Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Amazing What a Little Determination Will Do

Last night I entered my studio, thoughts bouncing around inside of my head. Where to start? What theme to work on? My thoughts were too chaotic and scattered. I knew it wasn't a good time to start on anything, so I walked out, closed the door, and had a small glass of wine (Funky Llama Merlot), watched a little TV, and had dinner. After that, I re-entered the studio and everything started to flow! Yeah!

First I cut the glass for color variation for the Asp-Zen plate. This time with my favorite, Adventurine Green background. The aspen leaves and 'trunk' were a yellow and orange combination; I thought a great compliment to the green. The orange I discovered lurking in my fusible glass stash had a nice variation of yellow and orange mixed together. Can't wait to see how that looks after it's fused.

Satisfied with that, I moved on to another variation for The Little Tree Collection. Again, using that beautiful green glass as the base. Tonight I can fuse the Asp-Zen plate, and I will work on another plate that will be part of the Little Tree Collection.

I know what I want to do next for a vase too, so I think I'll have time to get that one ready.

Right now I'm doing the preliminary work for the fusing process and I can move on to the slumping phase over the weekends when I have the time to monitor the fall of the glass while slumping. I've very excited about this creative direction and the energy that is coming with it.

It's just amazing what a little determination will do to jump start things.........

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Growth....Stretching The Creative Mind

It's been an interesting, informative day. Thanks to the insight of an art professional, I'm learning more about how to grow the business aspect of my art. Constructive feedback is a wonderful thing and it opens insight into things I probably knew deep down in my sub-conscious.

Presentation is vitally important. As is developing the work one does.

I'm embarking on another period of growth. Expanding what I do, having common, recognizable patterns that will convey positive recognition and hopefully desire for my work.

I realize, recognize things I MUST do to stretch my creativity. I've done that in the past, but today I start on yet another path toward my goal. It is a wonderful thing. Embrace it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Collecting My Thoughts

I just got back from a ride. It's a beautiful morning in Colorado, perfect for a bike ride. No wind, the coolness of the morning air keeps me from feeling over heated on the ride. Dan is my coach and so supportive of the progress I've made on the bike this summer. While I haven't built up to his level and that will take a while, I have made progress. Even better, I road yesterday morning too and felt up to a little longer ride this morning.

So, while I ride, it's a great time for me to collect my thoughts. Yesterday's event at Second Street was wonderful. Several of my friends stopped by and I had some delightful conversations with them and others that visited the gallery. I feel so blessed that I'm in my first gallery. And I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be represented by other galleries in other states.

One of my current goals is to find a gallery in Santa Fe that will represent my work. It's a goal that I hope to achieve in the next two years. I've done some web research and this week I found the santa fean magazine....with one of the articles "Why Glass Art is Hot". Words can't describe some of the beautiful glass works featured in this magazine, that are represented in the Santa Fe art community. My goal to be one of those artists is a worthy one and daunting at the same time. If we're honest with ourselves, we are our own worst critics and my goal/desire to become part of that Santa Fe art culture is a bit of a double edged sword for me. In order to become better at what you do, associate with those who are. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to start with a gallery like Second Street Art Market, because they are a class act and to be one of their artists is wonderful. Heather has found such great talent for her gallery, and to think I'm one of those artist, well wow is an understatement. And the talented artists I have the privilege to know and receive guidance from are always looking for ways to improve their work, as incredible as that may sound. Reading about the greats like Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams, you find they were not satisfied with their work! Unbelievable.

I feel I'm on the right path. And I feel like I am being guided on this path. One day at a time. Strive to be better, work to achieve excellence, never settle. Yep, I'm collecting my thoughts alright. Blessings to all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Featured Artist Today at Second Street Art Market

Another Saturday afternoon at Second Street Art Market where I will be the featured artist. This is part of the gallery's Art, Wine, and Music series during the summer. It gives the public a chance to meet an artist and discuss their work. And an added bonus is that the gallery's wine bar is officially open.

It's a little overcast this morning as I write this, but that's ok. No matter the weather it will be a beautiful day, filled with fun and opportunities to meet new people and discuss art.

As a side note, I'm starting over and fusing a new blank for my Little Tree Series, which will become a vase. The slump for the piece will take place tomorrow and this time I'm planning on success!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Glass Artist to the Rescue!

Well, the title of this post is admittedly more than a little tongue and check.

Yesterday afternoon, after I got home from my day job, there was a message from the gallery. They needed another small pendant, as a very petite woman bought my only small pendant and she wanted another. The 'urgency' was that she would be leaving the area on Thursday and I needed to get another to the gallery by today.

So with tools and wire in hand, I spent about an hour or so, wrapping two more small pendants. My wonderful husband took photos of the finished work (a must for my records) and with a fresh inventory list in hand, and our youngest basset as my side kick, we headed to the gallery. They were very pleased with my quick response and I can only hope that this ever so petite woman returned to purchase one of the two I took there.

Although this was the first request for one of my smaller pendants....most are larger, it was suggested that I have a few more small ones in the gallery. So I have been wrapping some more of my smaller pieces and will have them there in another day or two.

So, given my quirky sense of humor, I felt like I was a Glass Artist to the Rescue last night..... Great fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Asp-Zen Necklace....Twigs

Success! The Asp-Zen Necklace is complete and I'm happy with the results. Let's hope it passes the jury process. I'm thinking I will call this one Twigs.

Almost There

I normally don't sketch my wire wraps. However, I've been having some trouble for the Asp-Zen jewelry piece (part of my Aspen Grove Series).

I deliberately made a shape that I normally don't work with, so it would stand out and be unique. Course, that poses a problem in how to wire wrap it. Sunday, my initial wrap for this failed and just looked like a jumbled mess.

Happy to report that last night's work on a new wrap for this piece started to take shape. And part of the reason for this impending success, I think, was I did a small sketch yesterday. While the almost finished work doesn't look anything like my sketch, it generated enough thought for me to come up with what I created last night. Finishing touches need to happen and I plan on posting a picture of the completed piece. It will be the third of the three entries I'm allowed for the Estes Park show. Now I hope these pieces will pass the jury process and become part of that event in September.

I'm almost there....................

Monday, July 21, 2008

Basset Supervision

I jokingly think my work is done under the careful, or not so careful observation, of 'Basset Supervision'. My husband and I share our home with three delightful bassets. Generally, at least one of them is in my studio while I work. They are great companions.

This weekend, I had my successes and failures. We hopefully learn from those failures.

I did have some great wire wraps. But toward the end of the evening yesterday, I had two successive failures on pieces I was hoping to enter in the Estes Park show. After the second one, I decided it was time to put down the tools, put the wire away, and back away from the work table. I have found when things stop working correctly, it's time to just stop as continuing will not lead to success.

And while I do very well at keeping track of my firing schedules for my kiln work, I had another failure with the drop ring vase slump. From a previous failed slump, I thought I had a solution in place, but yesterday's firing proved I was wrong. Back to square one. I can fuse plates and bowls with consistent results. Now I need to reclaim the success I had in the past... I know I will. Thank goodness for the new screen melt process that will let me 'recycle' those failures and create something beautiful from them.

It's all good. I've learned you can't show the glass any fear. And I have the added advantage of 'Basset Supervision'..............

Friday, July 18, 2008

Food for an Artist's Soul

I have to report on last night's Art Hop. It was wonderful! My husband and I continue to marvel at the number of people who attend and truly embrace the variety and quality of art available in this area.

It's wonderful to be introduced to people interested in your work, your creative process. And these folks are genuinely interested. A woman bought one of my jewelry pieces last night and wanted to meet me. She asked how I made my pieces and was thrilled to have one. I was touched.

Another person approached me, asking about another piece. I'm humbled by her comments about my creativity. I have found most artists I know are always striving to improve their work and I certainly am one of them. Battling with those terrible self-doubts.... is it good enough? will anyone else like this? etc. Then to receive the positive reinforcement from the public, you know, people you have never met. They admire your work, what you do, and giving the ultimate affirmation of buying something you created. The added bonus is being approached by those people and wanting to discuss your work with you.

Now THAT's food for an artist's soul...............

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Art Hop Tonight

Looking forward to participating in Art Hop tonight. I really enjoy interacting with folks there and it's great fun to talk about how I create my jewelry and other fused works.

Mid summer in the Rockies.... a lovely time of year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Aspen Grove Series - Unveiled

The pictures don't really do these pieces justice, but I wanted to get them out on my blog. I'll have my husband, Dan, the real photographer in the family, take pictures of them for submission to the Estes Park Show. I also have a piece of jewelry related to this collection, but it's not complete yet. I'll post pictures of it when it's done.

I am so happy working on new projects and having ideas for new things. It's a wonderful feeling.

So, here is my Aspen Grove Series.
The Asp-Zen Leaf Plate, followed by The Asp-Zen Twig Garden Stake. I have this really cool ceramic flower pot for the garden stake, that will be its base. Once that arrangement is complete, I'll post a picture of the complete work.

I used Bullseye's Marzipan that makes a wonderful compliment for the deep rich green leaves. As fall approaches I will mix yellows and oranges into this series. I hope it will be well received.

I also want to draw your attention to an addition on my blog page...check out one of my favorite blogs by My New Sky. Marilyn is a talented artist and I hope you enjoy reading her posts too.

Creatively yours......

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feeling Pulled in Many Directions

How do you know which path to take in selling your work? I'm feeling pulled in a lot of directions.

I've written about a fellow artist that recommended Wholesalecrafts to me. I think it's a great opportunity. I'm having a hard time deciding whether I should do the Las Vegas ACRE's trade show as an Emerging Artists. Partly because I view it as a huge commitment and I have never done a trade show. It could be a real spring board for my work.

The web is a wealth of information and sorting what is the 'right approach' can be daunting for me. Ultimately I think I just need to make a decision and see what comes of it. A year with Wholesale Crafts could open the doors I need, and then it becomes a no-brainer to continue my affiliation with them and that's my marketing tool.

Jump right in, the water is fine.......................

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Little Art Every Day...Keeps Creativity Going!

I'm feeling rather reflective this morning. I guess that's part of what I do with this blog is track my thoughts on things.

So, I'm sitting here enjoying my morning coffee, while the bassets are protecting the homestead from whatever unknown/unseen foe they think is out there. Occasionally they do see something to rightfully bark at, but usually it's nothing. Anyway, I digress....I was thinking that I do a little art work every day. Kind of like an apple a day keeps the doctor a way, a little art every day keeps creativity going!

This morning I was able to check the results of my latest fuse. It's another in the Aspen Grove Series of 'Zen-full' Aspen Moments. This piece turned out nice and I'm firing it to slump today into the radial plate mold I have. This will be the third piece I'm going to enter in the Estes Park show this September.

Last night I worked on a couple of wire wraps. Always looking for ways to make the glass cabochons unique. I was excited that I was actually able to wrap 2 in an hour. That's a new record for me. It's true what I've read about wire wrapping, you just have to do it every day to keep skills in tack and growing.

This afternoon is a meeting of my Glass Artist Fellowship Group. It will take place at a member's home and she is going to do a demonstration of her sand blasting technique. Way cool! I'm hoping there will be more news about the Glass at the Gardens event in Denver, as I need to get my work ready for that show too.

Yep, no doubt about it, a little art every day, keeps creativity going. Time to go make some art! Blessings everyone!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A new series

Keeping with my theme of trees, plus I just love trees, I now have a new series called the Aspen Grove. The first in that series an a garden stake, which I'm going to enter in the Estes Park show this September. I'm calling in "Asp-zen". I'll post a picture soon.

The next in the series is another new pendant style. I'm going to wire wrap it of course. I haven't come up with my name for it yet.

And tonight I worked on the third in the Aspen Grove Series. This time I'm doing a radial plate. It has three aspen leaves and I'm still working on a title for that piece of work too.

Great fun!

Decisions to be made

I'm delighted to say that Wholesalecrafts wants me to join them. Wow. The decision at this time is whether or not to go for their expo in Las Vegas next May. Decisions, decisions.

At least Dan & I have reviewed and discussed and our consensus is it would be good to join as an artist. The question remains if the additional cost for Vegas would be worth while.

More to ponder.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be Open for Opportunitites

You never know when, where, or how an opportunity will be presented. Keep your options open.

Today I received a note from one of my fellow members atArtschuttlebutt. Encouraging words about my work and that I should look intoWholesale Crafts, as she thought my work would be well received.

I'm happy to report that I've done some preliminary checking on that site and made an inquiry. They've already responded, with interest in my work, wondering if I would come to the show they put on in Vegas next year. Decisions, decisions. It seems like a great way to get your work out to the retail market. Course the question is, can I keep up if the demand is there for what I do??? I'm sure that's a good situation to deal with in the long run.

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Little More Time

Great news for me. The deadline was approaching for entries in the upcoming show in Estes. At lunch, I double checked their site as I needed to eek out as much time as I could before I got my entries submitted. To my great delight, they just extended the entry deadline to July 30th. Now I will have time to spare to get my work finished and the entries submitted in a timely fashion. Whoooooo Whoooooo

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Glass Artist of the Pike's Peak Region

I recently joined Glass Artist of the Pikes Peak Region, GAPPR and tonight I attended my first meeting. This was the one year anniversary of the group's start and it seemed like a good turn out. Some familiar faces, some friends, and lots of new people to meet. The goals of this glass art group are worthy and I am happy to be a part of their organization. Looking forward to the new opportunities that will be presented this year.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Designs for the Estes' Show

Yesterday I worked on new designs for the Estes Park Show, coming up in September. I have some abstract aspen leaves, courtesy of the little aspens in our back yard. They are so delicate and beautiful, I hope I can do them justice. I'm working on a simplistic design for a garden stake that will fit in a very nice pot. It can be displayed indoors or out. First time I'm trying something that will be fused for a garden stake. It goes in the kiln tonight (the glass, not the garden stake!) and I hope I like the outcome. Also working on a concept for a necklace for this show too. It will be wire wrapped of course!

Looking forward to another week of creating.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Featured Artist Today

I didn't realize this until I got to the gallery this afternoon, but I was today's featured artist at Second Street. Cool.

Several pieces of my work sold this week. The feedback I received today was that people really liked my wire wrapping of the glass cabochons that I do.

A very nice afternoon for me!

Creating out of Chaos/Clutter

This is my ongoing battle. I have a studio, that I designed, and yet I struggle to find the right place for things and maintain order once things are organized. So I create in a space that is cluttered and I feel a sense of chaos.

Last night I decided I would tackle this space again and started to clean and organize. My work sits and waits to be completed during this de-cluttering process. Yet I feel this is a necessary step to further unleash my ability to create things of beauty without the frustration and time killing process of looking for the right tool or wire or piece of glass.

Ultimately, it's an ongoing process that I will have to keep up with or just learn to live with.

This afternoon I have a diversion as I will be at the gallery for their Art, Wine, and Music series. I'm looking forward to this!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Today is a Great Day!

It's always great to have a day off from my real job as a computer programmer. Don't get me wrong, I love being a geek and writing software code. BUT, it's a 9-5 job. So, when I have a day off from my regular job, I get to do the fun stuff that makes my life wonderful.

Slept late. The bassets allowed it! Went for a bike ride with my soul mate. Beautiful morning, no wind, temperature was just right. Once I got back to the house, I got to work on my creativity.

I'm working on variations of my Little Tree Collection. I'm coming up with some ideas for a show in Estes Park this September. And September isn't that far off, so I need to get something ready. I have some ideas for jewelry and also fused glass. May not have the time to do any stained glass for this show.

So it is a GREAT DAY. I've been creative. Right now I'm taking a break and will get back to doing more fun things soon.

Happy 4th of July. It's wonderful to live in America, the land of freedom and so much more. Blessings to all.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Results are In

When I got home from my day job yesterday, the mail had the results from my first 2 weeks in Second Street Art Market. I sold 8 pieces, 7 wire wrapped dichroic glass pendants and 1 plate. Affirmation of my work. Nice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ideas bouncing around inside my head

There are several shows coming up in the next few months. Glass At the Gardens in Denver, and another one in Estes Park. Both of these take place in September. While I have some things ready to go in a show, I still want to create some new things.

The Glass at the Gardens show is important to me because this is the last year it will be held at the Botanical Gardens. They are remodeling and our Glass Artist Fellowship will have to find a new venue for the show next year. The theme is Ancient Origins and the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head are related to our visit to Chaco Canyon in 2001. My husband, Dan, has some excellent photos from that trip which will probably become my foundation for what I create. I'd like to incorporate an artifact from that period, like a pitcher or bowl, into whatever I do. I have some ideas for a stained glass window, but I need to get that started as stained glass takes time. A fused piece could be put together faster and I may do something there too. We can submit up to 5 pieces of work and my pattern has been to include stained glass, fused glass, and wire wrapped fused glass in shows. I'm thinking about a really cool pendant that would look like an artifact from a site dig for Chaco or even Egypt.

Then the show in Estes park would be another great venue for exposure to the public. I enjoy creating Aspen related things and could come up with another series with Aspen leaves. Plus, Estes is such a good tourist site that in the fall, with various works on display, it's an excellent opportunity for people to see my work. This morning Dan told me he was going to enter his photographs in this show, so my mind is really churning with ideas. I love it when both of us are in the same show.

All of this, coupled with keeping a good inventory on hand for my gallery representation. It could be an exciting and hectic couple of months.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Little Tree Collection

Where do I start to describe this one? Hmmmm.

It seems like my creative juices are flowing these days and the more I work on, the more ideas pop into my head. Thus the origin of "The Little Tree Collection".

An idea came to me within the last 2 weeks to create a fused plate with a tree and maybe some leaves. I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this. Then, I started to look at the molds I have and I love the way a small sushi dish looks. It's about 5" square and when slumped the ends turn up. So I started looking through my glass and found this subtle shade, called Marizpan from Bullseye. That became the backdrop. Next I took some 1mm rods in black and bronze and combined them to form the 'trunk'. I took my favorite green, Adventurine, from Bullseye of course, and started to draw these little leaves. As I place them on either side of the trunk, my "Little Tree Collection" was born. I have three more ready for firing, each with slightly different color combinations. This one is called "Three Leaves". I'm following my husband's lead on naming work, stating the obvious. :)

I've been reading so much related to art these days and meeting other artists like Riva Sweetrocket and Kathy Beekman, hearing them talk about creating a theme based series. I thought I should start a series in my work. And now that's evolving for me.

I don't know how long The Little Tree Collection will be produced. Course it's going to be important to see if the public actually likes it. I think they are adorable and I hope others will too. I'm already thinking about what my next theme will be and I'm envisioning something mountain related. Time will tell.