Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beaded Boombox with a New Friend

This first photo is a picture of Kathy Brannigan. She is an artist from Visionaries and Voices, an art studio in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio that provides a place for adults with disabilities to create and sell their original art.

Kathy is one of many artists who are being paired up with established artists of many mediums who are creating collaborative pieces of art to be auctioned at a gallery fundraiser on April 23. She is holding the finished piece that we made. I took one of her existing drawings, copied it exactly onto some heavy interfacing, then embroidered it with colored seed beads. I worked on it between 45 minutes-3 hours per day for 3 weeks.

This second photos is a picture of me and Kathy, taken about 2 weeks ago during a followup visit. I sat and embroidered the piece while she worked on other art.

Here is the first photo I took of the beading process. The boombox on the left is a photocopy of her original drawing. You can see on the piece on the right that I got about 2 beads on there.

This photo shows where I beaded the main outline. There are also some long waves of white beads on the white interfacing, which is kind of tough to see in this picture. I beaded the entire white background before I was going to start ANY color in the picture itself. I thought it would never end.

Here you can see where I started the red. She wanted the segments to be solid colors. I used small shiny dark red seed beads and shiny bugle beads in a broad horizontal stripe pattern. She was able to be confident that metallic corners would be nice, but I had to move forward on color selection due to some schedule conflicts. I always thought, "What would Kathy want?"

I did a LOT of beading between pictures. In this photo you can see the stripes in the red sections, the metallics in the upper corners, and the green center area and the handle. Notice how the antenna stops at the didn't stop there!

Here is the gold!

And here is the finished piece. I filled in the very round center with metallic silver and grey beads inside a blue-violet square. The antenna popped right out of the top and extended beyond the 6"x6" limit I imposed. It will be professionally framed.

Today (March 10) I dropped it off and was surprised at the small twinge of sadness I felt. It was so great to get to know Kathy during our visits and become intimately familiar with this drawing of hers. While she thanked me over and over for beading it, I had to thank her for drawing it. I plan on visiting her and hopefully doing some more collaborative work with her. Her drawings speak to me, so translating them into beadwork is a cinch.

I really hope to be invited to do this again. With the success of the piece combined with the new friendship with Kathy, I'm sure this won't be the last time! Thank you V+V (Nick, specifically) for inviting me to do this.

If you would like to purchase this piece, attend the Double Vision gala in April and be the highest bidder!