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!
Artist Tea Time
Inside the artistic process of Master Beadwork Artist-Jessica Leigh Gokey. Sharing her art, thoughts, and behind the scenes of how Jessica creates her masterpieces.
Grab a cup of tea and venture through Jessica's artistic process.