Thursday, July 25, 2013

Before & After: Georgia Iris


This is week 2 of the Llama Nails 'Inspired By Artists' challenge, and this week we're on Georgia O'Keeffe.

I'll never forget my reaction when I found out what the subtext was of Georgia O'Keeffe's work. There I was, looking at pretty flowers--with odd portions of the flowers accented, admittedly, but still pretty--and then someone told me. I was young, but not so young that I couldn't recognize the content once it was pointed out to me. My jaw dropped, and my response was 'NO way. No WAY.'. I didn't believe it and I stood there staring at the artwork with my mouth open for a length of time that almost certainly made the other patrons very uncomfortable.

Many years have passed and in that time I've moved away from astonishment and mild discomfort to an appreciation of the forms that Georgia O'Keeffe was drawing. I find her art to be a celebration of what it contains, re-examination of beauty, and a reminder that all women are an important, beautiful part of nature (whether she intended it that way or not).

How does one do an 'inspired by' manicure on something like this? I decided to do simple design of watercolor-y lines to celebrate one of her iris.

I started with a base of Julep Simone, a soft lilac with a gentle blue flash; I had a hard time capturing it, but you can see it slightly around where the light reflects off of the polish:

Julep Simone, artificial light

And a bit closer

Next I painted on some soft lines to delineate the folds of the flower. I used Julep Joanna, Sally Hansen Black And Blue, Finger Paints I-Spy-Der and Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Zoya Darcy. Finally, I covered it all in a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust to blur the edges a bit and give it a soft look:

I just love how this came out! The blend of colors give it a watercolor feel even though I did it with polish and didn't use a watercolor technique (I actually tried that, but it came out muddy and didn't look like O'Keeffe would have tolerated anything like it, lol). I think it tells the story of the flower and the subtext in a pretty, soft way that isn't obvious. I can see myself doing a similar design on all four nails just for regular wear.

Thanks for looking, and please check out the other Georgia O'Keeffe inspired manis linked below. Also, I'll be back later today with a summary of the tips readers shared with me in response to my post on how to find deals on polish. :)

Happy Thursday!


  1. This is gorgeous! It turned out so good :)

    1. Thank you so much! I didn't want to try to copy something exactly since I did that last week, but was going for the general feel. :)

  2. Ha, difficult challenge :) I like how it turned out. But I just adore Julep's "Simone"!

    1. It is a very nice polish--perfect Julep formula, great color. :)

  3. Your manicure is definitely more wearable than what I did. :P
    Great challenge i must say, have had so much fun with these. :)

    1. LOL! I think at the end of the day, our subject matter was all the same. :)


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