Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blues III



Free form peyote stitch necklace with lapis lazuli chips, cat's eye beads, mother of pearl, glass, bugle and seed beads 17"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Zagreb, Croatia

I moved to Orlando 17 years ago, and after all these years living here I still have my Eastern European accent. My English improved  quite a bit through the course of the years, although I still make grammatical mistakes.  So very often that when I meet someone new here, they ask me where I'm from. It's hard for them to detect it through my accent, because it's softer than Russian. I tell them that I was born in Croatia. When I came here very few people knew where it is, in spite of the war that was still going on there, and it was all over the news  here. Only in the last few years, since the tourism again is the top force in the Croatian economy, and many cruise liners stop there on their Mediterranean Cruises,  more people actually know where it is, or they've visited the country. Many of them said they'll do it again. I don't blame them, knowing what a beautiful country it is, and what it has to offer.
When we visited my home town Zagreb two years ago, after one long summer walk through the streets of the old part of the city, my oldest daughters, 12 at the time, exclaimed; "I'm jealous of you and daddy growing up here and enjoying your childhood years in this city!"
It's a small country, but packed with diverse natural beauty, delicious gastronomic offers, many preserved ethnic customs and known Croatian hospitality.
Sometimes pictures say more than words, and here is a wonderful video that shows the city where I was born in the winter season (the time of the year I don't miss, being spoiled living in Florida).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nektarina space

My artwork is featured at Nektarina Space web magazine for new thinkers. Nektarina is a non profit organization established to raise funds for knowledge development projects, campaigns, events and ideas that will help people improve their lives and communities. Their main areas of interest are children, women, minorities and environment. http://www.nektarina.info/2010/01/mirjana-cesar-connect-through-art.html

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seven tulips



36x24
Acrylic painted fiber collage on burlap with wood beads.

Memories of my grandma Maria's garden are so vivid and engraved in the deepest drawers in my soul. She lived in the small town Đakovo in the Slavonia region, in the eastern part of Croatia. The town is situated on a not so steep hill, surrounded by flat lands full of fields. On the top of the hill is a St. Peter and St. Paul's Cathedral. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%90akovo
I had spent a good part of my childhood there, and most of my summer breaks.
Both of my grandparents were artisans. My grandfather was a blacksmith making ornamental ironwork.  He had a shop behind the house. It was a very mystical, dark place to me with it's own smells, so many tools, fireplace and huge dusty bellow . When I was really small I was afraid to go in there alone, fearing that there is some kind of monster lurking from a dark corner.
My grandmother is responsible for my immersion into many craft techniques from my early age. Cross stitching was a first thing I was taught, continuing with embroidery, knitting, crocheting, sewing etc. She made custom order pillows with ribbon flowers embroidery. It was in fashion in 60s and 70s, so every house had to had those pillows. She designed her own wall stencils and painted many interiors through the town. On the weekends, she had her tent on the local farmers market selling girls dresses she would sew through the week, along with other stuff she created and fresh cut flowers from her garden.
She had a green thumb. There were so many different types of flowers, and I remember her tall Gladiolus, Tulips, Roses and many more. She would wake up at dawn to water them. Under her hands the flowers were singing an ode to joy. Along with the flowers, grandma would always have a small strawberry patch for me. I would go in the morning to pick up the strawberries for breakfast, listening to the busy bees flying around me and pollinating those serious tall standing Gladiolus and Tulips.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Wedding on the beach V



I made this bracelet last month for a photo shoot with a wedding theme. The bride model was wearing a one of a kind handmade crotchet dress, made by the fashion designer Vaiva. Along with this bracelet, she wore my necklace, and we actually used another necklace as a hear accessory.
It was quite a cold day (well, at least for the Florida winter standards), and I felt guilty  being bundled up and seeing  goosebumps on the model's skin. The photo shoot took place at the  Town of Celebration. With its beautiful scenery, it's a great for photography.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fowl III

14x18

Acrylic painted fiber collage on burlap.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wedding on the beach IV



A necklace made by free form peyote stitch combined with free form bead embroidery.

Beading is a very calming process for me. After a day of painting, running errands, and taking care of my family, beading comes last, usually after dinner. I go back to the studio, to my beading table, turn on the npr radio and next few hours I'm in a different world of tiny beads. I don't like to plan my designs. I have a main idea about the beads or the shape that I want to use, but than I let the beads talk for themselves and take me in the direction that comes naturally, spontaneous. I don't like patterns, therefore free form peyote stitch is a perfect technique for my needs, although it has its own limitations too. I also like that feeling of experimenting and not knowing how the final design will look till the end.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Night and day VI




A wearable art cuff made by incorporating free form peyote stitch with fiber cuff underneath. It is a new addition to my ongoing black and white "Night and day" series.
I like mixing different kinds of beads, and the greater amount of variety the better. There are fresh water pearls, Swarovski beads,mother of pearl chips, glass beads, bugle beads and various glass and seed beads. The fiber part of the cuff is made with felt and fabric. I love the lacy, romantic look of free form peyote.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Burning seeds of passion



Acrylic painted burlap with hand stitched yarn and wood beads

48"H x 34"W

It has been a while since my last post.
Holidays and visits from relatives took me away from the studio. But I'm back. For the last few weeks I was working on my art jewelry mostly, but I painted a few new pieces too.

This one was actually on the back burner for quite a while, since I had a few different ideas about it. In the beginning it looked quite different, more like my other flower fields. I experimented with fabric, yarn and grass stalks on the bottom, but it just didn't click. Consequently, I removed almost all of it, leaving only some yarn sticking out, and at the top wood beads sewn through the burlap. I ended up pouring some thin streaks of acrylic paint over the surface, and than painting new layers of acrylic over it.