I just finished adding the biggest update to my online shop on Etsy since I began this website two years ago. You can now find all of the silver ink drawings from the 100 Days 100 Drawings series; collages; paintings from the Atlas series; one-of-kind sterling silver jewelry; and my brass jewelry cast collection.
I found an old Atlas in a used bookstore this Summer. I decided to use it as a canvas to paint on, because the paper was thick, and the pages could be easily removed from the metal binder.
Projects like this remind me of how free I feel when I work with inexpensive materials and pre-existing elements. It’s the reason I love working with silver: when everything fails, I can always melt what I’m doing and start again. I can also work with whatever wire, sheet metal, or gemstone I have at hand, and let each object give me ideas. A blank canvas tends to paralyze me, but a surface that already has an image and a distinct graphic layout awakens my imagination, and adds an extra layer of interest to each piece.
This is still a work in progress, as there are many pages left in my Atlas, but in the meantime, here are my first paintings. I made them with gouache, and was inspired by what was on each page. I hadn’t wanted to show them to you because I was being too self critical, but I shared them with my dear friend Iris, and she encouraged me to do so.
I hope they inspire you.
Each painting measures 12.20" by 13.77" (31 by 35 cm).
I once bought a large, antique frame in a flea market. It was going to hang in my store with a mirror in it, but it never quite fit, so the frame sat empty above our living room bookshelf. One day, fed up with it getting in our way, I decided to hang the frame on the wall. My partner said, why don't you use the wall as a canvas and paint something? Like what? I asked. Anything you like, he answered. I thought, why not?
I had painted many years ago, but all the painters I knew were intelectual or academic and had great concepts behind their work, and I never saw myself as that kind of person. What I wanted to paint felt more decorative than interesting. So I gave up and started working with clay and then metal. My approach to both mediums was intuitive and physical, which was more in my nature.
This time however, the freedom I felt knowing this was just an empty space on our wall that I could fill anyway I wanted, made me enjoy the process. That was a few weeks ago, and since then all I have wanted to do is paint.
Here are my first attempts. They are simple graphic compositions, very much influenced by the paintings on mud houses made by the women in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and by the work of Joaquin Torres García, an Uruguayan painter whose work stole my heart when I visited his retrospective during my early twenties.
Showing these paintings feels intimidating. I agree with a friend who said it takes courage to be a beginner. It is uncomfortable to not know where I'm going, or if these pieces will ever evolve to become my own, but I have to start somewhere, so accompany me as I take my first steps.
This used to be a pinboard in my studio. If the urge continues, I'll soon be painting our doors.
I've been drawing these shapes for years, but I never knew what they were for. They didn't quite work as jewelry. They seem to have been waiting in notebooks to become part of these paintings.
I am Jennifer Musi, the jewelry artist behind MUSIBATTY, and this is my blog archive.
Here you can find posts from December 2013, to May, 2016.
I will no longer update this site. Please click on the link below to see my recent work.
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I made this blog to share my work with you. I believe in generosity and I want to live in a world where we all inspire each other.
All of my designs and photographs are copyrighted. If you would like to reproduce them in any way, please email me first.