Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly Challenge~Primavera

I put a lot of thought into choosing this week's theme,

The Allegory of Spring


Botticelli's famous painting Primavera 
will be our inspiration this week.

There are nine figures in this mythical painting,

and I researched books and the internet to find what the possible meaning,

or the allegory Botticcelli was trying to convey.

The title Primavera means 'in the Spring'

Starting from the left of the painting we see Mercury,

the messenger of the gods, holding back the clouds

with his caduceus, a symbol of fertility, wisdom and healing.


Next are The Three Graces,

Charm, Beauty and Creativity.

In the center Cupid, the god of love, flies above his mother,

Venus, the goddess of love,gardens and fertility.

The right side of the painting has three figures,

Zephyrus, god of the west wind, 
with Chloris, goddess of flowers.
When Zephyrus took Chloris as hi bride,
she was transformed into Flora, goddess of spring.

The garden itself is amazing, with 500 identifiable plants
and 190 different flowers. 
There are many meanings or stories to be imagined from this masterpiece.
Is cupid blind-folded to show love is blind?
Is Earthly love the link to the spiritual graces?

I am giving you a lot to think about,
and many directions you can choose to explore in this week's challenge.
In the Spring.
Create an Allegory.
Something with a hidden meaning.
Something from your soul.

PS: The rules for the challenge are on the right sidebar.
Inspiration Avenue is looking for new members  Here.
And if you missed meeting our newest member, meet Diane Here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Challenge Results

Gallery of Textures
Everyone stepped up this week and created some fantastic texture!
Take a look below and you will see what I mean!







The entries this week have been fabulous and so unique.
It's been VERY difficult to choose just one to go into our
Red Carpet Showcase

In the end, after much back-and-forth, I chose
Elizabeth's Mixed media piece.
Visit her blog at Altered Book Lover to read about this  piece.

From the first time I saw it, I was so amazed at the materials
she used, and you would not know what they are unless she tells you!
The piece is so cheery, and I love the way the flowers are
popping off the page. Great display of texture, Elizabeth!

Visit the Red Carpet Gallery to see this and our past winners.

Elizabeth, don't forget to grab the
"I was a Showcase Winner" badge
to display on your blog!

One final thing before I go:
In case you have not seen the
for our newest member, Diane,
be sure to scroll down to read about this wonderfully talented lady!
Help us welcome her by leaving a comment and
 visiting her blog and Etsy shops when you get the time!

Hope everyone enjoys the last week of February...
We northerners are usually not sad to see February go!

Stop back Monday for next week's challenge theme!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meet & Greet For Diane Rank

She is a joyful, lovely woman who is multi-talented and I'm thrilled to count her as one of my new artistic friends. She hails from Graniteville Vermont, a lovely state to call home. We're so glad to have a new member in our ranks.

Let me wax poetic about this multi-talented lady. She paints spectacular pieces of art using several mediums like watercolor, soft pastels, ink etc. She also has started making mixed media dimensional pieces and says she loves it but it sure is messy. Here's what she says about how art makes her feel.

"The desire to create comes from within & has always been with me. I love the excitement when watercolors collide on the paper in unexpected ways as well as  the gentle transparencies of the medium.  I love working in soft pastels as it gets my fingers involved & the bold strokes of pure color! I (also) love the strength of lino block printing

Over the years my feelings about art have changed a bit. Before I used to paint what I saw. But I’ve had a change of philosophy about it. I believe art is seen & felt with the heart. I paint what I feel, what moves me about the subject. I use color & exaggerated movement to express emotion.  I guess the best example of this could be seen in my fiddlehead & ferns."

Celebrating FiddleheadsWhimsical Tribal Fern
Didn't I tell you she was talented? I have two favorite pieces of her paintings, I'm coveting them, they're so darn good! Diane naturally has a balance to her work and her artistic eye simplifies her subject enough so that the viewer doesn't get tired from all the detail. She captures her subject by winnowing out the most important information and presenting it artistically. Just Beautiful...

Vermont Birch Autumn LandscapeSassy Sunflower
Here are some more examples of her amazing art:

Nova Scotia
Wait Expectantly
Abstract Landscape
Mystical Cathedral

Diane's Etsy Shop & Blog Buttons
Dianne's Etsy Shop ButtonThe Expressive Palette Blog Button
Amazingly enough, this woman also had a jewelry shop where she produced some beautiful pieces. See??! Multi-talented! She still has some of her pieces left, look at the awesomeness. She writes that although she liked making jewelry, her heart really wanted to paint. So now she's following her heart. I guess this proves that artistic talent will find it's way out of the artist, even if the medium isn't where her true joy lies. Creative talent is in everything an artist touches and Diane Rank is proof of this fact. Here are a few of her jewelry pieces. I'm in love, lol. It makes me wish I weren't the typical "starving artist" because I'd be all over these pieces! (I think my favorite is the turquoise bracelet, although the sterling earrings are amazing too and silver is my goto metal. If I could get away with wearing copper without looking like death warmed over the fern would be my pick. Really beautiful, and with the paintings under glass you get a piece of her art along with jewelry, two in one! Such a deal.)

Fern & FiddleheadFiligree & FernStarry Night Inspired
Periwinkle BraceletSterling Turquoise EarringsDreaming Of Spring
The jewelry shop that she has on Etsy is closing as Diane is concentrating on painting. Her Jewelry Shop is having a closing out sale so I'd rush over and grab a few excellent pieces, then go haunt her new Art Shop. Who wouldn't want some of Diane's creations?
Please join us in officially welcoming Diane to Inspiration Avenue!
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