Little did I know that August was Artist Appreciation Month! Hooray to all of us artists who deserve to be recognized for bringing beauty into the world!! This fact was brought to my attention by a gal named Marietta Gregg who is the daughter of Patience Brewster. While I was not familiar with the name (as unique as it is!) when I first heard it, I know her work and as a matter of fact, am pretty sure that I have one of her charming little ornaments! (though I will have to wait until December to see for sure!)
Anyway, Marietta had contacted me to say how much she loved my work, which I so appreciated. She also mentioned because it was Artist Appreciation Month,that she and her mom were asking artists to do a blog post about other artists who inspired them and wanted to know if I wanted to participate. I did want to participate because I wanted to share the work of an artist who has definitely inspired and influenced my work…..but more on that in a bit.
I wanted to say that when I went to Patience Brewster’s site, I spent a very long time there reading the story of how her business has grown….and about her family and the impact that cancer has had on their family, for Patience losing a beloved son and for Marietta, her brother. Having just lost my brother to cancer a few months ago, the story really hit home.
But more than that, I could just tell from the videos that I watched and the stories that I read, that these were good people who worked hard to create a thriving art business. Patience Brewster has a wonderfully whimsical vision that she shares with a world-wide audience and I am happy to share her work here!
So now onto the second part of this post…..sharing with you the artist, Ayala Bar, a jewelry maker from Israel whose work I adore.
Many, many years ago I started seeing Ayala’s work….back then the designs were far simpler but equally beautiful in their beaded glory! Even her models are stunning! I love the Frida Kahlo reference.
I was fortunate enough to teach in Israel a few years ago and actually visited her shop in Tel Aviv, but unfortunately she was not there when I visited. I would have loved to have met her….maybe one day. In Israel, there are many incredible bead/jewelry artists. I love the whole Israeli aesthetic with its attention to detail and color.
So for Artist Appreciation Month, I wanted to share some of Ayala’s work and then show a few pieces of my work so you can see the influence. Though I work in an entirely different medium, her small jeweled pieces inform the look of what I do. Here is an example of a new piece I have been working on (below) and then a rather new piece from Ayala Bar:
I have quite a few examples to share….
In Israel, as in many other cultures the hand (Hamsa) is a very important symbol and is often used in jewelry making. Many of my friends in the Israeli polymer clay guild also make polymer clay hamsas which they hang on their walls as a symbol of protection and to ward off evil spirits, hence the “evil eye” that is often seen incorporated into the hand design.
and here is my version which was inspired by both Ayala Bar and the polymer clay artists I met throughout Israel. (especially Pinki!)
I also see a lot of Indian influence in Ayala’s newer work which incorporates pieces of fabric for a more ethnic look. I have been very inspired by all things Indian for the last few years as well! That love affair started long before I knew who Ayala Bar was, back in the 1980′s when I was doing my hand painted dresses and using Sari borders as trim pieces.
The fact that I was fortunate enough to visit Israel and see much of the work that has inspired me has left a profound influence, even on current work that I am doing now, years later, as seen with these two tin boxes that I finished recently for a class called Journey To Jerusalem.
Lastly, I wanted to share a few of my own jewelry pieces that are a little bit Ayala Bar and a lot Mexican folk art inspired! This first piece is a rather muted palette for Ayala Bar but I wanted to show it here because my jewelry pieces tend to be in just silver and gold tones…but I may want to try some colorful jewelry pieces after doing this post!!!
Thanks for letting me share one of the many artists whom I truly appreciate! Many thanks to Marietta for the inspiration and nudge to do this post.
HAPPY ARTIST APPRECIATION MONTH!