The inspiration for April 2017 ABS is Matamoe or Landscape with Peacocks by Paul Gauguin. My entry is titled the Firebird Necklace and is inspired by the colors, forms, textures of the painting and Gauguin’s outlining technique. Read more about the (painting) here. As there are three parts to how this necklace evolved I would like to offer insight on each of them.
If you google Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin, you would come to know that he was a post impressionist painter known for his bold use of colour and form. But even as you wonder why his work is unlike any other impressionist artist’s work, the second link would introduce him as a Fauvist. When you read more about him you are left wondering if he was a primitivist, an expressionist and a symbolist too? I think that when it comes to Gauguin only “all of the above” makes sense. He was influenced by Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Pissaro and borrowed liberally from them. But he notoriously set himself apart from them with his retrogressive form of modernism and focussed on reconstructing imagery that was pure.
He used a lot of idiosyncratic iconography to depict his life in Tahiti (in his works). Though Gauguin is known for his use of solid blocks of colors, there is a lot of movement in his paintings. They invite us to “read” the image in a philosophical level. Though his paintings are said to contain “stylised imagery and figures” I feel that the forms are very much real – with their curves intact. One of the techniques that sets him apart from his other impressionist counterparts is the use of outlines. Where others tried to blend boundaries, he tried to separate. In this particular painting, thin blue lines are visible around the tree and on the man trying to chop it.
I first came across the mythical Firebird in the chronicles of Prince Ivan of Russia. As a child, it was one of the most precious and exotic books that I had with beautiful Russian art. I must have read it 100’s of times before passing it on to my nephews as the book originally belonged to their mother (my cousin). I have been fixated on it ever since, wanting to creating atleast one piece of Firebird jewelry. Hence, this seemed a good opportunity like any other.
There is no Firebird in this painting; just a peacock and a pea hen. However I have made peacocks before and it wasn’t very exciting for me to repeat myself. So I picked a few elements from the painting – color, texture, and form, Blobs of red, red orange, and orange are my base and I added accents of green, vivid blue and an opalescent white. Heather’s bead trials for this inspiration reminded me that I had similar floral glass bead in my stash which I added later to the necklace. I included the textures of the trees and those on the peahen to the Firebird’s body and plumes. The stark use of outlines (though golden in color here) is an acknowledgement of Gauguin’s outlines – particularly his Zincographs.
Art of the Matter
While writing this post I came across a blurb about a book called “Firebird by Helaine Mario”. The heroine Dr. Alexandra Marik, in one of the chapters, talks about her love for nature and how art is an important part of her life. I found the following dialogues directly in line with what I feel about art and this necklace.
“I Love big swaths of color, light and shadows. Movement…
… Painters find their place – Van Gogh had Arles, Gauguin Tahiti, George O’Keefe needed the deserts of New Mexico…
… Everywhere I look , I see a painting….. Art is Art; Everything else, is well everything else.”
True Alexandra, there is nothing compared to art and the making of art. I thoroughly enjoyed making this necklace even though it was quite labourious. I experimented with textures (cross hatching) and inks to add a subtle sheen. I used long loops and interspersed copper beads with glass rounds. Here is the result with a lot of movement, rhythm, and color. How do you like it?
April ABS – Details
Inspiration – Matamoe by Paul Gauguin
Title – Firebird Necklace
Component + Necklace Designer – Divya N
Art component – Handmade Textured copper Firebird with flame patina, Inks, and resin tints
Necklace description – Asymmetrical double strand looped bead and chain necklace with Firebird focal
I am glad that I got to see two of Gauguin’s paintings – Ia Orana Maria and The Siesta at the Met Museum. If wish I had studied Gauguin at college so I could paid more attention to the paintings. Nevertheless, I am thankful that I got to research and learn more about his work through this challenge.
Impressionism is all about what you feel rather than what you just see. I am curious to know, what you do feel about this painting and more importantly my design? Tell me in the comments.
PS: Necklace is available for sale – email/msg me to buy
I hope you found it interesting