melissa earley Home | Beadwork | Paintings | About
love the fragmented but orderly look of ancient mosaics, the
flat planes and graphics of the German Expressionists, and the shockingly
bright colors of the Fauves. Iím also moved by the otherworldly architecture of Gaudi and the rich golds
and colorful, jumbled patterns of Klimt. Bead weaving offers a way to merge all
these loves into my own conglomeration. Woven together, these tiny little
bits of glass (about 245 per square inch) take on a new meaning, a
new perception, as they form a larger whole.
Each new piece is a lesson in color theory. As every artist knows, colors change when placed next to other colors, and when you take into account the mercurial effect of the light that will pass through the glass, finding the right combinations can be quite challenging. Something that looks like a deep forest green in low light suddenly becomes a medium teal blue when viewed in bright light. The exercise is rigorous. Even once the pattern is finished and the colors are chosen, the bead paintings take weeks or months to complete. But the process is cathartic and rejuvenating, and as the image starts to take shape I often find myself beading far into the early morning hours, only stopping when I begin to get sloppy.
Despite the arduous process, I continue bead weaving because the results are always a surprise and because it satisfies my dual tendencies for both order and chaos. I get to be spontaneous and expressive with paint and brush first, then meticulously construct the bead pattern to resemble the painting. Emotion and logic, anarchy and organization, madness and reasonóitís the best of all possible worlds.
© melissa earley