Beaded American Bulldogs Love Peterbilt Trucks

Finally, I can get back to working on my current bead painting – my beaded semi truck! I had mostly finished beading all of the parts for my truck, so the next step was to create a passenger – a beaded American Bulldog!

bead embroidery white American Bulldog art beaded painting etsy seed beads

Inspired by my friend’s Bulldog named Diezel, I cut out a small piece of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I layered a few pieces of felt on top of the stiff stuff to add dimension. Then, I stitched tiny size 15 seed beads to the felt. The finished piece measures 2 x 2.5cm. After I finished beading Diezel, I stitched him to the inside of my beaded truck.. I also stitched lights to the top of the cab. These are Swarovski crystal rhinestones which I glued to eye pins – an experiment which seems to have worked well! How does it look? 😀

beaded semi truck peterbilt bead embroidery art painting american bulldog etsy artist

For awhile, I was debating on whether this piece should stand alone or not, but my gut feeling tells me it should be part of a larger painting. So, the other day, I  dug out a 20″ x 24″ canvas and spent some time sketching an extended environment for the truck. This sketch is inspired by the original photograph.. Truthfully, I am a little nervous and excited about this one… So…

beaded peterbilt semi truck art sketch on canvas etsy bead embroidery painting

In the meantime, Diezel has also inspired me to make a pair of Bulldog earrings. These are the same size as the bulldog in the truck. The measure 27mm x 23mm. They are sterling silver post earrings and they are currently available for sale at my Etsy shop. I really like how they turned out, but I think I will also make a dangly pair to compare:) Please see this listing for more photos & details..

bead embroidered American bulldog beaded sterling silver post earrings
This year, I plan to expand my product line just a bit by creating variations on this idea for other breeds.. one bead at a time!

Now, back to my painting.. :O

Fire Polished Eyes

Until I finish unpacking all of my beads and set up a more permanent work space, I will be concentrating on smaller projects. My latest piece will be a beaded portrait of a friend named Geoff.

Geoff is an optometrist at Central Square Eye Care in Cambridge, MA. He was kind enough to provide me with a bag of used eyeglass lenses to use for beading projects. So, I thought it appropriate to create a beaded portrait of him similar to my self-portrait entitled iMac Insomniac. Several months ago, I took a picture of him, and then worked on the above colored-pencil sketch.

Beaded portrait in progress. Bead embroidery on felt. 8" x 9" (20cm x 23cm).

So far, I am using larger Czech glass beads then I usually do, but I plan to use tiny seed beads for the rest. We’ll see how it turns out! Back to beading! B)

>Incomplete Radio City Sketch


beadwork beaded sketch Radio City Music Hall NYC thelonebeader mixed media painting

Turns out, I’m still working on the sketch for my next beaded painting. Radio City Music Hall. I am working from two different photos I took while I was in New York City last month. Radio City by day and Radio City at night. This drawing is meant to be a merger of the two images, but it’s not quite complete yet. I still need an image of a yellow taxi cab! How do you think it looks so far? 😀

>Color Penciled Marquee


Long time no post! This past week, I’ve been super busy working my union stagehand job every single day. I haven’t had time to bead or blog! But, I have started to work on a new drawing. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I was trying to decide what my next subject should be – either a bead painting of St. Basil’s Cathedral (Moscow, Russia) or a beaded Radio City Music Hall (NYC). Well, since I just went to see Porcupine Tree play there last month.. and it is my favourite theatre in the entire country, I choose Radio City! Here’s a sneak peak of my sketch so far:

radio city music hall art sketch color pencil beaded beadwork bead embroidery
Back to the drawing board! 😉

>Sleepless Self Portrait Sketch


I haven’t had much time for blogging the past few days. I’ve been pretty busy working and preparing for my trip to Russia. I have been doing a little beading. I’ve been working on a couple of small projects that I can’t post on my blog just yet. I have been thinking about what my next big bead painting should be, but I think I’m going to wait until after my vacation to start that… In the meantime, I thought this week would be a great time to start something a little different – a beaded self portrait! 

beaded self portrait mixed media painting thelonebeader beadwork bead embroidery
Study for a beaded self portrait. Coloured pencil. 2010.

The above sketch is based on a photo I took of myself using Photo Booth. I suppose this is how I look while I’m working on my iMac, especially late at night. In case you didn’t know, I am quite the night owl. I love to stay up late either beading or working on my ‘puter, but at the same time, it bothers me because I haven’t been getting much sleep lately. This is probably due to the fact that my ‘day’ job as a stagehand requires me to stay up until 1 or 2am (or later!) and then be back to work at 8am the next day. When I do have a night off, I find it hard to go to sleep at a normal hour. And, if I do try to go to sleep early, I find myself awake 4 hours later, at which point I get up to either check something on my computer or turn on Porcupine Tree music in an attempt to fall back asleep. It seems to be a vicious cycle these days- one that should be documented in tiny glass seed beads! :/

>Canvas Sketch of St. Mark’s Square


Last night, I set up my easel for painting on a 24″ x 36″ stretched canvas. The canvas may seem slightly large but the beadwork I will be stitching to it measures approx. 12″ x 18″ tall. This size should give the beadwork some breathing room. Before I start anything, I wanted to sketch out the image I have had in my mind for the past several months. Sinking St. Mark’s Square

beaded beadwork Save Venice Italy St. Marks Square campanile erosion fiber art Basilica architecture bead embroidery blog relief painting

I am beginning to see why Napoleon referred to Piazza San Marco as ‘the finest drawing room of Europe’… On the left of my beaded St. Mark’s Basilica you will see buildings that look to be drawn in a more traditional sense. The tallest building is St. Mark’s Clocktower. On the other side of my beadwork, to the right of the Campanile, you see a more sparse sketch of the buildings that seem to have once existed. These are the Doge’s Palace, and Procuratie Nuova which houses the Museo Archeologico and Museo Correr. As the flood waters of a beaded Acqua Alta rise, these buildings will slowly sink and my drawings will eventually disappear…  😮

>Sketch of a Sinking St. Mark’s Square


During the past few weeks, I have been working on the concept for my next beaded painting. For me, this is most often a thought process more than anything else. I decided that I want to start creating beaded paintings of some of the places I visit. My next subject will be inspired by this photo I took with my iphone when I was in Venice, Italy last August. Basilica di San Marco & Campanile in St. Mark’s Square

beaded beadwork Venice Italy St. Marks Square campanile erosion Basilica photo photoshop sketch jiri kolar
 Since I returned from Venice, this city has remained in my heart and mind. Perhaps because this photo has been the wallpaper on my phone since the day I took it, and every time I look at it, I am reminded of exactly how fragile the city of Venice is. For those of you who have never visited Venezia, St. Mark’s Square is the lowest point on the island, and therefore floods quite often during Acqua Alta season – sometimes up to a meter of water – and visitors must wear tall boots and/or walk on raised platforms to get around. I am certain that these floods have more of an effect on the city than the eye can see… 
Something about this photo has haunted me. As you can see, the Campanile (bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica) appears to be slightly tilted, and every person I show the photo to comments on this right away. (Some have even mistaken it for the Leaning Tower of Pisa!) The Basilica has been standing since the 11th century, but I read that the Campanile is a reconstruction. It was first completed in the 1500’s, but in 1902 the bell tower did indeed collapse due to a crack in the side of the building. It was then rebuilt over a period of 10 years. Compared to the rest of the city, the tower is almost brand new. I have determined that the tower looks tilted due to the fact that I took the photo with my mobile phone instead of my real camera, but then again, I am not so sure. I can’t help but to think that perhaps my photo is foretelling what may become of these precious landmarks if Piazza San Marco is not saved from the effects of this constant flooding… 

beaded beadwork Venice Italy St. Marks Square campanile erosion Basilica photo photoshop sketch jiri kolar

With that in mind, I opened up Photoshop, and played around with the pic. Inspired by Czech collage artist Jiří Kolář‘s images of Prague, I did a little digital cutting & pasting. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, I created few jagged layers of the Basilica & Campanile. I created what looks like a sinking St. Mark’s Basilica & eroding Campanile. I used this digital image to create the following sketch. This is how my beaded painting will begin…

beaded beadwork Venice Italy St. Marks Square campanile erosion Basilica photo photoshop sketch jiri kolar