A wood duck has many different colors and depending on the perspective of the observer, the colors will change depending how the light catches the feathers. My Wood Duck Project pattern isn't based off one photo of a wood duck. I have done tons of hours of research to be able to create my foundation which you saw in the previous blog post. Now during this creation process, I do more photo studies to be able to capture the vibrancy of colors in the Wood Duck.
Below you will see my progress for the week. I will be back next week to share more insight and exclusive photos of my Wood Duck Project.
Thank you for visiting me this week and I'll see you all next week. Enjoy your weekend.
The Wood Duck Project
Well here we go, The Wood Duck Project 2021. From here on out, until it's completely done, this project name will just be plain old Wood Duck Project. I don't announce the name of the project until it's all done and ready for the world.
In the past I have done some pretty difficult projects- "The Lake Keeper" which was a loon only known to have two colors, Black and White. Then creating "The Loved One" which is a Cardinal only known for mostly being a Red bird. Trying to capture depth and details with the projects was difficult. It's a balance of color theory and an artist instinct.
Now imagine something for me, taking a walk around a Minnesota lake, beautiful day, clear skies and birds singing all around. You look onto the lake to see so many types of waterfowl (Ducks), Mallards, Canada Geese and then you happen to see a shimmer of green among the bunch. You look closer to see what caught your eye and you see one of the most beautiful ducks you have ever seen. The majestic Drake (male) Wood Duck, with his beautiful green iridescent head and colorful body, this tiny little creature is one of the most beautifully colored birds in all the region.
The Wood Duck has had a profound impact on me. Their beauty is unmatched in our region and I am lucky enough to be able to see these little guys on my weekly hikes. I have been wanting to create a piece to capture their beauty but to be honest it's always intimated me. But I am taking the plunge to create The Wood Duck Project.
I am not going to bore you and explain in detail what goes into creating my patterns for my art. So here is the short version- average of 45 hours of prep work which includes; photo studies, research, drafting, supply acquisition, and most important... a clear mind and love.
Clear Mind and Love? Yes, you read that right. Being a Native American Beadwork Artist I have certain responsibilities to my traditional artform I must uphold. Clear mind.. I don't use any drugs or alcohol nor do I allow it my house around my artwork. Seeds beads ( the types of beads I use) are considered little spirits in themselves in my Ojibwe Culture, so I honor them by keeping a clear mind and spirit in around my art area.
As for Love... when I create a piece of art a part of me goes into that piece. I make sure it's Love and positive "juju" instead of negativity and bad "juju".
So you ready to see what I have created now? I am pleased to unveil The Wood Duck Project 2021
Above is the finalized draft drawn to scale. Below is the final pattern I will beading onto. It's drawn out onto a material called Stitch N Tear. I will be beading directly onto this pattern.
I started beading the Wood Duck Project yesterday. Below is about 7 hours of beading. I am using size 13/0 seed beads for this project. They are incredibly small beads to capture the fine color details a Drake Wood Duck displays in their plumage.
To be continued.... Ill be posting exclusive updates of The Wood Duck Project on my blog and the next update will be in a couple days, so make sure to bookmark this blog and return for updates soon!
The "In-Between Project"
Well everyone I did make some progress on the in-between Star Floral Project. To be honest is was quite difficult picking out my color scheme for a floral interpretation of a star. I wanted all the colors in the rainbow with a contemporary twist. The reasons I went with blue is because blue stars are the hottest burning stars in the sky. I also wanted to include an array of colors also, which is why you will see a very unique color scheme.
So far in this project I have 22 different colors! That's right 22 different colors. The size beads I am using is 11/0 and 13/0. The reason for the variation in size beads is because I can add a lot more different colors in the smaller area. The larger beads just highlight the Floral Pattern itself. Its an art in itself to be able to work with do many different types of colors and find the right balance.
Unfortunately, my "In-Between" is now packed away. Sad, I know... Don't worry everyone it will continue on and you will eventually see the end result. You may have to wait awhile (one of my in-between project's sat for about a year), trust me it will be worth the wait and fun project to continue on in-between my larger projects.
Of course! I almost forgot, the reason why this project is getting packed away is because my next huge project supplies are coming in today. Which means I have a lot of prepping to do so I can begin beading.
Coming soon!! The UN-NAMED PROJECT! I will be writing and posting up to date progression on the next project, so make sure you check back soon.
Star Flower Project
I just finished "The Loved One"! This is what I call my limbo period. Its the end of one project and the waiting game to order a whole new batch of beads for the next huge project. Usually during my limbo period I bide my time with binge watching Netflix and designing future projects. But inspiration hit me hard and became my current project I am currently working on.
This Star Flower Project is a floral interpretation of a star in the night sky.
One of my favorite things in the whole entire world is the beauty of the star-filled sky. I currently live in a city where there is light pollution and about five stars that can be seen on a clear night. I lived in Colorado a couple years, the first night in Vail Colorado, I looked up in the night sky and was brought to tears. The beauty of the night sky from 8,500 ft elevation is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
So I wanted to share my affinity for stars in the night sky through my art.
The Star project was created on 5/07/2021; I began beading on 5/08/2021
This is my progress so far on the project: 5/07-05/10/2021