Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Restricted Palette

Sketch of "Five of a Kind" Necklace, available in my Etsy store

Last week I designed two more black snap necklaces for my collection on Etsy, and I still have more ideas. 

This led me to think about what in painter’s terms is often referred to as a restricted (or limited) palette; when an artist chooses to limit the colors he/she paints with.  You might be asking, with all the colors available these days, why restrict color?  There are a couple reasons.  The artist might be setting a mood, working in the colors of the old masters, traveling or painting plein aire and cannot carry a full set of paint, or they are challenging themselves to work within limited parameters to push their color knowledge and creativity to a new level. 

My Black Snap Collection is a restricted palette.  I’m only working in black and silver, snaps, jump rings, and the occasional embellishment with a bead or two.  I love working this way, challenging myself to create as many designs as I can with just a few elements.  It is also a relief.  I tend to freeze up and get artist’s block when faced with the endless possibilities of my bead collection.  I’m pushing the materials as far as they will go, which is exhilarating.

Other types of artists use restricted palettes: 

*”Igor Stravinsky used what he called creative limitation with time signatures, by restricting himself from using any, in his composition 'The Rite of Spring' as well as in alternate aspects of his other musical works.” – I found this quote on Wikipedia after looking up “Creative Limitation”.
*In culinary arts, some of the best recipes in the world require nothing but 2-3 quality ingredients.
*In fashion, the most timeless, classic pieces are elegant and simple.  No lace and frou-frou, they enhance the beauty of the human body.

I could go on, but I’m not trying to convince you of anything.  I just like the concept. It tickles my mind.  It’s like asking a child what they want to do with the refrigerator box.  There is no end to the possibilities.  I also apply the idea of creative limitation to my teaching.  The children are given a lesson and parameters to create within.  To say, “do whatever you want” (at least on a regular basis in the art room) would not foster creative thinking and skill development.

The only thing holding me back now (with the Black Snap Collection) is I’ve run out of black snaps and jump rings! 

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“It is by great economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.” - Henri Cartier Bresson
Sketch of "The Centerpiece" Necklace, available in my Etsy shop

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Necklaces on Etsy

Design Number 10

Big news!  22 of my new ceramic “Myco Necklaces” are officially uploaded and for sale in my Etsy shop. 

They are one of a kind drawings inspired by microscopic views of mushrooms, slime molds and lichen.   Each tile is lovingly formed, sanded, fired, and glazed to be confortable on the neck.  They are strung on a black silken cord and secured with a hand-made sterling silver wire clasp.  Check them out and let me know what you think. 

Design Number 20

Design Number 18

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Website Design

It’s finally here, my new and improved art portfolio website, http://www.pamelaheyda.com!  I’ve been putting off reworking it for a long time because I thought it would take weeks to complete.  Not so!  I created the whole thing in less than a week.  

The original design was no longer working with my newer paintings, and it had become hard to navigate. Then earlier this year I updated my computer’s system software and lost the ability to open my website design software.  It was either learn a new program and start from scratch or use a web based portfolio system.  I went with Zenfolio.com because I found it attractive, easy to use, and affordable.  After setting up my website I contacted the kind folks at Domainregistry.com who helped me transfer my domain to Zenfolio.

Please check it out and let me know what you think.  I find the work looks better in the new format.  It is more crisp and clean.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012


This past week has been an adventure in eating adjustments.  I’ve been slowly transitioning myself to a vegan, gluten free, low glycemic diet.  After getting sick on pizza last weekend I decided I could not longer make exceptions to the diet and went 100%.  I hope it helps.  I’ve had increasing digestive problems for about five years now. 

I’m trying not to focus on what I can’t eat, and more on what I can.  Smoothies, salads, rice/quinoa dishes, gluten free baked goods and pasta are some of my choices.  It will take a little getting used to.   I must say that my stomach no longer feels heavy after eating, and I have lost a few pounds.  I can still eat my favorite snack, popcorn (topped with olive oil, nutritional yeast, and spices). 

If you have any recipes or resources for me, please pass them along!  I hope to get back to making art this week.  More to come!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clay Commission

"Crow Dreaming", ceramic with pearls and beads, 8 x 11", 2012
Over a month ago a friend commissioned me to create a clay piece for her atrium.  She needed art that could handle being outside.  Clay is perfect for that.  She told me I could create anything I like as long as it hangs on a wall and is not too large.  The possibilities were endless.  Hundreds of ideas ran through my head.  Finally I settled on an idea that had a personal connection to my friend.  After a couple of sketches I constructed the piece.  I had so much fun!  It was like drawing without a pencil.  This is my first relief sculpture, and certainly not my last.  I enjoy the process of working with clay.  It combines my fine art and crafting skills, 2D and 3D, and is a nice break from painting and jewelry.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Building Slime Mold (on Canvas)

I’ve been playing around with slime mold paintings.  They are like relief paintings, made with Golden brand Acrylic Molding Paste.  Recently I blogged about using cake decorating tools to control the medium.  Here is a photo of me at work, and another finished piece.

Untitled, acrylic and micro beads on canvas, 2 x 3", 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Evolution of a Slime Mold Painting

I thought it would be fun to document the evolution of one of my new paintings.  Unfortunately, I didn’t do such a good job.  After photographing the under painting I got carried away with the work and the photo series makes sudden drastic changes.  I just couldn’t bear to stop and take pictures while I was in the process of creating.  I also have a little fear of immortalizing the work at an unfinished stage.  This painting is tiny, just 2 x 3"!  Here is what I did capture:


Molding Paste with a little color added

Layer of Underpainting


Glitter!  It is finished!