Karen Bandy Studio

Mother Nature, rules, inspiration & collaboration

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What motivates and inspires me as an artist? Someone asked me that the other day. I was pretty quick to answer nature, but it's also about working with my awesome clients. It's about problem solving, creating something that meets their needs, all the while paying attention to the elements of design, balance, symmetry, flow and movement, and nature. Your needs are most important, and my job is to recreate those needs and desires in a three-dimensional piece of art that my clients wear. That challenge motivates me. 

The 50th Anniversary ring!

The 50th Anniversary ring!

A recent ring commission was a fun challenge. The husband came to me to surprise his wife with a 50th Anniversary ring. He wanted to use the marquise diamond that he had given her on their 25th anniversary, and two round diamonds that were in her original wedding ring. He wanted something tasteful, simple and elegant. We decided a symmetrical design would accomplish that. I placed the marquise in the center and put the rounds next to the marquise, and did some preliminary sketches. At that point he brought her into the decision-making process. She picked the design that she liked with the marquise set at an angle, chose white gold instead of yellow, and wanted larger accent diamonds to graduate away from her rounds. I then carved the wax for her to try on and we discussed bead-setting the round diamonds instead of channel-setting for a more up-to-date-look. We followed a lot of design rules but came up with a truly original ring.  

Breaking rules is often okay.

Breaking rules is often okay.

Sometimes nature throws us a curveball, switches up the rules, and that's good too ... see the photo of the Mariposa lilies. There are two, not three blossoms on one stem, and the larger one is higher, while it should be lower from a design perspective (pun intended). If I ever break the rules I try to do it in a way that makes sense, having two elements wrong, like the two lilies, totally blows my mind! But it's good for a laugh and a head shake. Nature wakes us up, and sometimes a little shakeup comes through in my jewelry and paintings. 

How do those lessons translate to painting? Well, it's back to nature, animals, landscapes, and my abstractions of those things. Problem solving, the use of color and the principles of design come into play, the choices an artist makes every day. With painting the process is different, but the same inspiration and motivation to create something beautiful or interesting is there, and I can throw myself all the curve balls that I want, intentional or not. The exception is when I do a painting commission. Then the client's wants and needs are of utmost importance. 

If you're thinking about a jewelry commission or a painting commission please contact me today. And remember I have finished jewelry and paintings ready for you now.