Monday, April 30, 2007

Darkling Close Ups

Today I am presenting some close up photos illustrating the versatility of the new Darkling Medallions…

Black Darklings on Black for the Goth at heart:



Albino Darklings for an Asian Accent:



Lovely Lavender Darklings for a more feminine look:



And for a better concept of what a Darkling Medallion would look like *on*; check out these three examples with their bead accents:



So what do you think? Are you bold and brave enough to wear a Darkling? Well, get ready because I will be presenting the Exalted Beauty Darkling Medallion collection catalog tomorrow! :)

Thank You Lori Greenberg!

Lori Greenberg is an amazing, marvelous, astounding glass artist! This woman truly is *defying the ordinary*!

Check out her work:
BLOG

WEBSITE
BEAD ARTS ARTIST PROFILE


You will be SO glad you did! Her work is unique and bold and beautiful, delicious and delightful! :)
And *holy crap* she likes my work!
Read her very nice post about ME.

Thank you so much Lori! I am both humbled and truly honored! Thank you!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Serving Fresh Baked Darklings!

Here is an overview of my new Darkling Medallion collection fresh from the oven:



Here is a closer view:



Uh, so I guess I went a little crazy with this collection? Somehow I ended up making 100 Darklings! Oh My. I was so completely captivated by the design possibilities and variations of the beetle form that I just couldn’t seem to stop making them!

I am not sure if you can tell from the *fresh from the oven* photos above, but I did not end up sticking to the Darkling beetle example shown on Monday. Instead, the medallions evolved into a whole new family of creatures that *could be* part of the extensive Darkling family (or at least they are in my imagination). Overall, my goal was to create a decorative, sculptural depiction of a meaningful symbol, while still capturing the essential aspects of the living creature that I respect and admire. I feel like I have accomplished this, but now, looking at them from a fresh perspective, I am afraid they may have turned out to be a bit too *creepy* for my regular customer base. Sorry ladies! Sometimes I just have to follow that muse!


In the future, it might help if I remind myself that just because *I* would wear something, it doesn’t mean that everyone else would. Oh well. My concept of beauty is often invested in meaning as well as appearance. Besides, I kind of like the fact that these medallions will stop people in their tracks. Maybe you will too? I’ll let you decide when you get a better look. I will post some close ups of the Darkling Medallions soon.

Come back – if you dare! :)

Jewelry Crafts Magazine!

Hey everyone! Guess what? An Exalted Beauty Medallion is featured in Jewelry Crafts magazine! The May/June issue!

My fabulous friend Cyndi (from Bead Arts) wrote an amazing article that explained how to use an Exalted Beauty Medallion in your own jewelry project!
Cool huh? I was going to wait a while before I hit you with another swank, but then I thought that some of you might actually be interested in seeing the magazine for yourselves (so of course you would need to know about it sooner then later)! It is out in the stores already. Go check it out!


To learn more and see photos check out Cyndi’s post!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Symbolic Beetle Painting

In observance of the beetle theme this week, I have decided to present another one of my *Old Works* from 1997 (which of course features beetles).

This piece is untitled, so for now we will refer to it as the Symbolic Beetle Painting (circa 1997):



Detail:



Medium: Acrylic paint on canvas board.

This painting illustrates of the use of beetle symbolism, representing the cycle of life. If you remember reading my
BEAUTIFUL DEATH post back in January, then you know I am deeply intrigued with the life cycle. What others may find as dark, creepy or disturbing, I often see as *interesting*. What you see, is all in how you look at it. :)

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting some Darklings tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Speaking of Ancient Egypt...

Today I am presenting another work in progress flashback: The Exalted Beauty Antique Gold Medallion Collection. This collection ended up having an Ancient Egyptian flare so I think it *works* with this week's beetle theme.

Here are the Antique Gold Medallions fresh from the oven:



And here they are carved, painted and curing:



If you would like a closer look at the finished pieces in this collection, check out the
Exalted Beauty Antique Gold Medallion Catalog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Beetles As Religious Symbols

Beetles have been worn as symbolic religious pendants since the Paleolithic Era. They have played a part in humanities collective unconscious since time was first recorded through the art of adornment. Beetle pendants began as sacred icons symbolizing the magical powers of the Shamans. In many shamanic societies, there are series of myths relating the creation of world to beetles, giving the insect the status of a god/goddess. The beetle continued to have a place of importance in early Buddhism and Taoism and reached the height of popularity and cultural worth in Ancient Egypt with its dominant status as god icon and symbol for birth, life, death and rebirth. To this day, it is said that Egyptian and Sudanese women believe that the dried and powdered beetles, ingested in water, act as conception charms.

Here are some beautiful examples of Ancient Egyptian Scarab pendants:




Throughout history the beetle has been a symbolic image of great esteem, held in the highest regard. It has symbolized many powerful things, most significantly renewal and regeneration. In contemporary times the beetle icon is often associated with enlightenment, an *awakening* and the unconscious. That’s a pretty intriguing and amazing symbol, don’t you think?

More information about Beetles As Religious Symbols can be found HERE.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Darkling Beetles

After completing the Night Garden painting series I began to get a lot of requests for more dragonfly and butterfly medallions. So my *plan* was to create a new collection of pretty insects, however, as I flipped through my animal books for inspiration I became extremely intrigued with the idea of focusing on a creature a lot less *glamorous*, the Darkling Beetle. I realize the Darkling Beetle is not a particularly distinctive or showy insect, or even celebrated like the Lady Bug or Scarab Beetles are, but they are a creature I feel connected to. The Darklings (or a beetle that looks like the one shown below) are something I became VERY familiar with while building the 315 foot stone wall and stepping stone path in my wildflower meadow. There was at least one Darkling Beetle to be found under every rock I picked up! Eeeeks! Okay, so I’m a bit ashamed to admit that for a while, every time they made their appearance, it set my primitive instincts into gear making my heart race. But interest and fascination quickly overcame those fears and I grew to enjoy them as I watched them comically meander off in a sleepy stupor to search for new dark places. I grew to appreciate them. Who could resist a being that causes you fear, admiration for its beauty and humors you with it’s physical comedy?

Check out this photo of my latest fascination:



If you would like some buggy inspiration – check out this site.There are lots of amazing macrophotos of beetles from different families.
Mother Nature is a fabulous designer don’t you think?

Beautiful, intriguing, inspirational. I certainly felt inspired!
These say *medallions* to me! :)
What do you think of an Exalted Beauty Darkling Medallion Collection?
Well get ready because it is on its way!

Polymer Clay Notes!

Guess what? I was featured on Polymer Clay Notes recently!
Please check it out!

A great big thank you to Susan Lomuto for the wonderful post! I was extremely honored to have my work included as *inspiration*. Susan's efforts to inspire artists to new levels of creativity and imagination are truly remarkable!

As most of you know, I am a HUGE fan of Polymer Clay Notes. Susan is a true research Diva. You will be blown away by the level and diversity of the art that she presents. I promise you.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Floraspheres

You may have guessed from the title Florasphere, that I combined the two themes presented on the blog this week; Floral Medallions and Spheres! I decided to make bright, bold, chunky flowers with those pretty sparkly glass marbles as the centers. Not really a big surprise huh? Well those amazing new clay colors were just begging to become flora and I needed a place to put my fascinating spheres so the Florasphere collection was conceived. Brilliant huh? :)

Here is a sneak peek of the new Exalted Beauty Florasphere Medallion collection fresh from the oven:



You know what’s great? The 60’s Flower Power style is becoming hugely popular again. Perfect timing huh? It’s nice when my random obsessions happen upon current fashion trends. :)

To complete the Florasphere medallions I followed a similar staining process to the Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions and completed the flowers with a high metallic finish. I really like how the new Florasphere pieces turned out and I’m especially happy with how the marbles reflect the central color of the clay settings.


If you would like to see the finished results, then stop back here tomorrow, I plan to release the Exalted Beauty Florasphere Medallion Collection catalog in the morning!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Circle Symbols and Iconography

The Marbles had me thinking about my connection to circles and spheres so I decided to share a little about the meaning and intentionality of the circle symbols and iconography in my work. The circle is the most common and universal signs, found in all cultures. The circle has a fascinating history of feminine symbolism and you may have noticed that it is predominately featured in many of my paintings.

A recent example would be the full moon featured in my Night Garden painting series.

Some additional examples of the circle or spheres used in my paintings are shown in some earlier work below:


Awakening
By
Amy E. Fraser


Enlightenment
By
Amy E. Fraser


Prognosticator
By
Amy E. Fraser

You can see where I used the circle (or disk) as the primary compositional structure in these three pieces. (This disk like structure first appeared in my painting with creation of the
Four Elements)

“The circle is perhaps the purest, most profound and the most common symbol in existence. With the probably infinite billions of stars, planets, moons and galaxies full of the same, the circle is well represented in the physical universe in the form of spheres. A circle, having no beginning or end, represents infinity, eternity, wholeness and femininity. Other meaningfully significant symbols or objects are circular: Stonehenge, Ouroboros, the Wheel of Life, a halo around the head of a saint, etc.”

The Circle is “An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and female power. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans, it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the "world serpent" forming a circle as it eats its own tail.” The Spiral (also featured prominently in my work) is an extension of the circle. The Spiral is: “Ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe.”

In Dissecting the Western Woman Artist: An Artist Dialog, Chapter 10 Menstrual Blood, A Woman’s Ancient Magic I wrote this about the circle symbol: “It is believed that these symbols that transcend meaning or a precise definition are part of the residue of our 'collective unconscious'. When these images appear in art, poetry, fiction, or mythology, critics are reluctant to associate them with that most fundamental of female attributes, the menstrual cycle.”

Bet you didn’t think a couple of marbles would lead to so much philosophizing?
Come back tomorrow and I will show you what I did with my very meaningful glass spheres.

Inspired By Marbles

I came across a tin of clear glass marbles while digging around the studio the other day. I’m not sure when, where or why I bought these marbles, but there they were. For some reason I was completely intrigued and inspired. I attempted to capture their simple beauty by taking some photos:







There is definitely something magical about these glittering orbs. They look like drops of water that have captured the sun’s warmth or conversely like cool light frozen in winter’s icy cold? Maybe I’m just confused by this bizarre spring we are having here in New England? But then again, if you recall my recent
Womb Sculpture post you may already suspect that I have a long running fascination for clear spheres. Whatever the case, these marbles definitely call to me.
Are you inspired? :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Floral Medallions (WIP Flashback)

I had a recent request to see the before and after photos from an early collection (pre-blog). Well, I just happen to have some! So today's post is a Work In Progress Flashback of the Floral Medallion Collection (for lack of a better title/explaination).

Here they are fresh from the oven (please excuse the glare from the kitchen counter):



You’ll notice these medallions are all white. I painted this set.

Here are the acrylic glazes I mixed to match a spring catalog page I was inspired by:



Here is the completed set of Floral Medallions glazed and varnished:



And finally a close up of one of the finished pieces:



Click HERE to see the Exalted Beauty Floral Medallion Collection catalog.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bead Arts Interview!

Check out the Artist Profile that my friend Cyndi posted about me on her Bead Arts blog!

Click here to see the Artist Profile: BEAD ARTS


It’s probably more then anyone should ever know about me and the medallions!
Go on, click on over there, you know you want to! : )

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Exalted Beauty Fish Collection Is Here!



Click HERE to see the Exalted Beauty Fish Medallion Catalog!

Fishy Finery!

The Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions are what all the cool cats will be wearing this season!

Check out the Fabulous Lady J in her Fishy Finery:



Is it just me or does that fish look scared?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fish Medallions!

So are you ready for the Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions?

Here they are!

This is the complete collection of 42 Fish fresh from the oven:



And here they are stained, highlighted and then quadruple coated in metallic varnish:



And this is what they look like with the backs completed:



I am so pleased with how these Fish Medallions turned out! I absolutely love the clay color and I am thrilled with how the stains enhanced the sculptural aspects. The Fish were so much fun to make! I think the enjoyment I experienced making them is truly reflected in each piece. These definitely qualify as fun and funky! I have a feeling that the Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions will appeal to a very select group of bold and adventurous fashion divas. :)

The Exalted Beauty Fish Medallion catalog will be ready for release tomorrow. Stop back here in the morning because I'm letting Exalted Beauty blog readers have first dibs! :)

Fish Painting Circa 1996

For some reason you are still requesting to see more *old work* so today I’m presenting a painting that was so terrible I never even bothered to name it! But I happened across it in the basement while looking for something completely different so I thought why not? It must be fate.

Here it is, Fish Painting circa 1996:



If you can’t tell I’m wincing over this reveal but I thought it was a good illustration/example of my long time dedication to/belief in feminist fish symbolism and iconography. :)


Okay then, lets move on to the Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions in the next post!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fish Symbols and Iconography

Symbol: Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.

Iconography: A set of specified or traditional symbolic forms associated with the subject or theme of a stylized work of art.

Apparently some of you have guessed from Friday’s post that I have decided to make a collection of Fish Medallions.
Why fish you ask?
Fish have historically been strong and aesthetically pleasing icons of femininity and are worthy and powerful symbols of many aspects of womanhood.


Look at this beautiful textile with fish from Antinoë, Egypt, ca. 3rd. c. A.D. (Paris: Louvre):



The fish symbol has its roots in pagan fertility awareness and sexuality. It is often considered to be a symbol of the vulva of Isis. Well before Christianity, the fish symbol was known as "the Great Mother". Fish iconography has long been linked to fertility, birth, feminine sexuality as well as the natural force of women. Along with being a generative and reproductive spirit in mythology, the fish also has been identified in certain cultures with reincarnation and the life force. Throughout history, fish imagery and symbolism have been used for inspiring and empowering women and for expressing and communicating these beliefs of our worth and value. The primary goal of both my painting and jewelry has always been to create meaningful work for and about women that celebrates their inner and outer beauty.

That is why I was inspired to create an entire collection of Exalted Beauty Fish Medallions!

Come back tomorrow, I’ll have Medallion photos! :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Next Medallion Collection Concept!

What do these three paintings have in common?


Hatchery
By
Amy E. Fraser


Once Upon A Dream…
By
Amy E. Fraser


Hushed Carriage
By
Amy E. Fraser

I’ll give you a hint…
Whatever it is, it is going to be the focus of my next Exalted Beauty Medallion Collection!
Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Clay Colors!

Today I am presenting the fabulous new designer clay colors that I just mixed to match my beads. I am so happy with how they turned out! They are absolutely delicious! Below is a photo of the raw mixed clay (squashed into rectangles onto some paper) with the complementing beads in a chart format:



This is the list of the colors shown on the chart above (from left to right, top to bottom):

Sky Light, Cream Pearl, Sunlight, Mango,
Nectar, Cappuccino, Coral Rose, Smoked Salmon,
Pale Apricot, Bubble Gum, Petal Pink, Lipstick Red,
Sea Spray, Golden Olive, Lime, Spruce Green,
Pale Wedge, Pale Purple Haze, Lilac Luster, Imperial Plum,
Sky Light, Peacock, Princess Blue, Pacific Blue,
Cola, Coffee Bean

These are the gorgeous shades that will be used to create the next Exalted Beauty Medallion collection!

This polymer clay has been specially mixed with my *secret* formula creating gorgeous sparkly luminescent color. The clay is shown here in its raw form so the colors are not an exact representation of the clay’s final color. Once the clay is fired it will become much more luminous and better able to capture the light and color of its surrounding environment. The final finishing stage of quadruple coating the medallions with industrial strength varnish will also do a lot to enhance the color’s depth and shine. I can’t wait to get started!
:)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Exalted Beauty Bead Shop!

No I’m not really opening a bead shop. But due to your numerous requests to see what I beads have in stock I thought I would post a quick picture to show off my bead selection:



Crazy huh? Now you know I wasn’t exaggerating (this table is 6 feet long!). Keep in mind that these are only the *accent beads* for the Exalted Beauty Medallion designs. Please don’t even *think* about requesting a photo of all of the medallions I have in stock! If you really want to see those – check out the Exalted Beauty Medallion catalogs!
:)

Polymer Clay Notes!

Oh My! Check out this completely amazing and inspirational blog called Polymer Clay Notes written by Susan Lomuto Rose.

She writes: "polymer clay notes is a reference tool for both the new enthusiast and the seasoned artist: a muse's muse; a delightful journey through the artistic process. Go ahead, take a peek inside a scribbler's notebook, but be careful it could be habit forming!"

The blog is packed full of beautiful and inspirational imagery. I haven’t had the chance to check it all out yet but I think there are also links to tutorials and other great polymer information. Make sure you have some time to kill before you click on over there – you may get lost in the creative vortex! The blog is truly a work of art!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bead Selection: 2007-2008 Color Trends

It has now become obvious that the clay is calling to me, so as usual, I must follow the muse wherever she leads. It looks like I will be making more Exalted Beauty Medallions while I’m taking a break from the Botanical Bioform concept. I think the change of medium may help me to gain the renewed perspective I am seeking for the new painting subseries.

I am going to move toward this new collection of Exalted Beauty Medallions from the perspective of color. I do not have a theme or concept just yet so this time I think I will take a more *practical* approach and mix my clay color to match my existing accent beads. Brilliant huh? Well, I seriously have enough beads in stock to fill a small bead store so I think that it would be wiser (and more economical) to use what I already have rather then buying new accent beads to match my new clay colors.

I currently have an abundance of beads in all shapes and sizes in the following shades:



Lucky for me these beads just happen to match these color swatches from the Fire Mountain Gems 2007-2008 Color Forecast Guide! Fire Mountain Gems has been studying leading industry color forecasts, pouring over thousands of fashion magazines and viewing runway shows to bring us the hot colors for the upcoming 2007-2008 fashion seasons. So I am going to trust their judgment and use their color predictions as a starting point. I'll let you know what I come up with! :)

New Night Garden Gallery

I put together a gallery page on my site for the Night Garden Paintings.

Here is the link:
Night Garden Painting Gallery

Monday, April 02, 2007

Clay Sale!

So there was a this 50% off sale on polymer clay…



And I went a little crazy and bought another 7 pounds! Oh dear, I already had about 5 pounds of polymer waiting for me here in the studio, but I guess I just can’t resist a sale! I know I said my plan was to take some time off to think about my next Botanical Bioform painting series… but, now the clay is looking at me.
I think I feel a new Exalted Beauty Medallion collection coming on!
Stay tuned!

Exalted Beauty Index Update!

I finally got around to adding pictures to the Exalted Beauty Medallion Index.

Here is the updated version:
Exalted Beauty Medallion Index

Would love to hear what you think?