The hardest thing I have to do as an artist is coming up with new designs and color ways. I use my Pinterest page to tag all kinds of beautiful things that I see during my hours of surfing the web. A weekElspeth rocks 2 or so ago someone posted a picture on Facebook of the painted rocks that artist Elspeth McLean creates. She is an Australian artist who is currently living in Canada. The vivid colors and dot designs really spoke to me. I tagged the post knowing that someday that image would be helpful. But it stayed in my mind for days. I went to her website and just sat back and took in the colors and designs. I knew that I just had to do something with what I was seeing.

I picked one image that I really liked a lot. I blended colors to replicate the vividness of her painting. I love blending colors. Figuring out recipes is fuElspeth rockn for me. I seem to have a knack for figuring out what colors are needed to create a certain shade. I don’t have any art training but I did work for a catalog company as a merchandiser in my previous life. I had to check the first print runs to make sure colors were true to the actual product. I learned a lot about correcting colors from the people who were in charge of making the necessary changes. I think that has been a great help for me as an artist. But I digress…

…I mixed up all the colors and used my PCE extruder to spit out the snakes of color to be wrapped by black or other colors. (More on that part in a later post.) I had a lot of the chosen colors left over and decided to play with some extruded canes. Some call them Klimt or Retro canes. Almost every clayer does these at some point in their journey with polymer. They are so easy to do and can create canes that look very complex. The key is to make sure there is good contrast in the colors that you select. I wanted to test how arranging the colors in different combinations would effect the outcome.

20150416_170130For the first test I arranged the colors in a rainbow with the pink in the middle. Each color family is separated with black and white layers for heavy contrast. And that’s what I got. Good separation of colors with a nice mix of black and white .


For test number two I doubled up the colors and separated them with black and white again. I thought this line up would give me more tone on tone circles…but it didn’t. Still, I like the result but has a bit more green than I had hoped for.

test2a test2b

For test numero tres I decided to get rid of the black and white to see if I could get the tone on tone look of the painted rock.  And I did get some of that, but not as much as I hoped. However, that’s OK with me. I like how it looks anyway.


Next challenge is to decide what to make with them…..

Here’s some more links to Elspeth McLean’s wonderful work:!gallery/c203e

AND some links to some sites to help with color inspiration:


I have worked with polymer clay for over 18 years. My work has been featured in books and magazines. I have won national and international awards for my pieces. I sell my work at local Fine Craft Shows, in a few Vermont Galleries, Breweries & Home Brew Shops in several states, and on Etsy. I love polymer clay as a medium because it can be used in so many ways.I love experimenting with its properties and the various ways it can be used to create all types of artful and functional pieces.


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