Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Will work for FUN!

I went into the studio yesterday evening hungry for some colors, so I grabbed glass and cut up some blues, greens and browns, cleaned them and dumped them onto a sheet of paper. I looked at the pile and a light went off in my head. When I first started fusing I had had an idea of making an openwork piece, with gaps between the individual pieces. I'd made a couple tries at it but they hadn't looked good enough to fire. Now there was one sitting in front of me. With a little bit of rearranging, they turned into what I took out of my kiln this morning:

If you half-close your eyes, you can see my back yard in here!

I noticed with one of the other pieces I blogged about yesterday that it was the culmination of another idea that I had to iterate on several times before I got one that was recognizable as my original idea. Several other of the pieces that led up to it were interesting in themselves, just not what I had been aiming for. But they spun off other ideas to try to develop. That got me thinking about how often that had happened in my painting where I would have an idea of an image and work it up into a painting, only to have the result not really embody what I had imagined to begin with. But the paintings took so long that I would always figure that it was as close as I would be able to get, and rather than keep working on that idea I would go off in a new direction.

That reminded me very much of watching Pablo Picasso working in the excellent video I believe I have written about before, The Mystery Of Picasso. He reworked everything in the video as he painted it, constantly changing and revamping, wiping out and repainting a dozen times, or painting over, or throwing out and starting all over. I wonder if that was the issue with him, that he was trying to get closer to his starting idea. It might not be. Robert Burridge, if you've ever watched any of his videos (and if you have not, I recommend them highly) seems to pull stuff out of his hat as he goes, with or without an an actual beginning idea. He'll start with a thread of an idea, or hint of a thread of an idea.

I was taking some of these pieces down to Howden Gallery this morning, where they are now for sale, priced from $15 to $30, and started thinking about what I would answer if someone asked me, "Now that you're doing glass, are you going to keep painting?" I wasn't sure what the correct answer would be, but on the way back home I was thinking about the glass colors, and got an idea for another ink painting that I'll be doing soon. So, I guess Art feeds Art, and ideas come from everything you do! Or as Robert Burridge says, "No matter what the question is, the answer is always 'YES!'"


  1. I love this! It looks like my backyard too!

  2. Hi Shari,
    Thanks for your comment! Love my little bit of northwest Oregon--I never get tired of looking out my back window. Hope you're enjoying this beautiful autumn we're having. Best wishes!
    - Patty

  3. I'm in Beavercreek too, so our backyards probably do look very similar!

  4. I bet they do! Let me guess—doug firs?!