Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Painting Efforts

I can't believe I'm posting these, but here they are. I vaguely remember doing these in 7th or 8th grade. I'm guessing I was 12 or 13 years old. Mrs Secker was the guest art teacher; she was the mother of one of my fellow students. I was THRILLED when she would come and teach as she was a REAL ARTIST and had a degree in art! She always had very unique, interesting concepts to challenge us and our creativity. These paintings were the results of one of her interesting projects for us. I actually signed one of them, as you may be able to see in the lower right hand corner of the one on the left.

Each is a little different, but the same still life. I do remember I had great fun making these.

So now the question becomes.....what will I do when I start painting on glass???? I think I'll have fun again, after I get past the mistakes during the learning curve. Aaahhh, that's part of the process and journey for me!

Hope you enjoy these and maybe they'll make you smile remembering some of your first works too. I'd love to see any of yours if any of you are inclined to share. Thanks for indulging me!

Reaching for my inner painting 'abilities'

Last night, after I finished working on more of the copper foiling for my Peace Angel, I thought it would be good to relax and watch one of my new DVDs. I ordered several of Peter McGrain's DVDs, and the first to arrive was his Vitri-Fusaille Technique. What I have viewed so far, I've really enjoyed and this got me thinking that I'm going to have to reach deep inside my creative self and try to resurrect my inner painting 'abilities'.

Yes I have dabbled in the world of painting some. A few weeks ago, I found an ink and watercolor piece that I think I did as far back as grade school. Sometimes I'm a bit of a pack rat. I showed it to Dan and, while he may be biased, he felt it showed my artistic abilities even back then. I'll have to post a picture of that old drawing/painting here so all of you can smile at my early artistic attempts. :)

I am looking forward to exploring this new VitriFusaille technique as I can adapt it to my style. And yes, I do have some ideas about what I would like to try first....course my leaning is towards nature and Aspen leaves, so we'll see what my first efforts at painting on glass will be after a fairly long absence from trying any painting at all. That's why I admire the skills of all you painters out there...I think it takes great talent to paint.

My thanks to a fellow ArtScuttlebutt member, Arlene Wright-Correll, for sharing that McGrain has published this series of DVDs on his techniques. I love learning new things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pre-Firing Picture

I generally take photos of my glass before I fire it in the kiln. This is a picture of my latest batch before it was fired. The stars are prototypes for a commission....possible Christmas ornaments in varying sizes. Unfortunately, as things go with prototypes, the fired results didn't turn out as I would have hoped. The smaller stars to denote the Texas flag, fused too far (my fault), so they looked like blobs. The main stars turned out well, and gave me more information about what to try next.

It's ALWAYS fun to open the kiln and see what surprises, good and bad, await. I had some jewelry pendants and earrings in this batch that turned out well.

The star in the center is the right overall size (approximately 4"). I'm feeling pretty confident that my next group of stars will turn out great because of what I learned from the results of this firing.

And I'm continuing to work on the copper foil for the pieces of my Peace Angel. I'm multi-tasking (just hope I don't experience the blue screen of death...a little geek humor) and need to continue to get better at juggling tasks. I expect the angel will be ready for soldering this weekend and I'll post a picture of her once all the copper foil is complete.

I love keeping busy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Work in Progress - Pieces Cut and Fitted

Here she is! All of the pieces have been cut and fitted. Her wings are an iridescent white, which the picture doesn't show very well. The definition of the piece will become apparent after I copper foil all of the individual pieces in preparation for the soldering process.

I changed the color of her ribbon to a rich navy blue, instead of the yellow gold I had planned to do. I also used iridescent clear glass for those areas that needed to be transparent.

I started this project three weeks ago and it has really come together fast for a stained glass work. There are 145 pieces and some are extremely small; that dictates the detail in her hair, wings, and the dove she holds.

Next step will be copper foil, which can be fairly quick. And then on to one of my favorite parts, soldering! I'll post another picture after the copper foil is complete.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Diversion Tonight

Tonight I indulged in a diversion.

I started working on the full size drawing for the commission I recently received from a fellow artist, Milo Stephens. She is a very talented oil painter and has done a series of mosaic type paintings of women with their personal stories. This one is "Peace Offering". Milo's painting is on the right, and my design for a stained glass window is on the left.

Milo and I connected through Art Scuttlebutt. I admired her work and she liked my stained glass so much that she commissioned this window. So this will be my next project after I complete the "Peace Angel". Tonight's diversion was to draw the full sized sketch of the window. I did this because Friday afternoon, my husband and I are headed to my glass supplier in Denver so I can select the glass for this piece. I'm so excited to start working on the window itself. I needed the full size sketch to use it for glass selection and to know how much I'll need of different colors.

A little bit about my design process....I use the Glass Eye program to start my initial design. That's how I was able to email various designs (jpegs of the design) to Milo. She liked this one and it will be 9" x 24". I am blessed to be able to do this window for her. So, I took a break from working on the Peace Angel, so I could get my drawing ready for my glass shopping on Friday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Work in Progress - Getting Close

I've been working diligently on the "Peace Angel" and I'm almost done cutting all the glass pieces for it. Right now I'm working on her wings. I thought about posting a picture of where I am with it now, but felt it would be more interesting to see her when all the pieces are in place.

This is the part of the process that truly does take the most time. Cutting and fitting. Over the years my approach to this has evolved so that now I cut a piece and make sure it fits correctly before moving on. In my earlier days of stained glass, I would cut everything and then start working on the fitting process. Not the best approach as things shift when they are cut, so I have found the importance of cutting and fitting at the same time. In my opinion, it is a much better approach and produces a much nicer window.

Yes, my current way of building a window is a more time consuming process, but I think it is well worth the effort. Once this part is done, the rest of the assembly goes fairly quick. Each piece will be wrapped in copper foil in preparation for soldering. And that's why it's so important that everything fits together well before the next step of copper foil.

I felt I needed to explain why I haven't posted much in the past week. My focus has been completing this phase of the window.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Current Work in Progress

I'm working on a stained glass angel. It's a reproduction form Jan Patten's the Carousel Collection. This one is the Peace Angel and I am doing it for my friends who recently had their second child. I did the Jubilation Angel for them upon the birth of their first child 2 1/2 years ago. Hopefully both of the angels will become something that is passed on to the next generation.

I thought it would be fun to post a picture of the work in progress. This stage in the creative process is challenging for me as I work to fit all of the pieces of glass together correctly. My "ah ha" moment comes much later in the process after the piece is soldered and I can actually hold it up so the light comes through it. Then I have confirmation of my glass and color choices. I can honestly say I have never been disappointed with my first glimpse of the light bringing a piece to 'life'. One of my favorite parts in the stained glass window process.

I plan to have this window done by the end of the month. Stay tuned......

Friday, October 10, 2008

An Evening at Second Street

Yesterday, I asked my husband out on a 'date' for tonight! We went to the Wine Bar at Second Street Art Market, where I'm represented, to listen to a new musical artist and enjoy some beer and wine. The people at Second Street are so wonderful; it was great to catch up with them.

What a nice evening. And a wonderful way to end the work week after returning from our vacation last week. We enjoyed the music and mingling with the people there. I happened to meet a delightful lady from Dekalb, IL and it was fun to discuss our experiences of living in Illinois. She wants to move to Colorado at some point, and who can blame her? She loves the mountains as I do.

Dan and I had a great conversation about his latest idea... a year in the life. Those portraits will be like a photo contact sheet....he wants to do one of me with my glass work and others in a humorous vein. I can't wait to see how his ideas evolve.

As for me, it's back to the studio tomorrow to work on finishing up a current project and multi-task working on other things too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where to Start?

Ever since returning from our trip to the Tetons, the ideas have been swirling about in my head. I thought I would post a picture of these red berries that were thick in a certain spot around Jenny Lake. I think this would be the coolest design for a piece of stained glass or maybe even a fused plate.

Right now I'm working on a reproduction of a stained glass angel, called Peace, for friends of mine. This is a gift for the birth of their second child (who was born on 9/26/08), so I'm behind schedule. I did a reproduction of the Jubilation angel as my gift to them for their first child. The good news is that they know I'm working on it and no worries about the delivery date of this angel. My goal is to have it completed by the end of the month.

So I'm busy creating and it is fun to have ideas swarming around in my head.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back From The Tetons

I'm back!

Awwwwwwwww.....the Tetons. They are my favorite place in this world. I feel so at peace there. I have to share a few photos from the trip.

I had just sighed, looking at the Grand Teton, and felt totally at peace. I felt eyes on me and looked just when Dan snapped this picture of me. It was our first day of hiking in the Tetons and I was completely relax. Surrounded by so much beauty. I felt infused.

Dan took this picture of that glorious peak I was enthralled with. Rugged beauty beyond compare.

Another day, another photo and visit to this magnificent range. This is one of Dan & I at the Snake River overlook.

If you haven't visited The Tetons or Yellowstone, I feel it is a MUST. Dan & I have so many photos and I have so many ideas I want to incorporate into my work, I can hardly wait to get started.

Yes, it's great to be home too.