Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Two Mediums

I have been asked when I began to paint with oils and to work with glass.  The short answer is that I began creating in glass in the spring of 1990 and with oil paint the fall of 1990.  The full story is that I had dabbled in different kinds of paint such as tempra, acrylic, watercolor and gouache from junior high through the first couple of years in college.  I had not touched oil paint and I am not completely sure why.  Was I intimidated? I had seen what had been done by other students in that class and perhaps I was intimidated.  Another thought is that I was focusing on going into medical illustration and I had seen illustrations done in pen & ink, watercolor and gouache, but I do not recall seeing them done in oils.  Oil painting was not really on my radar.  My adviser suggested that I should give it a try and so with some reluctance I signed up for a class the fall of 1990.  The first semester started out rough.  The class was basically life drawing but using paint instead of pencils and charcoal.  My paintings were muddy, I had a hard time trying to mix and combine color.  Though it was difficult I fell in love with the medium.  The vibrancy of the colors, the smoothness of the paint, the smell of the oil and paint thinner (side note: my dad is an aircraft mechanic and when I was a child he would come home smelling of the aircraft cleaning chemical, so I associate him with odors such as paint thinner and turpentine).  I felt free as I painted, if I made a mistake or did not like something I could wipe it off or allow the paint to dry and paint over it.  I was hooked!  I kept taking these classes over a 2yr period and after graduating I kept painting.  Slowly a style began to emerge and  is evolving, becoming intertwined with my stained glass style.
A class mate of mine in college one day asked if I would like to work with him in his business of creating stained glass windows.  I said that I would and I began working with him in May 1990.  The artist's name is John Dobbs.  I learned the basics of glass cutting, fabricating a glass panel and installing the panel(s).  Just like oil painting I took to stained glass right away.  I enjoy the different textures and colors of glass and how I can combine them to create depth and dimension.  John also taught me how to hand bevel glass which I love doing.  I ended up working with John for 3 1/2 yrs until he moved to upstate New York.  I began my own business January 1996 in Anchorage, AK.

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