Monday, February 15, 2016

A Kiss From a Rose

Heart of Gold -- watercolor and ink.
I have a love/hate relationship with roses. I have three distinct memories associated with roses. My parents grew roses when I was a kid. I tried to make rose perfume. Well, sort of a rose perfume. I threw scented rose petals into rubbing alcohol and let them steep. What I got was rose-scented rubbing alcohol. Not exactly what I expected. It would have been smarter to steep them in vodka; but, my parents didn’t drink alcohol. Kids...

My second rose-scented memory reminds me of my grandmother. Her house backed up to a working farm that was sprayed with some chemical that smelled like roses. To this day, my grandmother’s house comes back in perfect clarity whenever I smell that roses.

My third memory is rose-scented Turkish candy. I was in a Middle Eastern market one day and stumbled across Turkish candy. Naturally, I had to have some (we were adventurous eaters in my family). I’m sure that they were quite excellent to most people. To me, they reminded me of insecticide and grandma.

So, with all of these negative associations with roses, why am I considering planting roses? Well, I’m thinking of Rugusa roses. They have beautiful flowers with nasty thorns. The beauty is that they don’t get a lot of the nasty diseases normally associated with roses. That means no chemicals needed to grow them. In addition, they produce enormous rose hips loaded with Vitamin C. You can dry them and use them later to make tea. Stuff like that is important on a farm. We are miles from things like doctors and grocery stores. A reasonable amount of self-reliance is required. So, the roses are going in… Somewhere where it will be hard to brush against them.

Sometimes in life, things don’t work out as expected. Ok. They almost never work out as expected. When Seal wrote “A Kiss From a Rose,” he wasn’t happy with it and tossed it aside. Years later, it became a mega hit. When I wrote this post, I was confident that I could get a decent rose painted with watercolors. Nope. Several tries. Not even close. I guess that a single watercolor class doesn’t make you brilliant. Who knew? So, instead, I drew a heart. Enjoy.

Seal -- A Kiss From a Rose
A Kiss From a Rose

Monday, February 1, 2016

Duplicitous Pink

Pink is a duplicitous color. I tend to think of pink paint as being a mixture of white and red. That works unless you are doing traditional watercolors that only allows for the white of the paper. The first thought is that you can get pink from an unsaturated or watered-down red. ummmm... no... If you water down red and apply it lightly over the white paper, what you really get is pale red. That may work for some applications; but, when you paint flowers, you need a saturated pink. Sigh... My hopes for a limited watercolor palette have been foiled again.
Select pink and red Winsor & Newton watercolors.
I picked up Quinacridone Magenta, Rose Madder Genuine, and Opera Rose watercolors to fill out my need for pink. I am taking a watercolor journaling class from Jane Lafazio.  I'm not very far into the course, but I took some time to do some spring flowers -- they're supposed to be cherry blossoms. I guess all of the snow has made me long for spring.
Spring will come.
Pink is one of those colors that looks good on most people. I love pink but I don't tend to wear it. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's from being in a male-dominated career for so long. I don't make a lot of pink jewelry because it doesn't sell well for me. When I do break down and make something pink, it's usually in some bright version like magenta or fuchsia. I'm not much of a pastel person. I have made pink versions of my favorite earring design -- Swarovski cubes like the ones pictured below.

Fuchsia Swarovski crystal cubes.
I even caved and made the trendy Swarovski hearts for a while. They were fun to figure out. The directions I read were pretty confusing. Much easier to just figure them out on my own. That's what I did with the cubes too. Just played with beads until I understood the pattern.
Swarovski puffy heart.
Pink glass is usually very expensive when it's colored with gold salts. I've done some pendants that used pink glass; but, I seldom use it as the sole color. Pink jewelry doesn't seem to sell well for me. This pendant was made with Bullseye glass, Wasser glass, and enamels. Much to my surprise, this pendant sold almost immediately.
And..... sold....
My favorite pink pendant is shown below. I intended the dichroic strip to be somewhat offset. I made it after a rough patch and was feeling a little bit off-center. I thought that my pendant should reflect that.
Feeling a bit off.
One of my favorite color combinations is pink and lime green. Lime green is actually one of my infiltrative colors. Most of my glass somehow ends up with flecks of lime green. It's actually called "Spring Green" when it's manufactured by Bullseye. Colorline Paints (for glass) come in lime green. I haven't bought that shade yet, but I'm sure I will. I'm a sucker for glass. And, yes... I need to have every color that's manufactured...
Pink pendant with infiltrative lime green.