Thursday, March 05, 2009

Art Bead Scene Challenge for March

This month's Art Bead Scene Challenge is inspired by Matisse's painting, Goldfish. You can read more about the challenge here.

I love this painting, it hung on the wall of Marburn Elementary in the hallway across from the drinking fountains. When I lined up for recess with my class every day it was there, above my head. Also on the wall was Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Luetze, but I tried each day to be under the goldfish. Mrs. Safford, my second grade teacher always stood at the head of the line with an extended finger pressed to her lips. I wonder why it was so important to get 26 eight-year-olds so very quiet, only to pour us outside those double doors to run under the flat Ohio sky, but back then I just stared at the goldfish. I stood there for a long time; most second graders aren't all that quiet and her standards were pretty high. I loved looking up at the flat, printed surface with the bright goldfish and the pink, dotted background. I loved tracing the obvious brushstrokes with my eyes, thinking how I could make paint do that myself. Later, much later, as an adult I saw this painting and other Matisse paintings in person and I was stunned at how they were so alive and so deep. The print was colorful, though, and it occupied me quietly during our daily line up. Maybe all those minutes spent staring at that print did something to me, now I think I should pay it a bit of honor and enter the Challenge this month. You can enter, too, you'll win a goodie bag of handmade art beads from talented bead artists.

If I do enter the Challenge, I will be sure to use some of Elaine Ray's new brighter beads. She's bringing them to the trunk show at Ornamentea on March 13th and 14th. I wonder how I can make a necklace that is about both this painting and what it was like to be a caged-up second grader, held in line, daydreaming about swirling paint while waiting to run like crazy to the monkey bars or the swings. That may take some doing.