Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wonderful News!

Student projects from last weekend's Fused Glass Sgraffito Drawing workshop~
Look at all this fantastic work!

This was a really fun group to work with, and their pieces are all extremely well done. Hats off to you ladies!
Artwork from left to right:  Shirley Cole, Laurie Mueller, Gail Stanforth, and on bottom, Gloria Moses.

Next workshop is scheduled for August 9, 10, & 11, and we'll be doing something a little different! We'll be designing colorful cityscapes by incorporating powder drawings into a larger work of art.  You can find out all the details and registration information on my website   HERE.

Wonderful News!!!

As many of you know, I have been given the incredible opportunity to work with other glass artists and teachers for a week in Portland at the Bullseye Glass Factory next month.  I have had many sleepless nights worrying about how I was going to pay for the travel expenses to be able to do this.  Lots of my artwork has sold, but with 4 kids and bills it has still been really hard to save for the trip. 
Then came a huge surprise...

I got a letter in the mail saying I had been selected to receive a Palmer Scholarship from the Toledo Museum of Art, which will pay for ALL of my travel expenses for the trip!!!  I am so thankful to the donor who sponsored it, and I can't wait to be able to tell them how much it means to me.  I feel a huge weight removed knowing I'm not going to have to sink into debt to make the trip, and I'm going to learn EVERYTHING I can possibly soak up while I'm there (without the added worries)!  Thank you, Thank you to everyone who has supported me, and to TMA for offering these opportunities to help artists grow in their discipline.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fear and Creativity... Shattered Glass and Success

Guess what I learned this week?  

Reverse enamel painting with 

Cappy Thompson!

Working on adding color to the inside of my vessel~ It's challenging to paint on the inside without disturbing what you've already painted!   We used sawed off brushes so the handles were short enough to keep the end from bumping paint that had already dried.  Cappy also taught us how to burn bristle brushes to make them curved like the inside of the vessel.  Pretty stinky but very effective!

 This was a fun week,  after spending 4 straight days at the Toledo Museum of Art's famous Glass Pavilion with master glass artist Cappy Thompson,  I feel artistically 'recharged'.

I've never had the opportunity to learn from a glass master before, so I was thrilled to hear that she was coming from Seattle to Toledo to teach.  Most of what I know about working with glass is the result of countless hours of crazy experimenting on my own, lots of reading, and not being afraid to screw up royally.  

Fear is something that burdens everyone.  Fear of the unknown, of being hurt, disappointed, unsuccessful, or misunderstood affects each one of us.  In a classroom setting, the fear of failure is usually lurking heavily in the background.  It tries to steal our confidence and it stifles our creativity...We get a few days to learn something completely new in hopes of leaving with a piece of artwork we can be happy with.  Even more intimidating is to be in a class with experienced people when you know big fat... nothing.

When I have the opportunity to try a new technique, I want to learn and understand EVERYTHING in a ridiculously short amount of time.  My mind races into creative 'what ifs' and swirls with ideas to the point where I can't think at all.  I want to skip over all of the beginning stuff and jump into the sea of major undertakings.  I don't care at all about bringing home something pretty.

 I seem to have lost much of my 'art fear' somewhere along the line, and I feel almost free.  I learn new things,  I don't care if my pieces turn out. (Of course it IS a bonus when they do turn out)  Truly, I only want to see if what I had in mind works, or does not work.  In fact, I could spend days, weeks, or months on a project... once I see it completed, success or failure I am satisfied.  The process is so much more important to me, and I really enjoy being part of the processes of others when I'm in a classroom.  Everyone is in the same boat, but our own fears and lack of experience can make us feel like we're in a canoe instead of an ocean liner.  

I wish more artists could ditch the fear.  Fear should not dominate creativity;  rather, creativity should put fear right back in it's place. FAR away from our studios, our classrooms, and our lives.  Something to think about, isn't it?

Creativity builds our skills and brings passion to use what we learn from our failures to create real successes.... 

I dropped my most successful piece from this class on the kitchen floor as soon as I brought it home, shattering it to pieces.  I was frustrated because I wanted my husband to see how it looked finished.(maybe in attempt to justify what I had been spending all of my time on this week...)  Anyway, it is true.  And I really don't care that it's gone because what I learned by making it cannot be shattered.  Every unsuccessful piece has brought me closer to something I can truly be proud of...

The group was fantastic, lots of very talented ladies here~ 


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