Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Music Series- Violist

The second musical painting is titled Violist.
I grew up playing the viola and I love the sound of it more than a violin. It is richer in tone, mellow, it is the alto for those who are singers.  This piece has more sophistication and detail than the cellist.  The colors are vibrant and really represent the sound of this instrument to me as well as the emotion from the performer.  This became a self portrait as I studied myself in the mirror to get details of the face.  I also enjoy the hand and scroll of the viola coming forward towards the viewer.  The music weaving in and out is like  muscle, ligaments of the body.  A friend of mine purchased this painting and loves to just sit and soak in the movement, color and texture (that is one thing missing in photos of paintings- the texture).  Whenever we go to his house I have to view this piece for a little while.  It is a fun painting.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Music Series- Cellist

I had created a 3 part music series in oil painting a few years ago which turned out to be quite fun.  The first of the three is titled Cellist.
 The concept was to create visually what an instrument sounded like to me, playing classical music.  The cello sounds warm, rich tones, and moves a little slow like chocolate.  The darker colors are the deeper sounds with the yellows/whites as the higher sounds.  The movement of sound flows out and around the instrument as well as the person playing because the emotion of the music comes from the musician.  As the first of this series I look at it and wince at some parts but there are some great things happening with this.  There is much improvement with the second one.  I know, I probably shouldn't be too critical, I just can't help it. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I thought that I would go through and explain the design process on individual pieces of art both glass and painting.  The first one is a glass piece titled Windblown. 
The client talked about how there is a lot of wind in that area and they have a tree outside this window.  They wanted to still operate the hand crank and locking mechanism to open the window to allow air in.  I created a design to tie in with the outside elements such as the tree and wind.  I also bent the framing of the stained glass to allow space to utilize the hand crank and allow air flow into the space.  All leaves were hand beveled with colored glass beveled and bonded on top of the clear bevel.  Very difficult panel to fabricate. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hand Beveled Glass

Do you enjoy beveled glass?  What is it that you enjoy?  Do you like the prismatic colors when the sun hits it? Next time you see beveled glass really take a close look at it.  I notice several things, the way light goes through it, the prismatic colors, the width of the bevel, waves in the bevel and dimension. I have noticed a difference in a commercial bevel (one done by a machine) and a bevel done by hand.  I create bevels by hand by holding the glass onto a beveling grinder and eyeballing the line of the bevel.  I find that the hand bevel has more light play with it than a machine bevel.  My eye tends to go through the bevel on a commercial one.  A hand bevel tends to have more fine waves in the glass which bends the light more and plays with colors and whatever else is going on in the background.  Another detail that I have noticed is that the bevel is an even width all around the piece.  In some windows with a lot of bevels this tends to look flat to me having all of these uniform bevels.  I wanted more depth and movement in my work so I began playing with varying the widths of the bevel.  This gave me the effect that I was looking for.  Another detail that I enjoy with bevels is that they have a clean, sharp look to them which appeals to me very much. I also began beveling colored glass and bonding it on top of the clear beveled glass which gave an added dimension and continued with the clean sharp lines that I desire.  The following image is a detail of a larger window showing the bevels.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Privacy and Light

Do you have a window that looks at your neighbor's house?  How about those sidelights in which everyone can look right in when they walk up to your door?  Do you want privacy and yet not block out the light?  Art glass windows are a great way to accomplish this.  Using clear glass with texture can give the privacy you need yet still allow light in.  An added feature is that the textured glass picks up different colors that are behind it and plays with the light.  As the light and colors change during the different seasons the glass changes as well.  Art glass windows are a great way to add art to your home/office and are functional as well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why I Create Art

I along with many artists will tell you that a reason they create art is that it is innate, it is inside and must come out.  I have a desire to paint these images that I get in my mind, sometimes it is only a feeling but I have to get it out onto the canvas or in glass.  When I do not paint for awhile or create a glass piece for a time I feel bloated emotionally and I even feel physical pain, agitated, moody, angry. I create art to add beauty, joy, peace and happiness to this life.
When creating a glass piece for a client I enjoy the process of explaining a design, how different glass textures will interact with each other and the surroundings and how they play with light.  The process of fabricating the piece is work, but good work. Cutting, beveling one piece at a time, knowing what the whole will look like excites me. Throughout the process I am somewhat anxious because if a piece breaks it can mean a whole lot of work depending on where in the process I am at. When the piece is complete and sitting in my shop I can only admire a portion of its beauty because it is not yet in the place for which it was made.  Once it sits in the space in which it was intended, do I fully appreciate the design and how it ties in with the surrounding space.  My heart races seeing it in the space.  I am full of joy, peace at that moment.  I feel a larger satisfaction when the client sees the piece and their countenance changes to joy, amazement, delight, peace.  Creating something that enhances a space, that creates happiness for someone, this is why I create art. 
The creations I make in both glass and painting are personal but the paintings are more so.  I do not create a painting to someones exact specifications.  I paint what is inside and is needing to come out.  Presenting these works can be scary but it has been rewarding to hear the comments from people who stand there staring at them and keep coming back to see them. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Artist maturity

I turn 40 tomorrow (April 2) and it has me thinking about not only physical maturity but maturing as an artist.  Is my art growing, changing?  I think it is in different ways.  The way I am creating bevels now is better and different than years ago. My paintings have matured over the years.  My painting instructor/adviser in college once told me that it takes 10- 15 yrs to really develop your style and then many years of continued growth.  What do you think?