Friday, May 30, 2008

Visit to the Tacoma Museum of Glass

As I mentioned on May 15th I recently was on the West Coast. When I’m in this part of the country there are several things I typically make it a point to do. 1 - Visit family and friends of course. 2 - Eat great sea food. Short of shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, no pun intended, Texas is not exactly known for fresh sea food. Not that it's bad but it doesn’t compare to what you can find on the coast. And 3 - visit the Tacoma Museum of Glass.

This time my trip was coincidentally timed to place me in the area at the same time as a retrospective exhibit of Lino Tagliapietra’s work. I knew I would have to see it. Whether you are a glass enthusiast or not this exhibit will sweep you off your feet. The work is amazing. Although I was only there a short time I already had the beginnings of a slight headache brought on by over stimulation by the time I left. The last time I felt this way, at a museum, was at the Muse D’Orsay in Paris when I saw the works of impressionist painters I had only been familiar with from books/prints. Awe and amazement probably best capture my respose. Showing at the same time is the exhibit Form/Color/Pattern the work of Dante Marioni. Brilliant and bold this was a wonderful companion.

If you have the opportunity to go before the end of August I highly recommend it. Hell, if I could I’d go back. Since I can’t I made sure to pick up this resource so I could revisit/relive/remember my experience later in the comfort of my home.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

When one door closes...

Photo of St. Mary's Episcopal Church taken from Travis Park
San Antonio, Texas
There is that old saying when one door closes another opens. Well, last July I bought an airline ticket to accompany friends to Los Vegas in celebration of one’s birthday. As the travel date approached the door began to swing shut. I had unwittingly committed myself to teach a workshop the same weekend and the class was full. Although I enjoyed teaching that weekend, I was disappointed I had missed the trip. I had no idea at the time that plan ticket would later take me on two separate journeys.
One the first week in April to Glass Craft Expo in Los Vegas where I served as a technical assistant to Gail Stouffer who was teaching patter bars, pot melts and vitrograph. And another, which I am taking now, to Seattle to visit family and friends with a detour to Portland for a seminar at Bullseye Glass. One plane ticket turned into two separate opportunities. I seem to be a testament to that old adage. The door to the first trip had closed but with it another opened... and a window too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where have the wildflowers gone...

The last day or two have been damp and drizzly, but it is to little to late for the wildflowers. South Texas springtime is normally ushered in by beautiful blankets of wildflowers with Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and Purple Coneflowers in every free spot of land along roadsides, in open fields and throughout the hill country. This annual event is a part of life here. Displayed on postcards and captured in almost every family's scrapbook. This year a dry March and April meant sparse flowers for only a brief time and I am left longing for the colors and textures I have associated with spring since my childhood. So here I have the flowers I miss and the colors of out current drought manifest in one piece.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Recent Read - The Sounds of Paper

I've just finished Julia Cameron's The Sound of Paper a book I started a year ago. It is a series of three to four page essays on the creative life. Each essay focused on a particular topic with a suggested exercise for personal reinforcement. The duration of the reading was attributed to the manner which I choose to read the book. For me the book was best read in segments over time. This allowed me to contemplate, experience and apply the subject matter gaining more value then if I had read it straight through. Because of how the book was written I could always pick up right where I had left off and feel at home even after an extended absence. On the one or two occasions where I read sections more continuously I did not find it as enjoyable or valuable an experience. But that's just me. Although the topics at times seemed might seem a bit simple or obvious, it is often that which is right in front of us which we fail to see. If one is open minded and allows the book to unwind at it's own pace, it may bring to light some important insights which we fail to see or simply forgot. Having completed this journey I feel satisfied and already prepared to return to the beginning and start again with possibly another one of Cameron's books in a similar vain. As I am quite probably one of the last people on earth to not have read The Artist's Way, I may go that route, we’ll see.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pollock Inspired Series


It was back in October that an Inspire Me Thursday challenge encouraged me to begin exploring with this style of painting on glass. It was intended to be an exercise to help me relax into the work, to stop thinking and start reacting.

Since then I have returned to this process on several occasions including the development of this three piece set for the San Antonio Calligrapher’s Guild Spring Exhibit. That's right… calligraphers. That means text and letter forms. It was obvious to me this style paid homage in its own way to Pollock. So it seemed only appropriate to use his words.
It's all a big game of construction
some with a brush - some with a shovel
some choose a pen

– Jackson Pollock
This quote seemed appropriate for the piece and with its' reference to the pen a choice fitting for this venue full of calligraphic work. The text was applied in the same way the rest of the design was, using glass paints/enamels on the surface of and in the glass. The pieces hang from right to left with the pattern continuous throughout.

I'm still working on several more pieces in this vain. The more I do, the bolder I get. With the next set I have begun to add texture drilling into the glass and adding elements to the surface of the glass. More to come...