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Nature vs. Art: The Painted Peacock


Nature provides some magnificent color combinations to camouflage prey, to warn a predator or to attract a pollinator or mate. The similarity of some color combinations in my necklaces to those found in nature inspired me to create my Nature vs. Art series. The first such comparison centers on the painted peacock and an aqua, green and yellow-toned necklace paired in a surrealist street scene.

The brick wall was created by photographing a piece of scrapbook paper, digitally manipulating it to be more extensive than the original and modifying the colors to a red-orange shade that sets off the greens, blues, and yellows in the necklace and the peacock. The necklace segment was constructed with Murano glass and freshwater pearls. The paint cans and paint roller and tray were constructed with wire, plastic, wood, acrylic paint and cloth. Additional components include a realistic model of a painted peacock, paper and miniature frames and flooring designed for a dollhouse.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Price: USD 2,500.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 12.5 x 18.25 x 4


Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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