Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Sunday, 6 February 2022
It is only February 2022, so it is still the beginning of a new year. I have some new followers, forgive me for not acknowledging you but I will try to send out a newsletter shortly. So I thought I would show you some of my newest pieces for this year. I am still struggling with stroke symptoms, and cannot do a great deal on my feet, but somehow or other, I managed these new pieces. It is called "being stubborn" I think!
I reckon they are somewhat self-explanatory so I will let them speak for themselves -
Sunday, 30 January 2022
When browsing one day, I spotted this set of moulds:
and here they are!
Happy fusing folks!
Saturday, 30 October 2021
Glass landscapes…should I use opaque glass, or clear, for my “base” glass?
One has to take into account transparency and opaqueness in glass when creating images I do understand that this may seem obvious to some of you...but sometimes, even obvious basics such as this are not properly anticipated and the end result might be either a pleasant, or a not so pleasant surprise!
If you produce a landscape on a transparent glass, using a mixture of transparent and opaque frits and embellishments, it might look great up against a window, or with a lamp behind, but flat on table or on a stand or hung on a wall, it may look very different. If you are trying to create distance or depth, then how you deal with the “tones” in a landscape is important – tone being the relative lightness or darkness of a colour. If you want an area to be light, the sense of depth, or atmosphere, may change if it looks darker when you shift your piece! A change in the tone may bring an area forward when you want it to recede, for example – or vice versa. The transparency of an area of glass will be dramatically influenced by where you place the finished piece
If you work on clear and put a layer of pale opaque behind, or work on a pale opaque, SOME light will penetrate when held against a window, or if it is lit from behind, but actually, the opaque glass will act as a reasonably stable "light source" for your landscape and will keep the integrity of the colours and tones you’ve created when there is no other light source, much like white watercolour paper “lights up” the washes in a watercolour painting. This needs to be part of your planning process.
same piece, on a dark ground, ( light reflections at the top of the piece, from a doorway, making some of the branches look pale). But in the main part of the image there is very little difference in tone values.The opaque “ground” stabilises the tones and colours.
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
The stroke I had during my heart surgery left me with problems with sketching and drawing - and so with painting too. I literally could not draw a straight line, or any line, for that matter. Holding a pen or pencil or piece of charcoal, became a major issue, my hand would shake and arm would jerk. Not conducive to happy sketching! So for a long time, when energy allowed it, I would make things, either in resin or glass. This is quite satisfying, but the easel sat forlornly at the back of my studio, looking neglected.
I have long wanted to try painting in a freer, more abstract way, but every attempt failed to satisfy. Then, the other day, I watched someone on the internet, "painting" without brushes....using found implements such as nail brushes, spatulas, sponges, and cake slices. I tried an image - no brushes, just collage for texture, stencils, rags and a palette knife....but I found myself hanging on to the subject, an Acacia tree in the Negev desert.... and although there were interesting, abstract marks throughout, it was not loose or abstract in the end. I took some photos of areas of the image, and preferred those sections, to the whole piece!
Friday, 18 June 2021
I hope I will be forgiven for posting a more personal blog this week, but I would love to share some special news with you all.
Some background: My husband Geoffrey, as a young man, was never introduced to classical music. He was the proud owner of a record player as a teen, and listened almost exclusively to pop music and country western music.
We met and married in our twenties - more than 50 years ago - and in the first decade of our marriage, we enjoyed fun Christmas holidays with groups of friends. On one of these holidays, Geoffrey watched his first opera on tv......Verdi's La Traviata.....a wonderful Franco Zefirrelli movie, produced in 1985, with Placido Domingo in a lead role.
He was transfixed. He watched avidly, absorbing every note. It was the start of a long-lasting love affair between Geoffrey and the world of the Opera. Soon after, he was invited to a performance of the Pavilion Opera Company, which took place in a City livery hall. The performance was not on a stage. The company dressed in full costume, and sang in the original language, but performed "in the round" on a large carpet, using a single piano. The small audience surrounded the carpet, and enjoyed the full force of the powerful voices of professional opera singers, from the distance of a few feet! This is a staggering experience - it not only reinforced Geoffrey's passion for opera, but it also sparked an idea. He felt he had missed out as a child, and wanted to introduce opera to children at an early age, so that they too could enjoy this very special experience.
He met with Freddie Stockdale, Director of Pavilion Opera, and presented the idea of an Educational Trust. Freddie loved the idea and partnered with Geoffrey to create Pavilion Opera Educational Trust in 1992. Geoffrey took performances into schools, for 8-9 year old children. He raised funding from major business organisations all over the UK. The children were introduced to and learned, through a six-week comprehensive cross-curriculum package, the full story, the history of the opera and the composer. They were provided with a fully scripted play in English, through which they rehearsed the Opera itself. Before the event; they produced project work which was placed on display in the school hall. The local mayor and other important local dignitaries were invited. The performance took place, on the huge carpet, in the centre of the school hall, with a piano, and the children sat around the edges of the carpet, on the floor and on benches, within just a few feet of the singers. After the performance the children met the singers, asked questions, and collected autographs enthusiastically. Later, they were asked to write letters to thank the organisers, and these letters are a joy to read. "I thought it was great, it was so LOUD" "The man who played the piano was fantastic" "My Dad said I would not like it, but I did and I would like to see another opera".
To see the joy on the children's faces was wonderful as you can see from the photo below. The performers enjoyed it too, as they involved the children, often singing directly to a particular child, or even sitting on the lap of the Headteacher, which the kids loved.
Sunday, 11 April 2021
I really like this expression, and it is so apt for me right now.
For so many years, I sketched and painted. Even though I turned to other craft pursuits for a change of pace, I would still occasionally produce a painting...and there can be no doubt that I was probably a better painter than craftsperson.
However life, for me, took a strange turn not so long ago. After heart surgery and a stroke, I find that I am now left with a body that is hard to recognise. I can literally no longer draw a straight line - sketching is out of the question. I have poor balance, and suffer with something called "stroke fatigue" which impedes my ability to do a lot on my feet. Please dont think I am looking for sympathy....it is what it is, I have to get on with life and I try not to complain too much. But there is no doubt that life suddenly handed me lemons, and I had to find a way to make lemonade. I was not happy with the thought of sitting on my hands doing nothing except watch the tv!
Enamelling is a no-no, as one has to hold a red hot piece of metal balanced precariously on a trivet and move it around. I would drop it and set light to myself, without question! Sketching upsets me, I find I can hardly hold a pen still to sign my name any more,let alone sketch. Glass ...well, one needs to be able to cut glass safely to create glass art.....but......
I can cut against a straight edge AND I CAN WORK WITH GLASS POWDER AND FRIT. Frit is crushed glass. Frit, in a mould, or on a glass base, melts in the kiln. And with it, I am creating all kinds of different things., including the gorgeous poppy bowl above. It is hard to believe that is made from crushed glass, isn't it. So, I thought it might interest you to see a few pictures and learn a little about the process.
This is frit. It comes in tons of sizes and colours, from fine powder, to chunky pieces:
Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Why do hares box?
Monday, 1 March 2021
Mosquitoes bite you, leaving horrible itchy red welts. Bees and wasps sting. Flies are just disgusting. But there’s something magical about dragonflies.
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
IS SNOW JUST WHITE?
Well, the answer is yes, snow is white, we all know that....but creating an image with snow, whether in paint, or enamels or glass, means catching the nuances of colour which are created by the prevailing weather conditions. And boy, are there lots of nuances! I will just say this, for the sake of brevity: warm light = cool shadows. This is an important little sentence to remember, always. And the other side of the coin, is that cool light, such as an overcast day, can still provide subtle shadows, but the colour will be quite different. You need to observe carefully, and try to use the information in your work. I will provide here some examples, in various media, just to demonstrate, as we are visual artists, so I will work with visual images:
Here we have a bright, eye-hurting day, when the sky is a wonderful turquoise blue, the sunlight is warm(ish), the contrasts are strong. The white snow is in fact a riot of colour: warm cream where the sun hits, and cool blues in the shadows.