Tag Archives: colored pencils

Sea Urchins have left the Beach to Inspire Art

Inspired by mythology, animals and Ernst Haeckel, Jennifer Maestre has created a beautiful, intricate and somewhat dangerous art design .

This talented artist builds 3-dimensional art with colored pencils. In fact, the South Africa native is internationally known for her creative use of these and other objects like beads, nails, and pins too.

Her color pencil designs are especially captivating because of her unique interpretation of familiar animals and plants seen in nature. She reveals how she builds the sculptures on her website. In short, she uses hundreds of pencils that are cut into 1-inch sections. Then she drills a hole in each piece, making them resemble beads. After sharpening the points she sews them together with a peyote stitch.

While this is all very interesting, there is another element to Jennifer Maestre’s art that is astounding: Her inspiration. In a statement about the sculptures, Maestre notes that the form and function of sea urchins sparked and fueled her idea. She talks about the paradox that exist between the beauty of a colorful sea urchin that invites an individual’s touch and the danger of the sharp points on its shell. With this in mind, she set out to create art with that same tension.

Maestre dose a wonderful job with this because sea urchins are dangerous yet alluring, and have sharp but beautiful shells. In fact, did you know that every ocean has sea urchins? They are known to travel in groups, with other sea urchins and those in the same echinoderm phylum family. This kin has a lot of room to move around ocean waters, considering they travel as low as 13,000 feet below sea level.

Visually speaking, the most catching characteristic of a sea urchin is its spiny shell. An interesting fact about these creatures is the name “Urchin,” which was once a common name for hedgehog. But the sea animal has dull colors and a globular form. This is makes for a clear distinction from the shrew.

In the same fashion, Jennifer Maestre’s pieces are quite different from her original source of inspiration.  Perhaps the reason why this is so, is because, as the artist says in her own words, “I’m inspired by animals, plants, other art, Ernst Haeckel, Odilon Redon, mythology. In fact, it isn’t easy to specify particular sources of inspiration. Sometimes one sculpture will inspire the next, or maybe I’ll make a mistake, and that will send me off in a new direction.”

Get a better view of Jennifer Maestre’s work on her website: www.jennifermaestre.com

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How to Make Your Mistakes Work for You

Every artist knows the feeling of working for hours on a piece, only to make some kind of mistake. Whether it’s spilling paint, making a mark that can’t be erased, or stepping back and realizing that your drawing is out of proportion – we’ve all been there at some point. But when you goof up, does it mean that your artwork is ruined? Not necessarily!

Here are some tips that can help save your artwork after you’ve made a mistake that you can’t undo:

  • Cover over it. This is probably your first impulse, so ask yourself, “Is there a way to cover this mistake?” If you’re painting in acrylics, you can cover over it. But if you’re working in watercolors or colored pencil, covering over mistakes is not an option. In that case…
  • Work the mistake into the composition. Do all you can to make the mistake blend into the artwork, so that it seems like an intentional part of the piece. This may require you to…
  • Embrace the unexpected. Ask yourself, “How can I adjust my original vision for the piece to incorporate this unexpected addition?” You might surprise yourself, as this can produce a very creative approach that you may not have otherwise taken.

Above all, don’t panic. Art is a process of creation, one that requires a balance between control and letting go. By letting go and welcoming whatever happens, you free your creative flow and allow your muses to guide you.

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