Friday, October 17, 2014

OK. So I cheated a little.

Today’s goal was to get the background finished up to the upper right corner.

I made it.

It totally counts.

Off my back.


Monday, October 13, 2014

I’m being pursued by purple

I have never been the type to get excited by purple. There are some beautiful shades, but most of them, or at least the lighter ones, leave me feeling a little nauseated. Maybe the darker ones have seemed too pompous – all those poor little snails from Tyre crushed to keep the royalty clothed in the finest shades. I have just made it a practice to walk the other way whenever confronted by purple.

But you know how it can be – you run across something and perhaps rediscover an aspect of it that you’d forgotten about, or maybe just see it with new eyes. All of a sudden it is EVERYWHERE! It’s like when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see that same model on every single road.oct 11

Except that now, not only am I seeing purple everywhere, I’m craving it! Working on the background for The Three Graces, I have brought every single piece of purple glass I have to the worktable. And it’s not enough. I need more shades – more deep, dark, rich purple. And now I’m thinking of scrapping plans for mosaics that I had already sketched in order to do one of morning glories, like the ones I had in my first garden. I think they were called Grandpa Ott’s – gorgeous blue violet purple on the outer petals, red purple – almost magenta – on the inner parts.

Grandpa-Otts-morning-glory-growing_main_banner (1) Morning Glory weeds 1
good morning glory2 morning-glory-vine-2

This might be considered flightiness, or maybe divine inspiration….

Yeah. I’ll go with that one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are we there yet?

It’s not that I’m unhappy with this one, but it has been a boring one to work on. I can’t explain why. I’m really anxious to move to the background, which if all goes well, will be much more interesting to work on. I would be thrilled if I could finish the leaves and the last flower by the end of this week, but that’s probably a little overly optimistic.

sept 24


The Women of the Palette will have a one night exhibition and reception at the Johnson City Country Club on Thursday, November 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. I’d love to tell you where it is, but I don’t even know yet. I’ll post a map when the day gets closer.

Do mark your calendars – free food and wine. What more can I say?


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Three months later….

Whee! I finally received the frame for Bellafiore and got it completely finished and hung up.


The finished size with frame is 32” x 38”. I’m still in love with this one, but it needs a good home. How about yours?

I’m currently still working on the callas. There has been more rip and redo than I really want to admit. But there it is. I think I’m ok with what’s down now. Except maybe the center rib on the leaf. *Ugh.*


And just in case you hadn’t heard, the fall issue of Shattered is up – check it out and let me know what you think. I love feedback.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cross-eyed and punch drunk

Wow. The last couple of months went by in a blur. In that time I (we! Thank God for my hard working and ever-patient husband!) have organized a huge garage sale, found a new home for our dog, bought a new car, moved house, been on vacation, and hosted our daughter for a week.  That’s the cross-eyed part. As of this week, I am back in the studio regularly. Now if only I could get my computer back on the job.

I consider myself a bit of a technological anomaly – that is, I am over 50 and neither intimidated by computers or completely inept at making them do what I want.penguin-158551_640

But Dell, you confound me.

I have a wireless printer (Canon), and my suspicion is that it may somehow be interfering with software programs (Adobe Photoshop Elements, a generic publishing program, and now Microsoft Word. Oh, and my PDF creator. All things that interact regularly with the printer….hmm…). Keep in mind, though, that until about 4 months ago, I had no trouble with any of this software (which hasn’t changed) or my printer. Then there is the fact that my external hard drive never would work properly, so I don’t have a decent back-up of photos and files. (I know! What is wrong with me?!?)

The most irritating thing is that these software programs seize up rather randomly. Sometimes I can open them, but as soon as I click on something they seize. Sometimes it will let me work for awhile. And until this week, it seemed the computer fairy had come in and fixed it for me – for about 2 weeks it was smooth sailing. Now Photoshop is total shit soup, the publishing program only seizes up if I forget to save things for too long (well, naturally!), and Word works. Occasionally. I have Open Office Writer as well, but it seems to occasionally seize up too. This is the punch drunk part.

Worst part is that I’m due to put out my next issue of Shattered in less than a week, and I REALLY NEED THAT PUBLISHING PROGRAM TO WORK.

Yeah, yeah, everyone’s computer is a pain in the butt. OK, fair enough. How about some studio pics?

sept 10

This is where I am on the Calla lilies. I had done some of the unfinished flower before leaving for vacation and knew I wasn’t happy with the andamento, but didn’t really have time to deal with it then. I really hate having to leave a rip and redo for later because the longer that thinset stays on there, the tougher it is to get tess up without damaging either the substrate or surrounding tess. Tuesday I ripped out and replaced what I thought would be enough to fix it. Wednesday I realized it wasn’t enough. Today I see I’m still not done fixing things. Bah.

sept 10 detail

I like this view.

Also I have some exhibity things to look forward to, and one I’m still waiting to hear about. More on those later.

Anyway, I’M BAAACCCKK! Hope you enjoyed your quiet time. Winking smile

Monday, July 28, 2014


Hello? Helloooo……?Daddy_Come_Home_by_Artemis_Twitches

Yeah, I’m still here.  Trying to clean, pack, sort, price for garage sale, find a new home for the dog…

EVERYTHING except working in the studio!

I have made a few trips to the studio, moving cabinets/shelves that won’t fit in our new home but could be useful in the studio, but no glass cutting. I’m not whining….I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on it now anyway! After the move, vacation at the beach and a week long visit with my lovely daughter that I don’t see NEARLY enough of…..I’ll be back in the studio. Second or third week of September. Hopefully things will settle enough to let me get lots done. I have a real backlog of ideas that need to get out of my head.

So all I can say for now is,  ~*in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice*~

“I’ll be bahk”

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Now it’s just absurd.

giant-eyeball-386487_640Everyone has days, weeks (or more?) when it seems that Murphy’s Law has absconded with your life. The best laid plans don’t work out, mechanical things go on strike, normally self-sufficient areas of your life need intense attention. And sometimes your best efforts to rectify things only make them worse. At those times I guess all you can do is go sit in the corner and say “Fine. I’m letting go. I’ll be back in a couple of days.” (or weeks, as the case may be).

I’m so there.

My car has decided to disintegrate, apparently. It now has so much wrong with it that I think putting anymore major repairs into it is just throwing good money after bad. That’s a hell of a dilemma for someone who has a one way commute of an hour three times a week. While waiting at the repair shop for this delicious news, I tried to slip my phone into the side pocket of my purse and missed. It hit the floor from a distance of 6” or less and broke. For the second time in 7 months.

Meanwhile I’m trying to pack up the house, arrange a garage sale (we are downsizing and have to get rid of a lot!), find a new home for our dog, and manage a household move and vacation within the space of 10 days.

I may be AWOL for the next 6 weeks or so.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One step forward, two steps back.

Some days are just like that. I set to work on a project and every single piece I want to put in isn’t quite right. Maybe I have to cut it three times, maybe I change it out for a slightly different color or texture two or three times. Eventually I get terribly frustrated, and at that point I know I have two choices: force myself to keep going and know I will hate the result, or give up and come back the next day.

Often it’s because something has gone awry either in the andamento or the shading that I can’t quite identify up close, so I’ll take pictures. When I get home and put them on the computer screen, I can usually see where I ran off the rails.

This time it’s the shading. I now know I have to go back and rework some of it to get more even depth on the calla in the foreground.


You can get a better sense of it from this picture, which shows the reference photo as well:


I’m fascinated by this process, and I have been using it as a way to check my progress for years. I never really knew why I could see things in a photo that I couldn’t see in person. Then a couple of years ago I was told by a photographer and artist that when translating photos into paintings, you have to remember that a photo will flatten a landscape, so it takes some effort to recapture the depth and dimension. A little light went off in my head – so that’s why! The photo flattens the image, so any missteps in shading and andamento are exaggerated and more easily identified. Eureka! It’s a great tool.

Tomorrow I’ll start with ripping out some tess and replacing them, the move on to finish that flower.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finnegan, begin again.

Started a new piece today – 3 white calla lilies. This one is 18” square, so it will be a nice, manageable size after the monster I just finished (which, by the way, I don’t have good photos of yet – soon).


While planning this one last week, my thought was to create 3 stark white blossoms on a dark but intensely-colored background. Already I have run off the rails. I just couldn’t resist some dramatic shading for depth. I really don’t want a flat-looking calla, anyway, now do I? Unfortunately, the light colored violet glass doesn’t register well in this photo. It’s much prettier in person.


Part of the problem is that my Adobe Photoshop Elements program is stonewalling me, and I had to use a poor substitute to edit it. Oh well, it’s always something….

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No art, only reflections on staying afloat

This is a more personal post than I generally make and there is no art in it – I won’t judge you for skipping it. This is just me trying to motivate myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I have just returned from Seattle – a long weekend visit with our youngest son whom we hadn’t seen in a year and a half. We had a marvelous time – our first visit to the area – and spent lots of quality time with a very special person. I came home utterly exhausted, or as my daughter the Brit might say, ‘shattered’.

And that British term seems to suit me better than any other at this moment. It’s not as if we were rushing around trying to see and do everything possible within our short visit because it was more about our son than sightseeing, so how to explain the fact that I have slept 13 hours of the last 24?

We did take the red eye from Seattle, leaving at 12:20 am yesterday, so yes that’s part of it, but I did sleep a bit on the plane (and didn’t even count that in the 13 hrs). Most likely, it’s the overwhelming anxiety I have come home to.

I’m so elated about my new studio situation, even though it was SO not the right time to start this. But the opportunity was there at that time, so I knew I could either grab the ring or sit at home and feel sorry for myself for letting it go. Maybe there would be another opportunity come up at a better time, and maybe not. So I grabbed.

But this is not a situation where I can just go to the studio and indulge myself in the environment. I have to make it self-sustaining. And I’m terrified.

I know the potential is there – I just don’t know whether or not I have the ability to make it happen. Although, I think the point is less that I have no faith in myself, than that I have little faith in myself to make it happen as quickly as I need it to. I’m a big believer in the “never give up” philosophy – it has been the reason why I have an art career at all. I simply refused to quit, even when it seemed pointless. But it feels as if the stakes are higher here. If I simply filled the house with art that no one else wanted, so what?

I ran across this quote from Hugh Laurie this morning, and it felt like he was speaking directly to me. As silly as that sounds, whatever small comfort I derive from that will help.

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something - I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

--Hugh Laurie

I have an artist friend who said something very similar a couple of weeks ago – “The time is never right, the time is NOW”. Thank you, Nancy Jane.

I guess all I can do is to keep feeding myself these little nuggets of wisdom and hope that they are sufficient nourishment until I can see evidence that my efforts are paying off. In the meantime…one foot in front of the other is my mantra.


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