Thursday, January 24, 2013

Jan Art Bead Scene Challenge

Black Peacocks with Japanese Persimmons
Jessie Arms Botke, 1940
Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel
32 x 40 inches
(Please note this art is copyrighted and is to be used only as inspiration.)

About the Art
This is representative of Botke's detailed, intricate style and her signature gold leaf technique, whereby thin sheets of gold are applied to the canvas or panel. Botke specialized in depicting birds such as peacocks, flamingos, geese and pelicans, often against an imaginary landscape or a background of exotic flowers and plants. As in many of her peacock images, the elaborate tail feathers of the black peacock take up a large portion of the canvas. In 1849, Botke wrote about her fascination with birds, “My interest in birds was not sentimental, it was always what sort of pattern they made.”

About the Artist
Born to English parents in Chicago in 1883, Jessie Arms Botke spent much of her free time as a child sketching and painting. At the age of fourteen, she took art classes at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. When she graduated from high school, she enrolled as a full-time student at the Institute. During her summer vacations she participated in intensive painting workshops in Michigan and Maine, which led to her first exhibition at the Art Institute's American Annual in 1904. After school, Botke worked in wall decoration and book illustration and refined her skills as a decorative artist. Inspired by an exhibition of friezes, decorations, and tapestries from Herter Looms of New York, Botke moved there in 1911 and immersed herself in the city's artistic climate. Several years later, she was employed at Herter Looms where she worked on tapestry design, painted panels and friezes, and began to specialize in painting birds. 
In 1914, Jessie Hazel Arms met design artist Cornelius Botke in Chicago, and they married a year later. Together, the Botkes worked as artists in Chicago, San Francisco, and Carmel, CA, and they traveled often to New York City and Europe. They both worked on major art commissions and held their largest joint exhibition in 1942 at the Ebell Club, a conservative club for the advancement of women and culture. When Jessie's eyesight began to fail in 1961, she continued painting small watercolors until surgery and contact lenses restored her vision and she resumed painting full-time. A stroke in 1967 destroyed her ability to paint, and she died four years later at the age of 88.

I had so many ideas when this challenge started, but this is what I came up with. The focal glass bead(s) are made up of two separate artist. The round beautiful swirl bead was made by Allison Turner at White Raven Creations  (" ) and then the really cool  "feathers" were made by Rodney Mace at Fire forged Studio (" ) . I put the wires up through the focal bead, twisted and (with a tap of my magic wand) I had my peacock.  The six large beads are glass with most of the colors from the peacocks tail. They are from Firemountain gems. The rest are  from Firemountain Gems and JoAnn's. It is a heavy necklace, but I have it strung on double wire for strength. And inside the glass beads I have glass tubes for the wire to go through so that the wire won't rub on the glass. 

For more info on the challenge go to

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fun piece. All of the beads are stunning. I love the way you put them all together and abstract and lovely peacock. Gorgeous. I enjoy seeing how everyone creates a unique design from each months inspiration. Looking forward to next month. Happy creating Kimi @