Gaudy by Neola

The Art of Stretching in Life and in Art

Maybe its my short attention span, but I find that in art I often need to learn something new in order to stay enthused about even my first love, which is beading.

Not long ago I took an acrylic painting class. My coy fish looked more like a moree eel ready to attack when I finished, but I had so much fun and made a few new friends and I can always paint something by numbers over the canvas later. This year I also treated myself to a new rather costly loom.

Having completed several beaded pieces on the loom, I decided to take up a challenge from the Mirrix Loom folks to work on a mixed media piece. And so I plunged in. No classes available here for that and so I began reading, watching YouTube videos and digging through my studio supplies. I sweated, tore out, swore, and in the end was delighted with my piece, which was even mentioned in a blog done by Mirrix looms about the challenge.  See

And now I am working on needle point Christmas stockings for two new members of the family, having done socks for everyone else years ago. I had forgotten how peaceful and pleasing needle point work is.

And so I have been reflecting on how my life in art has always expanded. Sometimes in complete failure, sometimes in great success, but always in search of something new to add to the choices I have when I go into my studio. They say art imitates life, but maybe life imitates art.

I have a need to stretch myself in both arenas. To learn, to discover, to fail or accomplish something different. Stretching is what keeps me coming back to my greatest loves, my family, my friends and my beads with renewed energy and appreciation.

I think I have more to offer having challenged myself to something just outside the pages of my book.

So as I write the story of me, I have a stack of things I hope to try before I leave planet earth.

Anyone for guitar lessons?

Neola Bye-Beza

I have always been attracted to all things natural and earthy. As a bead artist living here in the southwest desert I am surrounded by wonderful lapidary folks giving me access to unusual cuts of jasper and agates that lend themselves to the unique "one of a kind' beaded jewelry I design. Working with natural stones and seed beads which I embroider onto leather or suede using my own original designs with native stitches and techniques I sew or loom each piece individually.


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