art, decoration

Study in blue and gold


We travelled to Austria a little while ago to see the Art Nouveau artists Klimt and Sheile it was such a tremendous joy to see the paintings up close.  I was so inspired by Klimt’s use of gold in his paintings that I wanted to create a little homage to his art. I did a few sketches using a gold pen just to get a feel for the design – its at this playful stage that elements and accidents combine.

A study in gold

I love the combination of indigo blue and gold – I had a plain glass serving plate that would make a good base for a Art Nouveau design – and the gold outliners are delightful to work with and more in my price range than gold leaf. The indigo made me think of the sea, and so I wanted circles to form like bubbles bursting forth across one side of the plate while the other contrasted with geometric elements in curvy lines.

bubble shapes

There were circles within the bubbles, as well as eye like features (Klimt uses a lot of Egyptian symbols)
Organic shapes gold on blue

I followed the contours of the lip of the plate, and you can just see my signature on the left of this picture

gold on blue - plate

I love the organic shapes prevalent in Art Nouveau so I incorporated swirls, petals and bean structures alongside triangular shapes. I discovered the gold could also be layered, so that even solid areas had surface decoration. It took approximately a week to decorate the plate and I altered the designs slightly from my original sketch because it was difficult to go into really fine detail.

blue and gold plate susanna di milo

So here is the finished plate – it looks glorious when the sun shines through the glass, I have it sitting on my windowsill – it was great fun to do. I may try to make some glass plates next time so that I can incorporate a little more tone in the back ground; It is something I would like to develop further.