Friday, December 31, 2010

Fully Engaged

Hello All!

As some of you may have noticed, I have been absent from my glass blog for a number of months now. My artistic direction has taken a turn to a new path, which I am exploring. I will tell you that I have not and can not completely abandon working with glass. Yet, there have been so many signs for me that are showing me to follow a path into Art Jewelry and working with metal. I hope you will follow me on my other blog, Mystical Mythical Metalwork, and share my journey there. I will post here from time to time as I feel it is relevant, like today. However, more of my artistic journal will occur over on Mystical Mythical Metalwork.

At the end of 2009, I shared with you my 'word' for the year 2010, which was Aspire.  Another blog that I follow is Christine Kane's and I discovered her writing about The Word of the Year.  I have links here that will help you to find Christine's writing and why I chose the word Aspire for my artistic journey in 2010.

Now 2011, approaches and I have a new word for the coming year. This time I tried several and knew I needed two words to propel me forward in my journey. The words I chose are the title of this post, Fully Engaged.

In my heart, I know I must be Fully Engaged in everything I do. Yes, that may be exhausting and I may need to pull back a bit. However, the point of being Fully Engaged in anything I do is that will help me to be focused in the moment. Too many times I find myself working on something and thinking about something else. Loss of focus. Not being Fully Engaged. In order to channel creativity effectively, I need to be Fully Engaged. In the zone. Living in the present moment. Put all other thoughts and distractions aside, and just become immersed in what I am doing. This is why those two words resonate with me.

In 2011 you will see that I am Fully Engaged in life, work, my art, my passions. I would love to hear if you have that word or phrase that will center and ground you in your goals for the coming year.

May each of you have a joyous and prosperous 2011. Please come see what I'm doing over at my other blog, Mystical Mythical Metalwork.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person. (I love that phrase and it's become my signature sign off on my blogs, so I can't give that up either!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Friday ~ Art Walk ~ Boulder Colorado

Flower Garden Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Tomorrow evening is First Friday, Art Walk in Boulder Colorado.  I find being at the Pearl Street Mall during Art Walk to be a great deal of fun.  All the sights and sounds.  Street entertainers.  There is such a festive atmosphere.

This bowl is part of my glass exhibit at Boulder Arts and Crafts.  It is another in my Flower Garden Series.  Approximately 10" in diameter with colorful glass shards combined with clears to create dimension and depth.  I used my favorite Bullseye Glass palette.

Tomorrow evening, Robin G of Boulder Arts and Crafts will debut some of her new glass works.  She is an amazingly gifted glass artist and her work always makes me smile.

If you are in the area, I hope you can take in the festivities surrounding First Friday and soak up that wonderful atmosphere. Oh yes, and please stop by Boulder Arts and Crafts to see Robin's new work, a bit of mine, and the rest of the works from the talented artists in that gallery. I know you will be glad you did.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Great News!

Breaking Dawn
Sky-Scape Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

I received some great news today! My contact with Boulder Arts and Crafts got in touch and wanted to extend my show through October 17! Wow. What a wonderful surprise. She said, and I quote, "your work perfectly compliments the next show that went up, paintings by Joeseph Smith." I am thrilled. I truly love the venue and there are so many wonderful artists affiliated with Boulder Arts and Crafts, so my dream continues to become a reality.

The piece pictured is another from my Sky-Scape Series. I am such a purple fan and there are days when the sky takes on that color palette. So this is my tribute to those mornings as dawn breaks....not the book by Stephanie Meyer for those Twilight fans!

Breaking Dawn is one of my works available at Boulder Arts and Crafts, now through October 17!

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Blue Skies ~ Skyscape Series

Blue Skies
Skyscape Series
Photo Credit: Daniel Krucoff

Another from my Skyscape Series. With this plate, I wanted to convey the sense of a pretty blue sky on a summer day with a few stray clouds.

I also created what I call the 'mini-me' version of it shown below. This little plate is approximately 4" square, while its larger version is approximately 12" square.

Both are on display at Boulder Arts & Crafts through the end of the day today, when the exhibit closes.

I did receive word this week that my Full Bloom plate, that I discussed in my 8/28 post, sold.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and person.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Full Bloom ~ Flower Garden Series

Full Bloom
Flower Garden Series
Photo Credit: Daniel Krucoff

This is a serious floral scene, everything is in full bloom. As I worked on this piece, I wanted something visually dramatic.  There have been fields of wildflowers that have left a lasting impression on me.  When their blooms are at their peak, the powerful colors are overwhelming.  I tried to convey that in this piece.

It is currently on display and to the best of my knowledge, still available for purchase, at Boulder Arts & Crafts in Boulder, Colorado.  The exhibit at Boulder runs through September 5th, so if you are in the area and have a chance, I hope you can stop by and see some of my works.  They have other beautiful artwork available too and Boulder is always a fun place to visit.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Breaking Dawn
Sky-Scape Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Red glass has always been one of my favorites. I like the depth of it, the various shades, and the richness. This is one of my Sky-Scape bowls and I wanted it to convey those first red hues as the sun rises in the morning. That is my reason for calling this one Breaking Dawn.

I used Bullseye glass in this strip construction, combining the transparent glass with opals.  Creating any of these Sky-Scape bowls takes more time because I'm trying to get the right balance of glass colors to create the affect I want.  Of course, the way the strips look, prior to their first firing in the kiln for the full fuse, doesn't always provide an accurate view of how the piece will look after being fused.  There can be color shifts in some of the glass after fusing.  In this case, some of the reds turned out darker after being fused.  However, I'm still happy with the end result as I think it is dramatic.

Here's an interesting tidbit of information about red glass.  Gold is used in its manufacture.  I have an inventory of red glass that I purchased about 2 years ago which was before gold prices exceeded $1000 an ounce.  I haven't checked the price of red glass since gold prices went up.  Right now I'm happy that I have a supply.

Breaking Dawn is currently available at Boulder Arts and Crafts through September 5, 2010.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Opening Reception

There I am with one of my favorite bowls, Colorado Wildflowers. Dan took this at the opening reception on Friday night at Boulder Arts and Crafts.

It was a nice evening and there was a steady stream of people coming in to look at all the beautiful works. I had an opportunity to discuss my work with a number of visitors and it was fun to explain my process.

My work was paired with that of a silk painter and I thought it was a great compliment.

The show runs through September 5, 2010 and it feels like a dream come true for me.

I created a photo album on my Facebook Fan page. Please feel free to take a look and share your thoughts.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fine Art and A Bicycle Event

Thunderbird Artists Fine Art Festival

Last weekend was the Triple Bypass Bike Event. This is the second year that Dan has participated. It involves road bike riders, who travel 120 miles, over 3 mountain passes. Makes me tired just writing about it.

Dan Coming Into Georgetown

I am Dan's support person for the event as I drop him off at the starting point in Evergreen Colorado....meeting him past one of the aid stations so he can drop off unneeded gear and meet him at the finish in Avon Colorado.

Dan heading out on the road again

This year, Dan found a Fine Art Festival for me and unfortunately the weather was a little ominous so I was unable to spend a great deal of time lingering there. However, I did manage to get some pictures of the type of work that was on display.

One of my stopping points before the festival was at the outlet shops as they have a nice stream and seating areas where I could just hang out and read. That was very relaxing.

Set up to read and relax

Pretty Columbines where I was Reading.

So I thought I would take a diversion from posting about my work and share with you some of the pictures from this past weekend. I hope you enjoy! You can see those dark storm clouds heading toward the festival in some of these shots.

Look at that GLASS!

That's my virtual tour of the festival.

Here's Dan coming in at the finish! My fast action picture taking needs improvement, but I've preserved the moment as he's heading in.

A satisfied smile for a job well done and a great ride!

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Featured Artist

Here it is. The announcement of my month long show at Boulder Arts & Crafts in Boulder, Colorado. I've known about this for a while now and sometimes the reality of it just hasn't sunk in yet. I don't want anyone to pinch me and wake me up from this dream. It's so exciting and such a great opportunity. As I look at our kitchen table, filled with my bowls and plates, I do know it is a reality.

The opening reception will be Friday, August 6th from 6 - 8 PM. Dan & I will be there, of course!

I think one of the things I like best is how my work has grown and several new series have evolved as a result of my pushing myself to prepare for this show. I think my favorite is my Colorado Wildflowers from my Flower Garden Series, followed by my Sky-Scapes.

And I'm in great company, as a silk painter, Yelena Sidorova, will be co-exhibiting during August. I definitely admire the works of silk painters and one of my online friends, Deborah Younglao, is one of my favorites!

If you live close to Boulder, I hope you'll be able to stop in during the exhibit dates to see my new works and this exhibit.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clearing Skies ~ Sky-Scape Series

Clearing Skies
Sky-Scape Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Growing up in the Midwest, I have a fondness for thunderstorms. I think there is a real beauty in the lightening shows they produce. And then there is that moment as the stormy skies are clearing and the sunlight emerges. That moment is what I tried to capture in this piece, which I call Clearing Skies.

Working on the pieces in my Sky-Scape Series has its challenges. Trying to combine the right glass colors, create the effect I'm hoping for once the pieces fuse together. The picture below is this piece as it's ready to go into the kiln. The glass at the top and bottom is one of Bullseye's Blue Steel that shifts from the deep blue you see in this picture to a silver when fused at a certain temperature. You can see this color shift in the finished bowl pictured at the top of this post.

When I took this to full fuse temp, around 1525 degrees Fahrenheit, it remained that deep blue shade you see in the pre-fuse picture. After I completed the coldworking phase to finish the edge, I put it back in the kiln to slump into its final shape. That slumping temperature I used took it to about 1125 degrees and that is when the color shift to that silver took place. Fascinating! I truly love opening my kiln and seeing what awaits.

That's exactly what I wanted and thanks to that shift, it created the stormy sky clearing effect I wanted. Dark stormy grey/silver edges with the clouds dissipating after the storm and the light shining through.

If you'd like to see this one in person, it will be part of my exhibit at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery in August. Stay tuned for more details on that show.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog-Anniversary 2 Years

Who would have thought? Not me.... My blog had its 2 year blog-anniversary on Friday June 25th. I'm a couple of days late with the announcement. This year I wanted to commemorate the anniversary of my blog start date because I have met so many wonderful people in this land of cyberspace. Wonderful artists. Great stories. Amazing journeys.

I've learned so much from so many of you who have been kind enough to leave comments, share your adventures on your blogs too. I've even had the pleasure of meeting a few of you and I look forward to meeting more of you in person one of these days. Don ~ Dan & I are definitely meeting you the next time we are in Vegas! My friends in the Chicago area, Karen, Janelle...gotta meet you guys. Deborah, Elizabeth, Tracey, Sharmon, Kristin, Sheila, Janice, R, Pam, Tom, Donna, Susanne, Linda, Sandy, Susan....all of you and more. I haven't intentionally left out names, there are so many of you who have touched my life through the blogging we all do. Thank you!

All of you have been very kind and giving. I look forward to more growth and sharing our experiences. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, read my posts, and leave your comments.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person. I am.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Bloom ~ The Flower Garden Series

A Bloom
The Flower Garden Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another experiment that turned out to be a nice surprise for me. I was playing with the larger glass shards from another piece when I came up with this flower. It looks like it's getting ready to bloom, at least that's what I see.

I was playing with glass mixtures and for whatever reason, the crystal clear powder I use, from Bullseye, tends to produce a bit of a cloudy effect in the fused glass. I'm fairly certain I'm not doing something right when I use this, but in this case, I thought the effect it created was pretty unique.

So I have another piece that fits in my Flower Garden Series. It's about 8" square and can be decorative or functional. Some folks are comfortable putting these in the dishwasher, but I think it's best to hand wash just to make sure it doesn't have a chance to break in the dishwasher.

I love the colors for the bloom. All are in my Bullseye palette. I never thought I would delve into the world of abstraction, but in a number of my pieces, I seem to be leaning in that direction.

This will be one my works on display at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery in Boulder Colorado during the month of August.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Colorado Wildflowers ~ The Flower Garden Series

Colorado Wildflowers
The Flower Garden Series
Photograph Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

I would like to debut my new glass series I am calling The Flower Garden Series. This bowl is called Colorado Wildflowers as it reminds me of some of the open meadows we can see in Colorado that are filled with beautiful wildflowers.

Ever since I lived in Texas, I fell in love with the wildflowers that would bloom in spring. Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brush filled fields and the shoulders of the Texas highways. They were beautiful, especially in the hill country close to Austin. It's a must see in my book, if you've never visited Texas in March to see nature's splendor.

Lately I tend to experience something I can visualize in my mind's eye and this bowl is the first of many where I see glass shards creating a wildflower scene. Please don't take this the wrong way, but this is one of my favorite bowls. I hate the thoughts of parting with it, but if it is meant to find another home, that is its path. This one will be one of my glass works that will be on exhibit during the month of August at Boulder Arts & Crafts in Boulder, Colorado.

I think the highest compliment I've received on this piece is from my husband Dan. He said it looks like an impressionistic painting. And that reminds me of another comment a fellow artist recently left on my blog, that some of my glass bowls look like I'm painting with glass. I was truly flattered by Deborah Younglao's comment, given her talents as a silk painter, that was a high compliment. Please check out her work on her blog and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

So I'm debuting a series that will be dedicated to the delicate beauty of wildflowers. Some of the ones I've completed in this series are bold and dramatic. Others a bit more subtle like this one.

For each of these, I start out with a blank of clear Bullseye Glass as the base. The I start adding glass shards and frit to create the look of grasses, stems, flowers and sky. I've really enjoyed experimenting with this process and I have definitely enjoyed the results.

I hope you like it. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Scenes from the Opening Reception

Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts

I thought I would share some of the photos from the opening reception on Friday night at the Palmer Lake Artist Group's Fine Art Show at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts.

As I have mentioned, I do like this venue. The turn out for the opening receptions continues to be good.

The Krucoff Clan fared well as each of us won ribbons for our works. Dan won first place in the Photography category.

Daniel Krucoff ~ First Place Photography

Mary received second place for her watercolor.

Mary Krucoff's Watercolor ~ 2nd Place in the category

I received a second place for my wire wrapped glass jewelry.

Bling Wire Wrapped Glass Jewelry by Kathleen Krucoff

And I also had the good fortune of receiving 3rd place for one of my glass bowls, Summer Days.

Summer Days ~ 3rd Place ~ Fused Glass Bowl by Kathleen Krucoff

Suzanne Jenne, a gifted artist, was the MC for the silent auction. I'm happy that I won one of the items in the auction. The proceeds from the auction go toward the scholarship fund to help art students from the area go on to pursue their studies in college.

Here are a few more shots of the variety of work at this show.

And here are a few of the Krucoffs. You will notice a photo of Dan in front of his work is noticeably absent....hmmmmmm he does like being the photographer!

Mary and her painting.

Me with my jewelry.

A girl and her glass..... bowl that is, with ... a glass of wine!

Oh yes, those are 'adult beverages' that Mary & I have. What's an opening reception without a little wine or beer?

We had a fun evening. Hope you enjoyed seeing a glimpse of the surroundings.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Palmer Lake Art Group 45th Annual 2010 Spring Fine Art Show

Opening Reception, Friday, June 11th, 5:00-8:00 pm, Free and Open to the Public

Featuring Aaron Medina, classical and Brazilian jazz guitarist, graduate of Lamont School of Music

Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts, 304 Highway 105, Palmer Lake, CO 80133, 719-481-0475

Exhibition, June 3—29, Tuesday—Saturday, 12:00-4:00 pm

Dan & I will be there for the opening reception along with many of the other talented artists of the Palmer Lake Art Group.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and person.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spring Skies

Spring Skies
Sky-Scape Series
Photo Credit - Daniel Krucoff

Another in my Sky-Scape Series, I was thinking of colorful spring time skies as I worked on this piece. It was very difficult for Dan to photograph because I had more darker colored glass in this piece and trying to get the light to shine through with the highly reflective glass surface made it almost impossible to photograph. I had 1' square mirrors that I use in shows for my pieces when the lighting is low, so we thought that would help. I think it did some and it does give you the opportunity to see the underside of this bowl. This one truly is a bowl that you need to see in person and hold it so the sunlight shines through so you can see the colorful glasses I used.

All of the glass that I used for this piece are my favorite Bullseye sheets. I combined opals and transparents for this one. The crackling you see on the surface was created by the use of crystal clear frit in the chunky size. It's one of my thicker bowls, approximately 1/2" thick, so it is quite heavy. I do like how stout some of these bowls are, but I have started to tone down the thickness to 3/8" on others I'm currently working on. I thought it would be good to have a variety of thicknesses and then see what the public likes.

Currently it is on display at the Palmer Lake Art Group Fine Art Show at Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake, Colorado. The opening reception for this event will be this coming Friday, June 11th, from 5 - 8 PM. There will be refreshments and an open bar, along with live music. Generally there is a good turn out for this reception and Dan & I enjoy it a great deal.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Day

Summer Day
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

It has been a long winter and late spring here in Colorado. Wishful thinking when I created this bowl with thoughts of summer and the colors I recall seeing on those warm summer days. This bowl represents my thoughts about green grasses along with a smattering of dandelions!

This is one of my bowls that will be available at the Palmer Lake Artists Group's Fine Art Show starting this Wednesday, June 2.

I used all Bullseye glasses for this piece. There are a couple of new yellows & greens that I picked up on my recent visit to D & L Art Glass.

I'm happy to report that over the past week, the weather has warmed to the point where our Aspens have sprung to life with that lovely shade of new growth green. More inspirations thanks to the warmer weather.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.